Program Structure


10-60 minutes 2x a week

Participants in the Program

Group Size


Entrance Criteria

  1. Resident is able to attend and participate in a 1:1 conversation for about 10 minutes or longer.

Exit Criteria

  1. Resident is no longer able to attend to and participate in a 1:1 conversation for more than 5 minutes.

Physical Environment and Equipment Required

A quiet private setting with no distractions (noise, people interrupting or coming in and out of the space) and comfortable chairs for resident and visitors.

Staff Requirements

  1. One program facilitator.
  2. One visitor can visit with a number of residents on an individual basis.

Possible Conversation Topics

  • What common interests or experiences do you share?
  • What experiences has this person had that you are interested in finding out about? Are there objects, pictures, stories, etc. which you can talk about?
  • What talents or personality traits does the resident have that you enjoy?
  • What makes the resident happy?
  • Can you share in activities that support the resident in a role of teaching you something that you are interested in learning?
  • What is important to the resident in his/her today?
  • What is the resident's social role on his unit, in activities, in the dining room?
  • What is the resident feeling today? Can you find a way to understand what the resident is feeling?
  • What are you feeling? Can you share your feelings with the resident and accept his/her feedback on your feelings?
  • What makes the resident feel important in this setting?
  • What would the resident like to do that he/she is not doing now?
  • Is it possible to support the resident in this activity, or in something similar to it, that would give the resident a feeling of satisfaction?

Communication challenges

  • What meaning are behind the resident's most common words?
  • What is the resident trying to tell you? It is also important to try to understand and validate the resident's non-verbal communication.
  • Check with the resident to clarify any communication you don't understand e.g., "Is this what you meant? I'd like to understand how you feel about this."

The visitor should give the resident time to get to know him/her, and time to answer in his/her own way. The visitor can let the resident know by his/her attitude and patience that he/she is interested in learning what the resident has to say.

Forms to assist in Care Planning

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