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 DHS News February 2014     

 

Calendars Are Put to Good Reuse

2013 is proving to the gift that keeps on giving.

More than 500 Department of Human Service (DHS) employees donated their 2013 wall calendars to meet a request by Gwendolyn Baugh-Conlin, Volunteer Coordinator at Kane Glen Hazel.

Gwen said this is the third year she’s asked for calendars, which she uses to start conversations with residents of her center. The variety of calendar topics – from pets to occupations and hobbies – opens many avenues for talking with residents, she said.

“I can’t wait to dig through them,” Gwen said. Residents particularly like pet calendars to reminisce about the beloved pets they’ve had over the years, and those with biblical or fellowship sayings prove popular as well.

For patients with Alzheimer’s, the calendars prove particularly useful in prompting responses, she said.

At the Kane Scott center, Marci Donovan, Recreation Supervisor and Volunteer Coordinator, was excited to receive the calendars. She said staff cut out pictures and put binders together of subjects and then use the binders for therapy.

“It’s good to keep the residents’ minds working,” Marci said, noting that the calendars are arriving just before the Scott center opens its new dementia unit in April. “We’re really gearing up now and training staff on how to better communicate with residents and make it an optimum place.” The four Kane Regional Centers provide care primarily for elderly residents but also for people with intellectual disabilities and other conditions requiring skilled nursing.

The idea for collecting the calendars developed from Gwen’s decorating of the bulletin board on the first floor at Glen Hazel. The calendar’s cardstock proved perfect for use on the bulletin board and more uses for them began to be devised.

“They’re not just calendars. It’s a great thing,” said Marci, noting that family members and visitors use the binders during their visits. Even the numbers are used for raffles and turn-taking. “The more alert we can keep the residents, that’s good for them.”

 

 

 


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