Sunday, April 22, 2012

Older Adult Activity Bag

I love the activity bags we do in school.  This semester we had to design one with 5 activities meant for older adults.  Everything had to fit in a 1 gallon zip-lock bag and each activity had to have 2 cards: one to treat a social or independence deficit and one to aid in wellness.  I have listed below my activities.  I am particularly fond of my re-invention of the children’s game “Story Cube.” I invented “Story Dice” which is meant for older adults and helps initiate real life story telling. 
Item: Dinner Set: Fork, Knife, Spoon, Plate, and Dycem

Deficit: Independence

Activity: Many older adults have diseases or conditions that inhibit their FM coordination and activities that require FM coordination such as eating.  A utensil set could be used to help show alternative ways to hold and use the utensils for more successful self-feeding.  The client can also be instructed to use Dycem underneath their plates and bowls to prevent sliding.  Using an adaptive way of holding utensils specific to the individual’s needs as well as the adaptive equipment of Dycem can help promote independence in self-feeding which is an important area of occupation to many older adults. 

Upgrade:  Rather than instructing the client on how they should best perform the task of feeding, have them problem solve and offer solutions themselves which will further promote independence.   

Item: Dinner Set: Fork, Knife, Spoon, Plate, Dycem

Deficit: Occupational Wellness

Activity:  Many older adults have diseases or conditions that inhibit their FM coordination and activities that require FM coordination such as eating.  A utensil set could be used to help show alternative ways to hold and use the utensils for more successful self-feeding.  The client can also be instructed to use Dycem underneath their plates and bowls to prevent sliding.  Eating and feeding are two very important areas of occupation and being able to do these activities independently will promote occupational wellness. 

Upgrade:  Rather than instructing the client on how they should best perform the task of feeding, have them problem solve and offer solutions themselves which will further promote independence and increase occupational wellness.



Item: Story Dice

Deficit:  Social - Isolation

Activity: This activity involves two dice covered with various words on each surface.  One dice is the “family” dice: each surface contains a word representing a family member (i.e. spouse, sibling, parent, or pet). The second dice is a “life” dice: each surface is contains a word representing some life occurrence (i.e. marriage, birth, or party).  The player roles both dice and must choose one picture or word from either the family or life dice and tell a story about it.  Many older adults like to share stories about their younger years and this will be a way for them to connect with their pasts as well as with other group members to decrease isolation.

Upgrade:  Have the client tell two stories: one about each word or picture shown on both the life and family dice. 

Item: Story Dice

Deficit: Emotional Wellness

Activity: This activity involves two dice covered with various words on each surface.  One dice is the “family” dice: each surface contains a word representing a family member (i.e. spouse, sibling, parent, or pet). The second dice is a “life” dice: each surface is contains a word representing some life occurrence (i.e. marriage, birth, or party).  The player roles both dice and must choose one picture or word from either the family or life dice and tell a story about it.  Many older adults like to share stories about their younger years and this will be a way for them to focus on positive experiences of their past and feel emotionally well. 

Downgrade:  The clients can be given up to two turn “passes” if the dice do not roll on a picture or word that brings back particularly positive memories or stories that they do not want to share. 




Item:  Large Plastic Jacks

Deficit:  Social – Participation

Activity: “Eggs in a Basket Jacks” can be played in a group setting.  To play, the player uses a throwing hand to bounce the ball and a non-throwing hand is used as the “basket”  Each time the ball is bounced, the player must pick up a jack with the throwing hand and transfer it to the “basket” hand and catch the ball with the throwing hand before it bounces more than once.  Each time a jack is correctly picked up placed in to the “basket” hand, the player can continue their turn until the “basket” hand holds all ten jacks.  If at any time the jacks fall from the “basket” hand the players turn is over.  .  The large plastic jacks are used rather than the small metal ones for ease of grabbing with decreased FM coordination.  A larger ball with a longer bounce time is also used in this set for the same reason.  Also, it is an activity that is popular with older adults as they may have played these games as children.  This activity is played in group settings to promote social participation

Downgrade:  Instead of doing this activity in a group setting, have clients pair off in twos so that they only have to socially participate with one other person. 

Item:  Large Plastic Jacks

Deficit: Intellectual Wellness

Activity”: “Eggs in a Basket Jacks” can be played in a group setting.  To play, the player uses a throwing hand to bounce the ball and a non-throwing hand is used as the “basket”  Each time the ball is bounced, the player must pick up a jack with the throwing hand and transfer it to the “basket” hand and catch the ball with the throwing hand before it bounces more than once.  Each time a jack is correctly picked up placed in to the “basket” hand, the player can continue their turn until the “basket” hand holds all ten jacks.  If at any time the jacks fall from the “basket” hand the players turn is over.  The large plastic jacks are used rather than the small metal ones for ease of grabbing with decreased FM coordination.  A larger ball with a longer bounce time is also used in this set for the same reason.  Also, it is an activity that is popular with older adults as they may have played these games as children.  During the game, each person must pay attention and keep score of everyone’s turn each time they play.  This activity can promote intellectual wellness because each player must pay attention to the person playing, count the number of jacks their get, and keep score for every other player throughout the game. 

Downgrade:  Have the client only keep score for themselves and all of their turns.


Item: iPhone – Downloaded Music and Pandora

Deficit: Social - Communication

Activity:  Have the clients take turn selecting a specific song downloaded on the iPhone or a station on the Pandora radio application and explain their choice.  After the song is over, have each person respond to the song explaining either why they liked/disliked it or sharing a particular memory that the song evoked.  Downloaded songs and Pandora stations should be tailored to the genre of music that the older adults grew up with.   This activity will promote social communicate through sharing and interacting with other group members.

Downgrade:  Have clients only respond or share after only one other group members choice of song rather than responding to every single group members choice of song. 

Item: iPhone – Downloaded Music and Pandora

Deficit: Spiritual Wellness

Activity: Have the clients take turn selecting a specific song downloaded on the iPhone or a station on the Pandora radio application and explain their choice.  After the song is over, have each person respond to the song explaining either why they liked/disliked it or sharing a particular memory that the song evoked.  Downloaded songs and Pandora stations should be tailored to the genre of music that the older adults grew up with.   This activity will promote spiritual wellness because music is a common way to evoke positive emotions and increase a persons’ spirits. 

Upgrade:  Extend the time of the group session and give each member two turns.



Item: Gentle Yoga Routine Handout

Deficit: Mobility

Activity: Instruct client through gentle yoga routine aimed to increase flexibility and restore muscular alignment and function.  Increased flexibility will enable individuals to have increased movement in various joints and muscling increasing range of motion and overall mobility. 

Downgrade:  Instruct client through two poses rather than the entire series.

Item:  Gentle Yoga Routine Handout

Deficit:  Physical Wellness

Activity:  Instruct client through gentle yoga routine aimed to increase flexibility and restore muscular alignment and function.  Increased flexibility and muscular function will promote physical wellness by creating a better functioning physical body. 


Upgrade: Instruct client through entire routine twice. 



1 comment:

  1. I'm a student as well. I like your ideas and would love to hear about others that your classmates came up with. I really think it is great to have several activities made up and ready to go...gotta love ziplocs!

    ReplyDelete