November 09, 2015

characteristics of an excellent caregiver....

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"Improv is all about being in the moment, which for someone with memory loss, that is a very safe place," says Mary O'Hara, a social worker at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "Maybe thinking about the past and trying to remember makes the person a little anxious or even a bit sad because their memory is failing. And maybe thinking about the future too much is also anxiety-provoking. So being in the moment is such a safe and a good place to be."
here are some resources that may help you use "improv" techniques as an activity or to help with communication.
*These resources can also be used in  training

Playing along : 37 learning activities borrowed from improvisational theatre
This book is a MUST HAVE for trainers and facilitators. Absolutely valuable in helping me re-think how I engage people in workshops I lead and develop.

This book has helped me take chances, and by leaning into my discomfort, I've lead the way for people I work with in a team setting.

Developed for group leaders who have no improvisational theater experience, these brief (5-10 minute) exercises activate the all-important learning skills of listening, accepting, affirming, imagining, and trusting-and pave the way for personal growth or organizational change.

"An easy playful approach to growth and discovery, improvisational exercises are a quick path to discovery" Martin de Maat Artistic Director Second City Training Center. Artist Consultant to Second City

"By combining real fun and laughter with learning, Playing Along clearly demonstrates that teaching people to work as a team and communicate more effectively with one another doesn't have to be stressful or boring" Dr. Sandro Ingari President of Skilcom Associates

HotTips for facilitators : strategies to make life easier for anyone who leads, guides, teaches, or trains groups
Packed with tips and activities, this handy guide helps facilitators promote productive group interactions and incorporate new strategies into their practice through self-assessment and reflection. This handy manual is packed with tips and activities to help facilitators to master the fine art of facilitation and make all group interactions productive and positive. From learning a concept as a group to brainstorming and marketing original ideas for a new product, these tips rely on a self-reflective and self-evaluative process to cement understanding. An interactive format helps readers incorporate advice into daily facilitating practice

Alzheimer's disease: activity-focused care
This unique guide provides practical and innovative strategies for care of people with Alzheimer's disease. It is written from the viewpoint that activity-focused care promotes the resident's cognitive, physical, psychosocial, and spiritual well-being. The text is very readable and highly recommended for caregivers and families of people with Alzheimer's disease.  
Alzheimer's Disease: Activity-Focused Care helps the resident with dementia achieve a life of meaning, connectedness, and respect. Identifying the residents' abilities, not focusing on their inabilities, it teaches how "should's" and "can'ts" can become "could's" and "can's." Caregivers are offered problem-solving techniques so they can make informed decisions at the time needed for the resident seeking assistance.    
Includes forms and profiles for use by therapists and nurses  
Presents a holistic treatment program. Features topics including: sexuality and intimacy, couples with dementia, spirituality, refocusing activities for physically combative or violent situations.

Dementia arts : celebrating creativity in elder care

Use poetry and the arts to encourage and facilitate communication with people with dementia in a fun and unique way! Dementia Arts guides readers in incorporating poetry, music, and other arts into activity programming to increase interaction and encourage amusement and joy in dementia care. Author Gary Glazner, founder of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project and Institute for Dementia Education and Arts (IDEA), demonstrates how anyone--not just poets or artists--can incorporate creative verbal expression into activities of daily living (as well as day-to-day activities) in an effortless, economical, and enjoyable way. Using simple techniques that build on poetry as a communication tool, you can achieve positive outcomes with people in all stages of dementia, as well as those with challenging behavior. A fun and engaging read, Dementia Arts is perfect for professional and family caregivers, and truly provides the ""recipe"" for communication success through poetry and art.

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