Getting Residents Involved

There are lots of unique ways to use the Sparkles. They function most simply as a newspaper with reminiscence topics and stories from the past, but with a little creativity, and the use of all the extra resources we include, you can use them for a range of activities throughout the home. Here we look at how they can be used to get the residents involved, and even leading sessions.

Wantage Nursing Home gets residents to physically act out topics or scenes from the Daily Sparkle. A coordinator reads each sentence of a chosen article slowly, while residents try to show the meaning of various words by gestures and role-playing. This helps residents get up and get active, giving them vital exercise and interaction. Don’t worry if the gestures aren’t that accurate – for example, it is enough if the residents draw a rectangle with their hands when they hear ‘picture’, or pretend to fly when they hear ‘birds’. Nobody needs to guess what the other person means – this exercise is about imagination, movement and memories.

Pick one of the more confident residents to be the designated reader of the Sparkles each day – they could even run the Quiz. Make sure to interchange it every day, giving everyone a chance. East Hill House Residential Home have a resident who is known as the ‘Residents’ Representative’ – he does the Sparkle in the main lounge in the mornings, and the dining room over lunch for those that missed it that day. “He enjoys telling the stories to the residents with and without dementia. He does the quizzes, sings the songs and feels valued and helpful to the staff, which of course he is,” the activity coordinator tells us.