FREE SHIPPING in the contiguous United States or Canada on all orders of $95 or more. Flat rate of only $12.50 on all other orders - click for details

Welcome to Keeping Busy

Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Questions

What are my payment options?

You can pay by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) or by cheque or money order. If you pay by credit card, your order will be shipped within 24 hours (usually same day). If you choose to pay by cheque, your order will ship once we have received the cheque (unless prior arrangements have been made).

Facilities can contact us to arrange for products to be shipped in advance of payment.

What if I don't want to order online?

No problem. You can order :

By telephone : Just give us a call at 800-834-8290 and we'll be happy to help you out

By fax : Send a list of what you'd like to 855-779-9777 along with your contact information and we'll get in touch with you with the total amount and get your payment information.

By E-Mail : Send a list of what you'd like to sales@keepingbusy.com and we'll send you a note back with the total amount and arrange for payment.

How much is shipping?

Orders of $95 or more (before tax) ship for free in Canada or the United States (excluding Hawaii and Alaska). Orders less than $95 ship for a flat rate of only $12.50. Please contact us regarding shipments outside of Canada or the United States.

What countries do you ship to?

We can ship to any country. In Canada and the United States (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) orders of $95 or more (before tax) ship for free. Orders less than $95 ship for a flat rate of only $12.50. Contact us for information about shipments to other countries.

How do you ship?

Most orders ship by UPS. For faster service, some orders ship by Canada Post/USPS or from a local fulfillment center. You will receive tracking information for your order once it ships.

What if I don't like the product?

We certainly hope that doesn't happen, but if it does, we offer a full money-back guarantee. Simply contact us to let us know that you'd like to return the product and ship it back to us. When we receive it, we'll refund your payment in full.

Can I talk to someone for help?

Of course. In fact, we love to talk to people about their situation and how we can help. Give us a call at 800-834-8290, or send us an e-mail at donna.ray@keepingbusy.com if you prefer.

Family and Friend Questions

How do I choose an activity?

There are several things to consider when choosing an activity. The most important is that the activity is of interest to the person. If the person never showed an interest in doing puzzles, for example, then a puzzle would likely be a poor choice.

The activity should be within their abilities so that they do not become frustrated. The level of difficulty in almost all of our activities can be adjusted to match the abilities of the person, but sometimes there are physical impairments that affect your choice. For example, if the person has very poor eyesight then an activity such as our standard Word Search puzzles may not be appropriate - our Low Vision word search puzzles with larger print and wider spacing would be a better choice. Our article "Modifying Activities for People with Vision Problems" offers more suggestions for people with vision problems.

Another thing to consider when choosing an activity is that it meets your goals. Some activities offer more cognitive exercise while others may offer more opportunity to encourage conversation, for example. The bar graph in the description of each activity give you an indication of these benefits.

Click here to see our full article on choosing an activity.

What's a good activity to start with?

There's no easy answer to this because each person is different. However, from our experience we have found that the best choices are the items that we have included in our Gift Ideas, in particular the WaterDoodle Grab & Go, Tangram, Sequenced Puzzles (if the person enjoys jigsaw puzzles) and the Word Search Grab & Go (if the person enjoys word games).

How do I know if a particular product is suitable?

Most of our products are designed to be adaptable so that the same product can be used by people at different stages of dementia - exceptions to this are noted at the bottom of each product description.

One of the principles of a Montessori-based activity is that the same activity can be adapted as the dementia progresses, and our activities follow this principle. The importance of this cannot be over-emphasized. If someone is familiar with an activity they will be more likely to retain the ability to use that activity as the dementia progresses. This is a huge benefit and much easier than trying to introduce a new activity.

Of course, it is very important that you should consider the persons interests when selecting an activity, and physical disabilities may limit their ability to do certain things. See our article "How to Choose an Activity" for more information.

Will I be able to present the activity effectively?

