The Chronicle, U.S.A.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Seniors need the right activities, Geriatric Activities Should be Appropriate to Ability

Leisure time activities for the elderly blind take research and planning. A changing social order and longer life expectancy call for planned and sustained activity schedules that meet the needs of elderly blind citizens. Therapy can assist the blind elderly in staying both active and safe in the Washington, D.C. area.                                                                        
Downtown Cluster's Geriatric Day Care Center, located in downtown Washington DC, offers art therapy for the elderly blind. As far back as the late seventies, art therapy has been used to exercise the mind and bolster self-esteem of elderly individuals, writes Jean Ellen Jones in an article entitled, "Art and the Elderly: An Annotated Bibliography of Research and Planning."

Some may feel as if art therapy isn't appropriate for the blind elderly citizen but sensory stimulation and enhancing existing skills is essential, according to Art Beyond Sight, a non-profit organization. 

Regional Senior Development Centers

The staff at Downtown Cluster's Geriatric Day Care Center, appear to agree. They say art therapy is offered for blind elderly patients because it is an alternative path of expression.
"Art therapy helps participants tap into their abilities and strengths at a time in their lives when they are often reminded of losses and deficits," they write.

Downtown Cluster's Geriatric Day Care Center
926 11th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-347-7527
Fax: 202-347-6983
Music Therapy
Sunrise Senior Living offers music therapy at two locations in the form of sing-a-longs, dancing, name that tune and live entertainment. The Sunrise Senior Living staff feel as if music is a "familiar and universal language... nurtures the spirit and reminds...(the residents)" of better days.

The American Music Therapy Association web site says when music is used in a way that accomplishes a goal of therapy, it is then considered music therapy. It helps with "memory loss, general wellness, stress, pain management, communication, expression of feelings and helps with physical rehabilitation."
It is especially good for the elderly blind geriatric citizens.

Sunrise Senior Living
5901 MacArthur Boulevard, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States
tel: 202-729-9979
fax: 202-895-2928


5111 Connecticut Avenue
Washington, DC 20008
United States
Phone: 202-966-8020
FAX: 202-966-8044
Physical Therapy
Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home located in Washington D.C. offers physical therapy. They involve staff, residents and family in a "team" approach to geriatric activities for the blind elderly. Outings as physical therapy are available too. Stoddard's summer schedule in Washington, D.C. includes trips to flea markets and area churches. The sounds, smells and feel experienced on an outing are used in therapy. Additionally, an exercise group is a regular feature at Stoddard.

"Falling is a common and serious problem for the elderly," writes physical therapist John R. Mishock, DC, MPT, in a November 2009 Mercury newspaper article,
"Physical Therapy for Fall Prevention in the Elderly."

Using a the Stoddard physical therapy staff to assess fall risk or to help heal from a fall is a good activity in which to engage the blind elderly.

Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home
1818 Newton St.
Washington, DC 20010

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