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Donna's Blog

Donna's Blog - Dementia Thoughts and Ideas

Thoughts, concepts and ideas about dementia care...


  • The Popsicle Story

    I was recently visiting a facility on a hot day. While I was there the staff came around with a box of popsicles for the residents. The staff member approached each resident, reached into the box and handed them a popsicle. What a nice relief from the heat, and the residents appreciated it.

    What I saw was a missed opportunity. Rather than simply handing each resident whatever came out of the box, why not offer them a choice of two flavors and let them choose? Or ask them if they would like a popsicle or a glass of water. The question isn't so important, the fact that the person with dementia is given a choice is what matters. By having a choice they feel empowered and in control. It costs so little but can make a huge difference.

    If you're looking, you can find opportunities to offer a choice throughout the day - it might take a moment or two longer, but the benefit is worth it. Read more about the Montessori Dementia Principle of Choice.

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  • Music in Every Day Interactions for People with Dementia

    We've written a lot about the value of music therapy as a means of helping people with dementia. Research shows that music can calm stress-induced agitation, change mood and facilitate cognitive function.

    According to Alicia Ann Clair, professor and director of the Division of Music Education and Music at the University of Kansas, this occurs because...

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  • Exciting New Dementia Products

    We've just introduced several exciting new products for both home and professional caregivers - Sequenced Crossword Puzzles for the frustrated puzzle-lover, Pocket Packs to make it easy to engage someone quickly and easily and our new Reading Group Activity.

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  • Nova Scotia Dementia Strategy

    The long awaited has just been released by the Nova Scotia government. It is a multi-pronged approach, with three key priority areas; Facilitate early diagnosis, treatment, care and support; Coordinate care and supports across the system; Enhance awareness and understanding about dementia.

    Within each of these areas, the strategy lays out a plan for action to take place over the next three years...

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  • Dementia Friends Canada

    The Dementia Friends Canada program is a joint initiative between the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the federal government. It is part of an international movement to raise public...

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  • CTRA Wrap Up - Donna's Take

    We were off to Newfoundland last week where I presented a talk entitled "Understanding and Creating Montessori Activities for People with Dementia" at the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association's annual conference. It was a great opportunity to meet recreation professionals from across the country and discuss...

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  • The Importance of "Active" Programs for Dementia

    We all know that physical activity is of huge benefit to our health. It helps control weight, reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and strengthens bones and muscles, among other things. Studies also show...

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  • Care and Construction

    In 2011 a research project called Care and Construction was started in Nova Scotia, spearheaded by the Mount Saint Vincent Centre on Aging. The purpose of the project was to assess and identify factors that affect resident quality of life in different nursing home models of care, with the ultimate goal of disseminating that knowledge to improve care.

    Over the course of the next three years, the group...

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  • Hidden Musical Talent!

    We often talk about the importance of encouraging someone with dementia to return to an old hobby, or even develop a new hobby while they are still able to do so. We wrote about it in our recent article about mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and we suggest it...

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  • Paint Your Own Sequenced Puzzle

    Our Sequenced Puzzles are one of our most popular products. Not only are they bright and colourful, but with our unique sequencing they allow almost anyone to complete the puzzle successfully with very little assistance. Unlike some puzzles for people with dementia, the pictures...

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