The simple answer is "yes". All of our activities come with complete instructions that describe how to prepare for the activity, how to introduce it, and how to adjust the level of difficulty based on the person's response. If you need further assistance, we're available to help. Click here to download sample instructions.

Will the person like the activity?

There's no easy answer to that question.If you have chosen an activity based on the interests of the person, then the answer is likely "yes". For example, if the person used to enjoy word search puzzles (or other word games), then they will likely enjoy our word searches as they are specifically designed for people with dementia. On the other hand, if the person never showed interest in word games then word search puzzles might be a poor choice (and the same would apply to our Sequenced Jigsaw puzzles).

If you choose an activity of general interest, then likely the answer is "yes". Our products are designed to be appealing to people with dementia, to encourage conversation and reminiscing and to instill a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Facility Questions

Is each activity suitable for residents at different levels of dementia?

The short answer is "yes". All of our activities are designed to be adaptable for people at different stages of dementia. The instructions describe how to use the materials and how to adjust the level of difficulty based on the person's response. Of course there are other considerations such as the person's interests and abilities that may affect the effectiveness of a given activity for a particular resident.

Do you have any "sensory" products?

When we create our products we keep the sensory aspect front and center. Our photo products use bright images, our laminations are solid and smooth, our physical products are thick, polished and feel good to the touch. In keeping with the Montessori principles, rather than having only a sensory aspect, these same products also offer a variety of benefits such as cognitive, dexterity or reminiscing, depending on how they are presented and the skills, interests and abilities of the person.

For touch we recommend any of the Traditional Montessori activities, as well as the Tangram puzzle, Match the Chips and Match the Pins. Our Match the Photos activities offer bright colors and by following the suggestions in the instructions for the Match the Photos "seed" versions you can incorporate smell and touch by using actual seeds and plants with the activity.

Are there any group activities?

Yes. In addition to the activities listed in our Small Group Programming category, many of our activities are designed to be used both individually and in small groups. We don't offer activities for large groups because all of our activities are designed to focus on the individual and that is not possible in a large group. Our activities that are best suited for small groups (typically four or fewer participants) include:

  • Match the Suits
  • Match the Dots
  • Number Rods
  • Pink Tower and Brown Stairs
  • Sequenced Puzzles
  • All of the activities in Small Group Programming
Small Group Logo

logo on products that we recommend for small group activities.

Why buy these activities instead of making our own?

There's nothing wrong with making your own activities, and we encourage you to do so.There are also reasons to buy them ready-made.

While some of our products look simple enough, a lot of experience, testing and fine-tuning has gone into each of them. There are nuances to both the activities and the suggested presentation that can make a big difference to the success and effectiveness of the activity.

We can help you be more efficient and have more time to offer therapeutic programs for residents.

Our facility has not had Montessori training - can we still use these activities?

Absolutely. All of our activities come with complete instructions describing how to present the activity effectively and help your residents get the most out of it.

If you would like to learn more about Montessori and dementia, you can find articles and information in our Learning Center.

 

Why Buy from
Keeping Busy?

Our products are all high quality and designed specifically for people with dementia. They are adult in nature and are respectful of the person.

We use all of our products in our work in facilities with residents and in our training programmes for facility staff. They are tested with people at various stages of dementia to ensure that they are appropriate, and that they are enjoyed.

The package that you are buying includes everything that you need for the activity. The included instructions detail how to present the activity, how to adjust the level of difficulty up or down based the person’s response and how to ensure that the person feels a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when doing the activity. Each activity comes in a self-contained package that is easy to store and keeps the activity organized and ready to go.

If you have any questions at all about choosing or presenting an activity, or just dementia care in general, please contact us by telephone (800-834-8290), e-mail . We love to talk to caregivers and offer whatever assistance we can to help make the person with dementia’s life more meaningful and enjoyable.

If for some reason you are not happy with your purchase (and we sincerely hope that isn’t the case), we offer a full money-back guarantee on everything that we sell.