Tailor-made activities for residents with dementia in the Prinsenpark (Genk)

© Angela Mazzoni

© Angela Mazzoni

© Angela Mazzoni

© Angela Mazzoni

© Angela Mazzoni

© Angela Mazzoni


Dementia is a complex and progressive disease. Moreover, it is a disease that progresses differently for each resident, at a different pace. Good dementia care can therefore best be specialized care in an adapted environment. Within Residentie Prinsenpark there are three smaller departments that provide specialized care to people with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

Angela Mazzoni

Today at 09:20

In total, Residentie Prinsenpark offers adapted care to about 50 residents with dementia. In heterogeneous wards where people with dementia and people with a physical care profile live together, there is great “competition” with better-functioning peers. This has a negative impact on the self-esteem of the person with dementia. Instead of being challenged, the person will become discouraged.

“With the choice of residential wards for people with dementia, we focus on the autonomy of the person, we stimulate what he is still able to do and make limitations subordinate,” it sounds in Residentie Prinsenpark. “Our operation is based on experience-oriented care, in which the individual needs of the person with dementia are central. We try to give the person the feeling that he is supported in accepting and adapting to the consequences of his care dependence.”

experience table

Every resident is different and leads a unique life. One likes sports, the other likes to read, play an instrument or love to garden. To meet this need, the residents of the protected department go to the specially equipped animation wing every afternoon. There, customized activities are offered such as cooking, baking, creative and sports and games activities that are tailored to the wishes of the residents. They can also relax in the animation wing. Relaxation therapy with music, a wellness afternoon with relaxation massage, manicure or make-up is offered. The occupational therapists are mainly concerned with the question: how can a resident with dementia continue to carry out an activity that is meaningful to him or her for as long as possible?

“Since the beginning of this year we have a new addition: the experience table,” says occupational therapist Inge. “This is modern technology in a movable, wheelchair-friendly table that can be used flexibly. The table top is a touch screen that is easy to operate. At the experience table, people can perform activities together. Lack of activities and incentives exacerbates the process in various forms of dementia. This table is a solution for the shortage of brain activity. Think, for example, of a ‘jukebox’ with music, images from the youth of the residents or a proverb. There are applications for every stage of dementia. We often see that the experience table provides happiness through a smile or another reaction in people from whom one hardly expected a reaction.”

To play sports

In addition to the cognitive aspect, it is also important that our residents continue to maintain their mobility. Weekly group exercises are given in the ward, with the occupational therapist providing individual support to the resident who needs it. The Silverfit is also used weekly, a digital system with exercise exercises in game form to practice gross motor skills, ADL and cognitive skills in free space. The exercises can be adapted to the physical level of the resident.

Virtual cycling is also possible. The Silverfit Mile, with lifelike route films, creates the experience of cycling outdoors. The resident has a beautiful view while cycling and can easily select favorite cycling routes. Every Wednesday there is a walking club, consisting of residents, family, volunteers and healthcare staff. This walking moment also offers the family members a moment of interaction with their mother or father in need of care. The involvement of the family is and remains an important aspect for both the residents and the family members themselves.

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