N&N Comfort Care Kits

N&N Comfort Care Kits

N&N Comfort Care Kits provide relaxation and sensory stimulation in the form of activities that will eliminate boredom and ultimately responsive behaviours for the person with dementia while away from home.

Supplying the care partner with activities they can do with their love one gives both the care partner and the person with dementia a sense of fulfillment even while away from familiar surroundings.

The kits contain activities that can be done independently or with the assistance of a care partner; all dependent on the person and their level of cognition.

Each care kit is unique and put together with the recipient in mind.

Every item that goes into each N&N Comfort Care Kit is reflective of the person for whom it is intended and is sensitive to their level of cognition.

Many of the items can be used in a variety of ways. For example, a magazine could be used to engage the person in a reminiscing activity, to spark a new conversation with each page or to point out a common theme.

Kits may contain some of the following items

Scented Massage Oil or Lotion
These can help with calming a person when they are anxious or agitated. Having someone give a hand, shoulder or foot massage with a scented oil or lotion relaxes muscles, the mind and improves blood and lymph circulation. Scents may bring back memories for a person. For example, the scent of lilac may remind them of lilac bushes blooming in their yard in the summer.

Soft Bristle Brush
A soft brush can provide calming tactile stimulation.

Art Supplies
Art supplies are a great way to express emotions and also keep busy to combat boredom and loneliness.

Fiddle Funsters
They provide tactile stimulation and keep hands busy which has been proven to provide a calming effect for those who suffer from dementia. Relieving anxiety and agitation can reduce the medications that are often used to calm agitated person with dementia. Outside attachments include a satin bag of marbles that can be manipulated and moved around inside the bag, a strand of colourful wooden beads, textured ribbons, and a small pocket to keep personal items in.

Word search and crosswords puzzle books are good activities to overcome boredom. Cards and puzzles are activities that can either be done independently or in a group.

Care Partner Information booklets
Information can be provided about Alzheimer's disease progression and activities that are appropriate for each stage (early, middle, late, and palliative care). These would give families ideas as what other activities and comfort measures they could put in place to help their loved ones keep occupied and entertained.

White Board/Communication Book
White boards can be used as a visual cue for hospital personnel as a means to share vital information. For example, John wears glasses and dentures.

The communication book is an effective tool for others to journal how their visit was and to note any pertinent information about the person with dementia while they were there.

"Knowing Me" Scrapbook

This book can act as a way for healthcare providers to get to know the person with dementia. It would start out as a scrapbook which would be taken home and put together by the family then returned to the facility and left in the loved ones room where it can be easily accessed by healthcare providers.

Things for the family to include in a "knowing me" scrapbook are:

  • Daily needs. Whether the person has dentures, glasses, hearing aids, or needs to be repositioned throughout the day or night.
  • Daily routine. Include when the person likes to wake up in the morning, when they like to go to bed, and what activities they like to attend during the day. Add in what the loved one likes to do after lunch, whether it is to take a nap, or to listen to an audiobook.
  • Likes and Dislikes. In this section, share the knowledge about the person about their life-long habits, likes, dislikes, favorite foods, music and hobbies. A beneficial part that you may want to add to this section is how to help the person with dementia when they are having a bad day. It's a good idea to include a section on methods that help to calm down the agitated or angry family member.
  • Conversation Starters. Write down topics that the person is passionate about and can talk about.(ex. their children, grandchildren, the farm, their former job, interesting things they did in their life). The rest of the book can be filled with pictures and the life journey of the person including weddings, births, moving to a new home, etc.

Nick and Nadia's Story

Nick and Nadia had been married 45 years when Nick was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Due to his declining condition they decided to move to a seniors' apartment building. They sought out activities they could participate in such as art classes, bingo and socializing.

Despite the challenges, Nadia was determined to keep Nick at home for as long as she could. But fate intervened when Nick had a fall, followed by another. Nick was hospitalized but Nadia was ever hopeful that he would be returning home. To assist in maintaining function during his hospitalization, Nadia began to bring mementos from home - a photograph, a deck of cards, a magazine filled with interesting pictures; thus creating a 'comfort kit' for Nick based on her love and creativity.

The stress of selflessly caring for Nick combined with watching him slip away every day in the hospital soon took its toll with Nadia very suddenly becoming gravely ill. Without each other, neither would survive. Nick declined very quickly and passed away. Nadia died a week later.

Nadia's final wish was that comfort kits be made available to other families finding themselves in similar circumstances. These kits are now available and remain an enduring legacy to both Nick and Nadia.

For more information or to request a 
N&N Comfort Care Kit
contact Monique Chartier at 705-524-2024 ext. 257

Last Updated: 11/08/2017