Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In A Summer Slump? Spice Up SNF Speech With Cupcakes!

Summertime means fun. Vacation, swimming, barbecues, lake fun, fireworks, family and friends. For our patients who are limited in their "outside experiences" we should make an extra effort to keep them oriented to time of year or season and encourage social experiences and interactions with others...like they would be doing if they were NOT living in this type of facility.

You may even have a patient who has NEVER been a social butterfly and is floundering in their own sadness and self pity, isolating themselves into a severe state of depression. It's your job to help them "fit in", to begin following a daily schedule, and to interact with others in this setting. You have spent time building a relationship with your patient. Believe it or not, the activity director has about 149 other residents to keep busy. It's going to be you or nobody!

Most ladies enjoy either baking something or making something pretty. Most men enjoy eating sweets!



One of the easiest things to mix and bake are the cake mix and soda cupcakes. My patients were AMAZED that they only required TWO ingredients!

Here is the recipe we used:


Depending on the mobility and safety level of the patient, you can allow the patient to perform the entire cooking activity start to finish such as retrieving items from cabinets or modify it as necessary such as setting up the items and having the patient put them in correct order. 

If problem solving is your targeted area, give them a butter knife to stir with or place something not in the ingredient list on the counter... like a stick of butter or an egg. Ask questions like: "How much sugar do we need? Is 425 degrees to high?"

The social and reminiscent aspect of the activity comes in during the baking by talking about baking at holidays, compare recipes with other residents in the gym/kitchen area, think of other combinations to add to the recipe such as nuts or dried cranberries. 

A second way to engage the patient in social exchanges and work on communicative competence is to take the finished muffins around the building, offering them to patients and staff. 

You never know, you may get a similarly weary OT to join in the fun and get a little therapy group going! Before you know it, the entire therapy gym will have summery smiles on their faces and a spring in their step!...or a sugar high...whatever you prefer to call it.

Chances are, you have some of them in your therapy room!


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