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AGI offers a virtual activity centre online for those unable to attend in-person programs. Sessions are led by Recreation Therapist and Activity Program Facilitator with enrichments through contributions by Art and Music Therapists.

PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

Activity Centre

Who is this catered to?

People living with dementia

AGI’s Activity Centre offers the person living with dementia engaging activities while their family member benefits from respite. The centre honours each participant as a unique person beyond the diagnosis.

 

Activities are tailored to individual abilities and offered in a caring, non-judgmental environment, enhancing the quality of life for those who attend. Programming focuses on providing participants with a sense of belonging, improved quality of life, a feeling of productivity and empowerment, an opportunity to participate in leisure activities, and social inclusion in interacting with their peers.

Is a Social Group Right for Your Family Member?

Recreation Therapists design programs fostering group inclusion while catering to the physical, cognitive, social and emotional needs of each member. Activities are the tools they use to engage, practice, socialize and provide people living with dementia a feeling of purpose and autonomy.
The AGI Activity Centre has a team of recreation therapists and other professionals who develop and implement activities such as: strength and balance training, chair dancing, creative writing, discussion of ethical dilemmas and current events, trivia and more.

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What are the benefits of joining a social group?

AGI’s activity groups are a space for people living with dementia to feel safe: emotionally, cognitively and physically. The objective of activities is not to occupy, but to engage! Participation in a social group helps improve the quality of life for the person living with dementia by providing stimulation, relieving stress, and upholding a routine.

How can I convince my family member/spouse to join a group?

It is important that the person living with dementia knows they have a choice: we never want anyone to feel forced to participate. You can introduce a social group gradually by having your family member or spouse attend only part of a session, letting them know you will be there for them if they feel they need to leave.

What should I do if my family member/spouse was never a “group person”?

It is natural to feel nervous before starting something new, remember that everything is a process. If someone is uncomfortable, they can choose to work one-on-one with a recreation therapist, or they may end up surprising you with how much they enjoy it. We have seen many friendships develop among group members, and between group members and staff.

What if my family member/spouse thinks the activities are childish?

Even in a group setting, our approach remains person-centred: whether that means adapting the activities by offering different supplies for someone who doesn’t like the planned art therapy session, or stepping away for an entirely different activity, our approach is informed by each client.

Are AGI social groups appropriate for people in the early stages of the disease?

Our clients are all at different stages of dementia. Assessments by a counsellor and a recreation therapist are used to find the right services for each person. Groups are assigned not only by the progression of the disease but also by the personality, ability, needs and interests of the individual. With the intention to be part of an engaging social setting, it is never too early to try social groups for a person with cognitive impairments.

open minds

Open Minds, Open Hearts

A Pan-Canadian Campaign in Support of Dementia-Inclusive Communities

AGI participated in this project by welcoming students from The National Circus School online and in person, who provided playful yet practical activities interspersed with whimsical gymnastic performances. Activities such as juggling scarves, tossing and catching balls or aiming at targets both entertained and practiced dexterity and coordination by channeling their inner child.

Open Minds, Open Hearts is a Canada-wide research project with the goal of raising awareness and reducing stigma around dementia. This collaboration between three colleges intends to foster social cohesion by having students interact with people living with dementia and their care partners.

 

Although the degree of activity depended on the physical abilities of each group, the participants were happy to have guests who devoted such time to interacting with them, and reciprocated by asking questions and giving feedback to the student performers. Some participants remarked that they were reminded of childhood, and later shared stories of the day with their families. Overall, the circus had the participants feeling amused, engaged and youthful. 

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socialgroup

Welcoming the Spring Season

with Art & Music

The Monday Men’s Group showcased their talent with a vernissage of visual art followed by a concert for an audience of care partners and AGI staff. After practicing and creating together on a weekly basis, the group displayed collaborative and individual art and performed five songs to celebrate their creativity and camaraderie.

 

Thank you to AGI’s dedicated music therapist, art therapy interns, and recreation therapists.

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