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Social Engagement and Wandering - Assisted Living

- Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Social Engagement and Wandering - Assisted Living

Enjoying meaningful activities or programs is an essential part of any good dementia care community. The right activities can help residents stay physically and mentally active as well as feel alive and happier. At Spring Arbor Living and the Oaks our goals/objectives for social engagement are:

  • offer meaningful daily activities that include a sense of community, choices, interest and enjoyment
  • design activities and to do with the residents .. not to them or for them - we feel this is extremely important
  • respect residents' preferences, including when they prefer to be alone

We know that meaningful daily social interactions offer a sense of dignity and promote self-esteem.  Wandering can also be a healthy part of these activities.

Many in assisted living care assume that wandering is something that should be stopped, when in fact it is extremely important to support a person’s movement. We encourage the person to move about safely and independently and work hard at understanding the meaning of a person’s wandering. It may indicate an unmet need such as hunger or boredom.  Wandering can be helpful when it provides stimulation, promotes social contact or helps maintain mobility.