Day Care Activities at ARDSI
The Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India runs a daycare facility in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. There are various activities that are performed with the members of the society who are affected with dementia or any related disorder.A few common activities include Jigsaw puzzles and Qwirkle. These Jigsaw puzzles are simple puzzles which consists of 4 pieces to 8 pieces. Jigsaw Puzzles essentially keep the members affected with dementia or other related disorders occupied and help develop important spatial and visual skills. It also proves to be an excellent exercise for the brain. Qwirkle allows the members to match colours and patterns. This game provides mental stimulation and also becomes a stimulus for conversation.
It is important for us to understand that these activities can be low in technology or high in technology. Thus, the day care include physical activities such as ball games and simple stretching exercises. The members and the care givers are asked to arrange themselves in a circle. As most of the members are elderly, the day care aims to provide a safe environment for them and thus these basic exercises are performed while seated. Everyone is seated in a circle and the ball is thrown or passed from one person to another. The material and size of the ball is a matter of consideration as it should not be too big or firm as it may cause harm. The ball should be of medium size and must be inflated with a light rubber membrane.
Stretching exercises are basic in nature- stretching of arms and legs, hand and ankle rotation-because extensive or intense exercise might exhaust the members. The members are also encouraged to walk the perimeter of the daycare. It is a to and fro action from the front gate to the compound wall, which is the other end of the daycare. Walking is done mostly in the morning or after lunch. The main aim is to refresh the mind and to keep the body active.
The daycare also ensures that the members are in touch with their hobbies such as playing carrom, listening to music, drawing, painting etc.
Everyday before lunchtime, the caregivers and the members sing along to patriotic songs and their favourite Bollywood songs. Patriotic songs such as the “Vande Mataram” , “Saare Jahaan Se Achha” , ” Hum Honge Kamyaab” and even the national anthem as it provides a strong association with their childhood. It is also strongly encoded in their long term memory. Old Bollywood songs such as works of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar serves the same purpose of retrieving good memories.
These meaningful activities engage the member’s attention and connects with their interests. Activities are critical in the provision of care for those with dementia.