September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and this year the theme of, ‘Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s’ highlights the importance of support for people living with dementia, and their families, following a diagnosis.
The dedicated team is highly experienced and provides the best quality care to residents. With over 25 years of combined experience, the leisure and lifestyle team at Holmwood Aged Care has a solid level of understanding and knowledge that plays a key part in being able to provide an engaging, successful, and diverse program for residents.
Alzheimer’s disease is a specific form of dementia, which is a general term for memory decline, language and problem-solving issues, and other thinking abilities that interfere with daily life. There are currently 50 million people worldwide living with dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the most common form of this. Sadly, statistics show that 70% of people with dementia are living with the Alzheimer’s variant.
For residents at Holmwood Aged Care, no two days are the same. Programs are designed around residents’ individual needs, past and current interests, occupations, lifestyle, and more. The incredible lives residents have lived are acknowledged and their stories heavily influence the types of programs delivered, and ideas taken from past and present pop culture, and emerging technologies.
‘Although we design a weekly program and schedule the activities, the team know flexibility is key. What we have on the schedule just may not suit the resident’s mood or interest on the day, so we learn to work with the residents, to structure the program to fit them, not structure the residents to fit the program. We want to deliver activities they enjoy, even if that’s not what was scheduled. The priority is that they enjoy and engage and benefit from it,’ says Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator, Ben.
At Holmwood, programs are designed around nourishing the minds, bodies and souls of residents, and of course their stomachs!
Music is something everyone connects with, and our music quizzes are always a huge hit. Residents hear the first few lines of a piece of music and then fill in the blanks, which always leads to a sing-along and lots of laughter.
Residents love to get involved with activities such as Scattegories and famous faces that promote cognitive function. Often their competitive side emerges which helps maintain reasoning and memory. Holmwood is trialing games on the big screen which residents are thoroughly enjoying and the physical programs on offer such as ball games, walking groups, and ten pin bowling all help keep motor skills functioning and promote movement and wellbeing.
Movie afternoons are always popular and made extra special with ice cream It’s often through familiar faces, films, and songs that residents can connect with their past selves. Newer films are shown too, and the latest movie Elvis was an enormous hit when shared on the big screen. Concerts are also a regular occurrence, with live entertainment a favourite for all.
The ability to read independently often diminishes in people living with Alzheimer’s and so at Holmwood reading groups are a great way for our residents to relax and continue to enjoy a favourite pastime. Residents read everything from short stories through to Harry Potter.
In fine weather, residents love to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and beautiful natural surrounds of the home. Gardening not only gets everyone outdoors but residents are also encouraged to get their hands dirty and actively partake in creating garden beds with the team, a joyful pastime for many. A group of handy residents also got busy painting and renovating an internal courtyard which they enjoyed no end and took great pride in completing the project.
Ben said, ‘At Holmwood there’s so much to do. There are plenty of board games, classic TV shows, arts and crafts, lots of music, cultural days and celebrations, poetry, morning and afternoon teas, happy hours, armchair travel, bus outings and so much more to be enjoyed. Our program is forever evolving. Where resident’s interests change, so too does our program to meet their wants, needs and interests’.