One of my favorite fall memories is sharing that crackling crunchy sound with the people who lived in the nursing home where I worked. You too?
Have you ever gone outside and UNRAKED the leaves? Yep, what I mean is to rake the fallen leaves off the grass and onto the sidewalk! Have you done it too? If not, I highly suggest it. It such a special experience. It only takes place once a year. Don’t most of us have special memories of playing in the leaves as a kid? There is the crunch, the smell, either a coolness or the sun shining on your back or both. There are the vibrant yellow, orange and red colors. Leaves falling like confetti. The piles of leaves. The skirting sound of leaves across concrete.
And my recommendation is do not get trapped or pressured by the institution to call it the “sensory stimulation program.” No, its better than that! Its real. Its life. It’s what people want. Keep moving in this direction toward real life and away from fake, from institutional, and even from “programming.” A pioneer in the culture change movement Carter Catlett Williams, after moving back home from an institution, said, “Real life in the real world is not programmable” (YouTube, 2013). And of course, she is right.
Carmen Bowman, MHS, of Edu-Catering: Catering Education for Compliance and Culture Change is an activities/engagement/culture change consultant. As a regulator turned educator, she provides “be your own surveyor” training, also new or not-yet-qualified activity director consultation, and psychosocial wellbeing consulting for the whole team. Training videos now available on https://www.patreon.com/educatering