Conducting the Program

  • Gather residents. One leader stays in the room as residents enter, while the other facilitators gather residents. Allow residents to choose their instruments, or facilitators choose instruments for them based on existing knowledge of the residents' preferences.
  • Conduct a welcome activity once everyone is settled. It is suggested to incorporate the names of each resident into a rhythmic chant or simple song into this opening activity (i.e. "what is your name, and what is your game", or have residents echo, "hello, hello, how do you feel", and let each person answer, etc.).
  • For the rest of the group, incorporate various rhythm activities, always observing for responses in the residents, both positive and negative. Remain aware that you are in the residents' world and make it as non-invasive and as positive an experience as possible.
  • Close group with a goodbye chant or song, or powerful instrument-playing moment, or some other activity that clearly signifies the group's ending.

Click here for the Dementia Chart on more activity ideas, (PDF, 62KB, 3pg.)