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Planned activities can boost clients’ moods

Want to add some fun to private duty home care? You may want to consider planned activity kits in your agency’s offerings.

Many homebound patients become bored with television and their usual diversions. One solution, according to Jerry Poppenheimer of TurnLeaf Publications, may be providing planned activities for them. Poppenheimer says that each TurnLeaf program kit provides information and materials or props for two, three, or four 30- to 45-minute periods of positive, entertaining intellectual stimulation. "The programs are written to stimulate the higher-functioning adult," he says. "However, because of the clear script and additional props, they are entertaining for most adult functioning levels."

A caregiver’s guide

Kits include a guide to help the caregiver present questions and ideas that promote reminiscing and interaction. The material in TurnLeaf’s programs is copyrighted and may not be resold without written permission, but the kits do include materials that may be photocopied and presented numerous times by the original purchaser. In addition to the props, each kit includes a large print script which either the client or caregiver may read. The icons in the script guide the reader as to when to turn on the cassette, show a picture, and ask or read a question. Script pages and pictures are enclosedin plastic page protectors that can be wiped clean with germicide. Props may include a variety of such items as sound, music, or narrated cassettes, theme crossword puzzles, craft projects or recipes, patterns, and original poetry that relate to the subject.

Kit subjects are varied. One kit, "Plants of the Bible," includes an informative script, quotations about the plants, a discussion quiz, and color prints. Another, "Games We Play," offers two word games, script, and graphics. "We are now in the process of converting our original 25 programs onto compact discs," says Poppenheimer. "The CD versions will be available starting early fall of 2000." For more information on TurnLeaf kits, contact the company at (626) 583-8651 or by e-mail at