January 25, 2015 by Val Walker
For the past year, I’ve been working with elders with Alzheimer’s as an activities specialist at an assisted living program. Arts and craft activities can particularly help calm and ground residents when they are feeling anxious and agitated, which often occurs later in the day when “sundowning.” Painting something small like a paper fan, or coloring in stencils, or sticking foam designs on a box are easy and relaxing to do. We chat, drink tea, and listen to soothing music while leisurely making our projects.
What is especially rewarding for me is that these comforting activities are relaxing for other staff as well as myself. An easy, quiet, hands-on activity that channels our tension has a pleasant effect on the whole environment.
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