In April, our Picture News Care team was very privileged to host a webinar for activity coordinators delivered by dementia expert, Jackie Pool. Jackie is a specialist who has worked with people living with dementia throughout her career and her PAL (Pool Activity Level) tool for assessing the activity levels of people living with dementia is used worldwide. The PAL instrument assesses the level at which a person with dementia can engage in activities. Jackie believes that if activities are broken down into small enough steps for people, they can engage in most daily activities and pastimes that are meaningful to them. People living with mild dementia can engage at a planned level with more independence and less support. Other residents who need more support with daily activities may need them broken down into fewer steps or questions. Some may need activities that engage with the senses one at a time, such as an aromatherapy hand massage or listening to a song from the past that is meaningful to them.
NAPA, the National Activity Providers Association, is a charity that provide support, activity resources and training to staff working in the care sector. They have developed a colour-coding system for their activities to help staff to try to match what they provide to residents’ cognitive abilities, interests and levels of participation. Picture News Care are recognized as one of NAPA’s accredited activity resource suppliers.
Our Picture News Care resources help residents with dementia by linking a current news story to historical news events and aim to spark memories from their past in a meaningful way. They have been recommended by experts because it is important for people living with dementia to continue to learn new things as well as reminisce. Our resources do this in a seamless and natural way. Depending on a person’s cognitive ability, they may be able to engage in a lively discussion about something that is happening in the world and link it back to the past with prompted questions. Other residents may get pleasure out of listening to others chatting or need questions given to them one at a time. They may prefer more one to one engagement rather than group discussion. Some will enjoy our quizzes or wordsearches with prompts to remember specific words. There may be others who need to engage at a more sensory level when discussing current affairs becomes more tricky for them. Whatever your residents’ level of ability, we tailor our resources carefully so that you can decide which activities your residents will enjoy the most. Look for the coloured circle on our activity guide to choose which parts are most accessible for each of your residents.