Susan Berg's Activity Ideas Galore
By Susan Berg, CDP, AD,  BS(COTA/L)
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Susan Berg
Author, Activity Director
Activities Director Blog
Alzheimers Ideas
About Susan

Susan Berg has been a
healthcare professional and
educator for over 20 years. She
is the, activity director, of
many years, at Hunt Nursing
and Rehabilitation Center in
Danvers. While there, she has
gained much dementia care
and activity experience and
knowledge. She has had
special training in dementia
care and dementia activities
through the Alzheimer’s
Association and other
educational forums. Berg is the
author of Adorable
Photographs of Our Baby-
Meaningful, Mind-Stimulating
Activities and More for the
Memory Challenged, Their
Loved Ones, and Involved
Professionals, a book for those
with dementia and an
excellent resource for
caregivers and healthcare
Take a look
at Susan's book
Flash Cards are
available  to use
with Susan's Book
Note:  They can also be
used without the book
and are ideal for group
November Activity Ideas

Welcome to the November edition of my suggestions for your activity calendar as well
as suggestions on topics for lively discussions

This year is an election year. Even though we are not voting for president, many of your
residents will want to vote or at least be part of the election process. Since it may not be
appropriate for those with dementia to vote, they can still be involved in the process. Go
com/article/1102538/how_to_get_dementia_sufferers_involved.html?cat=5  for more
ideas about this.

Make sure all your residents that are interested in voting are registered to vote. Then
you can help them fill out an absentee ballot application and even help them fill out the
ballot if that is necessary. You may be able to get some assistance doing this through a
state agency.

November is also good nutrition month. In order for you to celebrate this month with
your residents, you must know a little bit about good nutrition yourself  I personally am
very conscious about eating healthy foods and try to provide good tasting snacks that
are good for the residents. I also educate the residents on what foods are healthy. In
the end, however, it is their choice as to what they are going to eat. Sometimes it is a
difficult job getting people to eat right.

I digressed. Good nutrition means that people are eating an adequate amount of fruits,
vegetables, whole grains, proteins and fats each day to keep their body healthy.  The
exact amounts of each of these groups will vary depending on many factors such as
their health, their age, weight, and activity level.

Most people benefit from limiting their saturated fat intake.

Variety of foods from each food group daily is important too. Try to explain to your
residents that consumption of “junk foods”, even thought they taste good can have
consequences. Residents who are brittle diabetics are especially at risk. For more
information on good nutrition go to

It has been speculated that those who eat right decrease their chances of getting
dementia. Also those with dementia benefit greatly by eating right. The rate of their
decline is slower. For more information on this and diets to decrease dementia, go to

Now how are you going to encourage your residents to consume healthy foods?
Talk about why certain foods are healthy. As I said earlier, discuss basic nutrition in a
fun way. Combine it with reminiscing. Tell them examples of how eating good or bad
food changed peoples’ lives. Talk about healthy foods and substitutions you can make
in a recipe to make the final product healthier. Parties, coffee hour, meal planning,
sensory, seasonal, and picnics can all be done using healthy food alternatives.
Instead of sugary treats, recommend fruits and vegetables, along with food that
contains good fats like omega-3, lean protein and fiber. Some examples are nuts for
lean protein and healthy fat, while hummus provides fiber and is tasty.

Hummus is a wondeful snack. Residents on all diets can eat it. It is extremely versitile
and can be eaten with many other foods.

You can buy plain hummus or mash canned chickpeas and have the residents add
their favorite seasonings or spices to the hummus. Then have a taste test and see
which one most of your residents like. You can then serve the hummus as sandwich
filling, or the residents can dip pita triangles, chips, crackers, or raw veggies in it.

On another note, November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Go to  
for more information

I hope I have given you some food for thought. In fact while you are creating your
November activity calendar, have a snack of hummus.