Person centered activation creates meaningful moments
At Blomstervägens Dementia Center in a small town in Sweden you will find a care home with a garden that stimulates all the senses, musical bingo and the experience bike BikeAround. This is an environment shaped for individuals with dementia, through bright, open spaces and a variety of activities. For Mimmi Svärd, who works with activation in the center, person centered care is fundamental in creating a meaningful everyday life for the residents.
- “If someone wants to sleep in and eat breakfast later, they are welcome to do that” says Mimmi. “We always work around the individual. We all have differences that we have to take into account and respect. This is very important!”
Due to previous cutbacks Mimmi is working alone with activation, sometimes she will go and assist with care and other tasks when needed. In the wake of the Corona virus the care home has been offered to shut down which would mean loved ones would not be able to visit. For Mimmi Svärd this means that the activities need to be done in a smaller scale but with the same focus on creating meaningful moments.
Person centered activation
With BikeAround the residents are able to take a bike ride based on their condition and ability. Some can communicate where they would like to take a bike ride, for others Mimmi can prepare places to go that have a connection to their life story. BikeAround consists of a stationary pedaling and steering unit along with a software that uses Google Street View. Enabling the individual to visit places all over the world if they wish.
- “We bicycle slowly and stop often to observe the things we see. It can be a very familiar country road or an old house that one used to live in. If we do it this way the conversations just flow. Everyone is happy and soothed after cycling, no one is worried or anxious afterwards. But it sure must be calming without a lot of noise in the background,” Mimmi points out.
A digital experience
For residents that are not able to bicycle themselves, are able to look at the screen from which they can control direction, angle and speed. It provides a feeling of moving forwards even though it is just happening digitally.
- "I have plans to put together a quiz. In which we can get images from different places using the BikeAround. For example, we could be at an amusement park and talk about the city the amusement park is in. Maybe someone has lived nearby or visited the city which would allow us to talk about it!"
Although the current situation requires adaptation it is also showing the flexibility and collaboration possible in the care home and the care sector. There is a huge willingness to help each other to ensure that residents and staff feel good. Activation will remain in this care center as far as possible so that the residents can continue to experience meaningful moments on their own terms.
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Read more about the BikeAround here!