Latest NewsProducts

Dementia Activity System from A Mind to Care

Memory Cafe activities are important components of a rich and rewarding Memory Cafe experience. A Dementia Activity System can help in that regard. The magic comes from the shared experiences in a safe and supportive environment – shared between family, friends, and most importantly, individuals living with dementia and other cognitive challenges.

While this has been true in the past during “in person” Memory Cafes, it is still very true today in this sudden move to a “Virtual Memory Cafe” world. Shared experiences in a safe and supportive environment is still valuable, no matter how they are achieved.

One of the topics I discuss most often with Memory Cafe operators is the importance and the challenge of selecting an ongoing array of appropriate, engaging, AND FUN activities for their Memory Cafes. It’s like trying to decide what to fix for dinner. The challenge comes in identifying an ongoing variety of exciting choices.

Today, I’d like to share a system that is as much at home in an in-person or on-line Memory Cafe, as it is in your own living room.

A Mind to Care: Modular Dementia Activity System

Improving Quality of Life through Entertainment and Activity

A Mind to Care offers what they call a “Game Therapy System.” It provides a rich and wide range of activities and games for adults with various forms of cognitive impairment. They benefit with a fun way to interact with their family and care partners.

Modularity: The brilliance of this system, allowing various benefits for everyone!

Start with a well-designed and well-built base unit. Add individual activity sections that are carefully planned and very appropriate for individuals living with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Stroke, ALS and other developmental or cognitive impairments. Then finish with components that are all designed to fit and work perfectly with the base unit.

Mix, match, and customize based on individual interests, skills, and capabilities.

Simple 4-Step Process

Step 1 – The Console

A Mind to Care Base UnitStart with the base unit, a well-built game and activity console. It and all of the components are made from Baltic Birch wood and finished in a beautiful light tone.

The A Mind to Care Activity System is made in Minnesota at a custom wood products factory. This professional manufacturing facility, paired with highly experienced woodworkers results in not only a functional dementia activity system, but another piece of fine furniture.

Step 2 – Select a Game or Activity Board

A Mind to Care Game Activity BoardThis is where the magic begins to happen with your A Mind to Care Activity System. There are many different games and activities from which you can choose – and more are on the way.

What you see is a small sample of fun and engaging activities. From dice and card games, to jigsaw puzzles and peg board activities, to arts and crafts, there really is something for everyone!

The challenge will be to decide where to start!

Step 3 – Insert Game or Activity Board

A Mind to Care Game BoardOnce a game or activity is selected, the A Mind to Care system makes it easy to insert the chosen activity and get busy.

By being designed and manufactured as a complete system, you know your components will always fit, will always work, and will always be rewarding.

The feel of quality wood takes us all back to our childhoods. Many of our toys (especially cars, trucks, and doll houses) were made of wood. There is nothing like that feel, or even at times, the smell that conjures up fond memories.

Step 4 – Change it Up!

a mind to care activity boardOnce you complete your game or other activity, it’s easy to change over the system to the next area of focus, or simply put it away.

This flexibility and ease of use stems from the coordinated design and manufacturing. The games and activities are all different, but they fit perfectly with the console to make access to the next one easy and seamless.

Benefits of a Dementia Activity System

A Mind to Care’s Game Therapy System‘s modular design allows individualized activities based on personal interests and abilities. A custom set of activities, tailored specifically for the individual participant, allows for three very important benefits:

  1. Stimulates social interaction
  2. Increases levels of engagement
  3. Increases positive emotions and promotes use of cognitive abilities

You can learn more about these benefits from A Mind to Care.

A Mind to Care Dementia Activity System in Action

Now that we’ve seen how the components are designed and work together, and learned about the benefits that come from its use, let’s see the system in action and learn more about it:

As you can see, A Mind to Care’s Game Therapy System provides virtually limitless options to enjoyably pass the time. Its size makes it perfect for use no matter where it’s needed. Your loved one can use it easily whether sitting in a chair or at a table, or even while resting in bed.

Ultimate Flexibility and Variety

It is the system’s flexibility that enables a wide variety of enriching activities. Let’s take a look at the components, and how you can easily build a system that is right for your situation.

Activity Kits

To get started easily, A Mind to Care offers a curated, ready to use system for each of three different scenarios:

Introductory Package

Introductory PackageThis is by far the easiest way to get started today with A Mind to Care. In the Introductory Package, you get the console of course, but also a wonderful selection of components to get you started.

Your activities will include a Dice Game Board, the Double Sided Gardening-theme Dry Erase Board, counters, dice, and 8 Dry Erase Chisel Tip Marker Pens.

Carer’s Starter Kit

You may be someone who already has a rag-tag collection of activities and struggle to find what you need when you need it. You might already know your loved one would thrive with some fun activities, but don’t know where to start.

The Carer’s Starter Kit is just for you!

In addition to the Console, you’ll get four separate activities:

  1. Peg Sorter Board with 20 colored pegs
  2. Reversible Dry Erase Coloring Board
  3. Craft Board with clipboard
  4. 15-piece, large format, jigsaw puzzle!

To keep everything together, you get the A Mind to Care Tote Bag to have any activity ready to go at the drop of a hat!

Carer’s Starter Kit – Part 2

It is an unfortunate reality that many family caregivers are finding themselves supporting BOTH parents who are living with dementia. If that’s the case, it is easy to make the Carer’s Starter Kit do double duty by just getting an extra console!

