Our Difference: The Purpose of Activities

March 22, 2013 developer Comments

Staying active keeps you healthy, no matter your age or abilities. It is especially important for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia to stay as active as they can.  Activities, also known as life enrichment programs, are hot topics at any senior living facility and can widly vary in scope depending on type of facility (over 55 community, independent living, assisted living, memory care, nursing home, etc.) and cognitive ability of the residents. The purpose can also vary from offering a variety of opportunities for entertainment and socialization based on residents’ preferences to a form of therapy to help maintain abilities or provide purpose.


Residents enjoying a game of Scrabble.

At AutumnGrove Cottage, activities are tailored to the unique needs, skills and desire of the residents and helps to promote independence, self-esteem and enjoyment. The residents will engage in activities that meet cognitive, recreational, and activities of daily living (ADL) needs. With only sixteen residents per cottage, our cottage caregivers are able to assist and join the residents in all of the activities. While we have “activities” that are at designated times during the day, our philosophy on activities goes far beyond that. We use the entire day to engage our residents whether it is setting the table, preparing desert, organizing supplies or taking a trip to the restroom, each is used as an opportunity to intentionally engage the resident.

We highly encourage our residents to be as independent as possible. The activities of daily living consist of both self and occupational activities. Self-activities involve individualparticipation in bathing or dressing. While occupational activities incorporate daily “chores” such as gardening and cleaning. The residents are never expected to do chores around the cottage, but some enjoy them and find purpose in them because they have done those kinds of chores all their lives. The cognitive activities include things that enhance thinking and memory skills. It is important to keep the brain active just like it is important to keep the rest of your body active. Stimulating thought processes like reading, word games and recollection are important for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Julie Dancing

Resident dancing with a manager.

AutumnGrove helps to promote exercise for the residents each day through recreational activities. These include general exercise, games, crafts and entertainment. It is known that staying physically active, even for seniors, delays and may prevent some disabilities and diseases. Our residents participate in endurance, strength, balance and flexibility exercises that keep their hearts, muscles, weight, blood sugar and metabolism healthy. The caregivers encourage the residents, who are able, to walk and dance around the cottage. This is a fun way to get the residents up and moving about. Those residents who are not able to walk are pushed in their wheelchairs around the cottage and in the backyard to allow them to still move around and not feel confined by their disabilities. Some other recreational activities include watching a movie, listening to music, cooking and having guests at the cottages.

Our goal is to keep our residents as active and healthy as possible to promote a more comfortable lifestyle. We understand that Alzheimer’s and dementia limit our residents in doing things that they have participated in their whole lives, but we want to bestow upon them a great deal of dignity and independence as the disease progresses. We hope to make them feel as normal and honored as possible through the use of daily activities.

If you would like to volunteer with activities at one of our cottages, please click HERE and complete a volunteer application.

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