A Research Based Approach

Utilizing Higher Education

We have formed an alliance with Northwest Missouri State University , located in Maryville, Missouri, to create a research-based, ground breaking approach to engaging people with Alzheimer’s disease and other related cognitive impairments.  NWMSU has a forward-thinking, Recreational Therapy program with an emphasis in geriatrics. Our Life Enrichment staff have created a foundational program to engage our residents in meaningful and interesting life activities.

Under the guidance of a Ph.D. at the university, students did a detailed investigation into programs and activities that have been utilized throughout the nation for people with various forms and levels of dementia.  Through this extensive research, our Life Enrichment Director compiled and organized the activities that were found to be beneficial and effective in optimizing health and well-being.  Each activity was carefully assessed and organized taking into consideration the following areas:

  • Which of the six dimensions of wellness  will be engaged
  • Potential issues or problems that will be addressed
  • Level of dementia that the activity is geared towards
  • Adaptations that can be used to meet the needs of other levels of dementia
  • Needed supplies and/or equipment
  • Any possible safety concerns
  • Optimal number of people to participate in the activity

Over 100 activities have been identified, organized, and put together in format that has formed a research-supported foundational program that staff can utilize to engage our residents in meaningful ways.

Offering Structure and Support

At The Heritage, our life enrichment calendar of activities offers a base foundation of structure and support to promote consistency and continuity in life.  However, we strongly hold an attitude of flexibility and incorporate individual interests and desires into everyday life.  In addition to our monthly community calendar, we integrate special events and activities that reflect personal passions of our residents and staff such as musical events, animal assisted interventions, individual hobbies, etc.

We also take into consideration that there may be times in the evening and night time hours when people are unable to sleep and will need personal interaction.  We have planned for these situations and offer a variety of activities that are less stimulating and allow for interaction and engagement.  These activities are personalized for the needs of the individual at that time and focus on promoting relaxation and rest.

To see some examples of activities that address the six dimensions of wellness, Click here