Here are my biggest pet peeves. When people are building dementia care calendars for their dementia care communities, they end the calendars at three o’clock. I don’t know what this is besides the fact that maybe who’s ever in charge of the calendar is going home around then. I think it’s probably more that people think since residents are sundowning, that the calendar should stop. No calendar should not stop because your residents are getting more agitated. If they’re getting more agitated, it’s probably cuz they’re bored. So instead, let’s have things on the calendar for them to do and not stop the calendar at three o’clock. I also get asked a lot about, well, what do we do? How do we know what to do during the day? I have a book about this and it’s called creative engagement.
Creative engagement is my second book from Johns Hopkins university press. And it tells you all sorts of ideas about what to do with your residents all day, every day. My favorite thing for a program director to do anyone who’s planning a calendar after they go through my program director course because I have a course specifically for them is really chat with them about building a theme. This doesn’t mean like ice cream a day, but it means have an outline for your month. And this really is every month, but you know that at 11:00 AM, you’re always doing a brain activity at 11:30am. You’re always doing an art activity. I’m making this up. You probably need to space these out more, but that way at 11 you’re going okay. Brain activity. You’re not going to write brain activity on your calendar because that’s another big pet peeve of mine just like art exercise.
Well, what exercise, what art? So use the general outline you’ve created, use the theme you’ve created and then go look at your list of activities you could pull from and put that on your calendar. So a big pet peeve of mine is when people don’t use any specificity and they just say, art, tell me what it is. Someone else picking up your calendar should be able to know what is going on. They shouldn’t be like, what, what is this? What does this mean? Right. Another pet peeve of mine is when we use these childish names like glitter girls nails, right? Which I assume is nail care. We can just say manicures. We don’t need to use some cutey kiddish name because we’re working with people with cognitive impairments who are full grown adults and probably older than us. And we need to treat them with dignity and respect and age that they are.
So those are a few of my pet peeves. I have a whole bunch more in my course. And I also have a lot of ideas for you in my second book called creative engagement, which you can find in the link in the description. And you can also find if you just Google my name or go to rachaelwonderlin.com or go to Amazon and type in Rachael Wonderland. Amazon will ask you, did you mean to spell it R a C H E L. And the answer is no you didn’t because my name is R a C H a E L, but regardless, you’ll find it there. Use my book, seriously, look through it. I have tons of ideas in there by chapter – literally, step-by-step things you can do with your residents, living with dementia, tried and true. So I really hope these were helpful quick tips for you!
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