"Are your residents busy doing nothing? Are they actively engaged? Evidence shows elders prefer continued engagement in meaningful and purposeful activities/occupations. Those who are occupationally active show positive therapeutic benefits; need less help with self-care; report positive mood; and describe greater quality of life.
“Despite positive outcomes of meaningful engagement, studies suggest elder residents are inactive most of the time, are engaged in passive activities, and do not experience significant verbal interaction with caregivers. This session offers real-time strategies to increase engagement for residents living in post-acute settings, and to focus on continued quality improvement plans.”
The above is a description of one of the sessions at the current Pioneer Network Conference. The title is an apt description of how too many elders spend their days in “Activities.” As Carter Williams, renowned geriatric social worker has told us, “Life is not ‘activities’. Life is about engagement. And it is about relationships These are the standards against which to measure what’s going on in terms of how our elders spend their days. Applying these standards calls for us to really know each person we serve. To really know his/her interests, life-long habits and preferences, the passions throughout his/her life history, about the presence of significant relationships that make life richer -----. Those suggestions are just for starters. Applying them, I believe, would mean we would see fewer groups engaged in passive events or in ‘activities’ that hold no meaning or purpose for the individual. It is a challenge! It’s a worthy challenge!