Creative Occupation in Aktios
One of the basic concerns of Aktios Elderly Care Unit, is residents’ occupation and participation in the daily activities. Every month an occupational programme is created by the supervisor of the psychosocial sector, enriched with group activities according to the specific time and season, in addition to the therapeutic groups’ programme that gets organised from our scientists and trainees.
There are several daily groups in the morning and afternoon shifts. More specifically, there are groups on physical exercise and cognitive training, Occupational Therapy, therapeutic, recreational (TV and conversation) etc. In these groups residents participate according to their level of mental functioning.
Activities are accomplished in the grounds of development and enhancement of the individual and social skills of the residents. The programme’s creation is based on previous assessments of the residents, on the levels of communication, functionality and daily living and self service abilities.
Benefits from Creative Occupation
Although a person who suffers from dementia gives us the impression that he has lost many of the abilities that he had when he was still healthy, it is striking how easily and successfully the same person corresponds to a pleasant activity. Through art, like painting, he has the opportunity to express his agony and his feelings in a safe and creative way. Through singing activities he can get in touch without fear with feelings and memories that, due to the disorder, are frozen in a place inside him that he can’t access anymore, or they constitute a mixture of stressful experiences and disturbing feelings, that when come to the surface, cause him inevitably pain.
Actually, in group level, any simple activity may be transformed in a gaming process, from finding names and word derivatives, to proverbs and metaphors, to imaginary trips in geographical destinations and socializing with other group members, in reality there are no limits than those set by our imagination. Many of these games are played through ipad and projector so as to succeed better visibility,interactivity and familiarization to new technologies.
Aktios constitutes a model of a unit that gives particular emphasis to the psychosocial support of the demented patients by providing a stable daily schedule of pleasant activities. Besides, since we would never send our children in a camping where they would not have the opportunity to play and have fun, let’s not deny from our father, our mother or our grandfather/mother the chance to entertain themselves when we take the decision to trust their care in a secure environment.
- Cognitive Training group
- Space and Time Orientation group
- Newspaper and daily news group
- Getting in touch and becoming familiar with new technology group (internet, skype, youtube)
- Singing group
- Games and Activities group
- Painting and handicraft group
- Cooking and candy making group
- Recreational events
- Learning traditional dances
- Dance- therapy
- Drama therapy
- Behaviour Training (regarding personal hygiene and care) programme for dementia patients (hand and body washing, development of personal dressing ability , pampering etc).
- Participation in events and other activities of the Community (for example national day celebrations, artistic and athletic events).
- Church attendance for residents who desire it.
- Programmed excursions like visits to coffee houses in the area, and trips outside the area.
- Visits to museums and archaeological sites.
Residents participation in group games, when it occurs after careful preparation and specific programming, and is always under supervision and with coordination, is thought to be a basic factor of the development of certain abilities such as sharpening of the senses , thought and critical ability development, undertaking of initiative etc. Some of these games are:
- Construction games: Simple coloured puzzles, wooden shapes, plastic, Lego
- Table games: simple table games (memory, dominoes, card games).
- Bowling, cones, hooks, different types of balls, clock, etc.
- Hearing, touching, smelling ,tasting and vision games
- Blind man’s buff, miming, etc.
- Hangman game
- Knowledge quizzes (eg. trivial)