In this way, all the activity components can be shared between systems as needed.

Care Facility Activity Kit

This is where the solid wood construction and interchangeability mentioned above really starts to shine!

As a professional in a care facility, you know the benefits that come from activities and entertainment appropriately matched to your residents. A Dementia Activity System is a wonderful tool in that regard.

You also know the value of a well-built product that will provide years of service. Add in the flexibility that comes with A Mind to Care’s Care Facility Activity Kit, and you know you have a winner.

This system gets you started in a big way, with plenty of activities to share. All you need to decide is how many consoles you’ll need for your first group of participants. In the Care Facility Activity Kit, you get:

  • A Mind to Care Console (1)
  • A Mind to Care Tote Bag (1)
  • Peg Sorter Board (1)
  • Mesh Bag with 24 Colored Pegs (1 set)
  • Tic Tac Toe Board (1)
  • Dice Game Board, with Dice and plastic Game Counters (1 set)
  • Craft Board, Large Size, with Metal Clip “Clipboard feature“
  • Large, Double-Sided Dry Erase Coloring Boards (2)
  • Small, Double-Sided Dry Erase Board (writing tablet on one side, with letters and numbers on the reverse side) (1)
  • Crayola Dry Erase Crayons (1 pack of 8)
  • Expo Dry Erase Marker pens (1 pack of 8)

With this one kit (and a few more consoles) you could easily keep up to seven people engaged in fun activities simultaneously!

Further Customization

Whether it’s additional color boards, dice games, jigsaw puzzles – or any one of the many additional activities on the way – you can easily grow your systems. Everything is “additive” so you don’t waste your investment – it just keeps getting better as you add to it!

On the Go!

You’ve seen how the handy A Mind to Care Tote Bag helps to organize your system and its components. But just think, you can easily take your system with you.

Hmm… like maybe to a Memory Cafe?

Memory Cafe Activities

We all know the personality of each Memory Cafe is different. So too, are the participants and how they are at differing points on their dementia journey. There are also the differences between the “in person” Memory Cafes we used to enjoy, and the “virtual” Memory Cafes about which we are learning and will be seeing for some time to come.

What is the same in every situation is the need for, and the benefits that come from, appropriately selected enrichment activities. Let’s take a look at how A Mind to Care’s system would work in the Memory Cafe environment.

Group Inventory Scenario

You have a Memory Cafe with a regular set of participants. Let’s say you have 6 care partner teams (12 people) attending on a regular basis. You constantly look for engaging activities for the group to enjoy, but we all know how hard that is to accomplish on a regular basis!

If you have or can get grant funding to make a purchase, you could start by buying 6 empty consoles. This will give you the basis for adding different activities in the future, in a flexible and cost-effective manner.

Let’s say your group is an artistic lot. They seem to gravitate to the “arts and crafts” kinds of activities. In this case, you could start with a coloring board, and erasable crayons. Just a small additional investment for your first activity.

Later, you could add a new coloring board. You already have the erasable crayons, so adding a second activity costs even less.

See how the modular design allows you to add new capabilities, without investing in a whole new system?

Quality Pays Dividends

Through a well-made, wooden base and careful manufacturing of all the optional components, an A Mind To Care system will serve you well for quite some time.

Professional manufacturing methods ensures long life

As you build a library of activities, the base gets more use, supporting this growing selection of rotating activities. Each time you use it, the console’s “cost per use” goes down as you amortize its use over time.

More Scenarios

You could easily rewrite this story for groups who love to play cards, or groups who dive into jigsaw puzzles, or simply love games. With what A Mind To Care has available now – and with more concepts in the pipeline – you can continue to build on this investment for years to come. Either focus on one aspect, or branch out into all they have to offer.

More Benefits: Guided Reminiscence

With virtually all of the modular activities provided by A Mind To Care, it is not just the activity itself that is a beneficial activity. Yes, the cognitive exercise that comes with carefully-curated activities is beneficial in many ways, but there is much, much more.

Once a puzzle is completed by each of the members of the group, an opportunity exists to discuss or enjoy some “guided reminiscence.” For example, your participants have just spent some time focused on the details of the individual puzzle pieces.

Sheila’s Cafe Jigsaw Puzzle

They have worked hard to distinguish between car components, parts of the building, vintage signs, and even a trusty dog. Think of the various paths you could take, asking them to share the memories that come to mind, triggered by each of these elements.

The puzzle is just the ice breaker – it’s how you direct the conversation that evolves from the activity that is the frosting on the cake!

Funding Challenges

It is clear that not all Memory Cafes have resources to fund these kinds of systems for participants. You may find it necessary to ask your participants to contribute to defray costs, or even buy their own systems. Whether they fund the purchases fully, or you decide on a funding split, there could be a balance that works for everyone.

Ask about “No Interest Payment Plan”

Learn more!

A Mind to Care has partnered with ViaBill to offer a no interest payment plan. This is a 4-month option that allows you to spread out your payments – with no interest!

There’s no application to fill out and everything gets processed quickly at checkout.

Learn more. This may allow you to get started easily.

Getting Started with your Dementia Activity System

As you can see, there are many ways to get started. Offering engaging activities for your Memory Cafe participants doesn’t have to be difficult – nor expensive.

Visit A Mind to Care and see what solutions you can craft to develop an ongoing dementia activity strategy. With their quality, modular, and down right creative system, you could be upping your activity game today!