12 April 2023
What is diversional therapy in aged care?
4 min read
Diversional therapy in the aged care sector is all about designing resident centered activities that help individuals to feel empowered and live their best lives. The focus is on improving an individual’s quality of life through a variety of activities that support their psychological, spiritual, emotional, social and physical needs.
Where residents experience cognitive or physical disabilities, it’s important to promote individual choices, decision making and participation. Activities are therefore designed specifically for each individual, tailored to their specific needs and optimised to achieve the maximum amount of enjoyment and fulfillment.
What are the benefits of diversional therapy in aged care?
At Estia Health our principles of growing together, creating happiness and taking responsibility amongst others, means that we place a high emphasis on providing lifestyle enhancement programs to our residents. The benefits of which include:
o relieve stress and boredom
o promote emotional and physical health
o improve self-esteem and confidence
o build social connections
o improve memory
o decrease feelings of isolation
o learn new things and create a sense of fulfilment
o discover new passions
o enhance mood.
Importantly, diversional therapy provides residents with an improved standard of living, enjoyment and fulfillment. Additionally:
o Activities are created based on the individual needs and abilities of residents
o People living with dementia in particular can benefit from diversional therapy
o Diversional therapy is utilized in a wide variety of settings, including aged care.
Diversional therapy can also include group sessions with multiple residents, which also improves social engagement and provides a place to enhance self-esteem and personal satisfaction.
Sometimes, residents will have tailored activities to do that meet their current abilities or personal needs.
Each one of our homes offer a multitude of different activities including outings, for those who are able or wanting to go out, as well as on-site activities including cooking, gardening, arts and crafts, bingo, knitting, book groups, social morning teas, happy hours, BBQ’s, awareness day events, sing-a-longs, entertainers, pampering sessions, weaving sessions and so much more.
Within each of our homes, residents have plenty of different spaces where they can entertain family and friends, including gardens in many of our homes.
These activities can improve:
o Mood swings
o Orientation and memory
o Encourage social interaction
o Expression and communication
o Give confidence to residents around their own abilities
o Provide purpose to a resident so they do not disconnect from the world around them
The important thing about this therapy is that these activities are not meant to feel like they are trying to fill a resident’s day. The therapy is developed to make people feel like they are engaging in something that brings them joy.
Diversional therapy and dementia
Diversional therapy can give so much more meaning and quality of life to a person living with dementia, who may be unable to communicate due to their cognitive ability or dementia.
There are huge benefits to using diversional therapy with people who have behaviour issues, including a noticeable decrease in difficult rapid mood changes.
Older people living with dementia need to be engaged in ways that are entertaining and fun, and diversional therapy provides that avenue to keep their minds active and busy.