- Patricia Riley
Why is LEAP an essential component of the programs Vista Cove provides to residents?
Developed by Vista Cove when it was founded in 2004, the Life Enrichment Activity Program (LEAP™) is a personalized activity program that assesses each resident’s needs and objectives to develop a customized activity plan that is enriching and engaging for that resident. Through daily socialization and interactive activities, LEAP provides residents with a sense of connectedness, which research shows can enhance the lives of individuals with Alzheimer’s and other Dementia. Studies also show that being social is an essential part of one’s brain health along with a healthy diet and exercise. The Life Enrichment Activity Program is designed to encourage socialization, which is an important component of each resident’s personalized care plan. Socialization and interaction with others helps our residents to:
Gain a greater sense of inclusiveness and belonging. The process of interacting with others, even when passive, can stimulate a sense of personal worth, a feeling of belonging, rather than isolation.
Improve their brain health. Studies show that individuals with a broader network of social experience in the earlier stages of their Alzheimer’s disease, are able to slow down the progression of memory loss more so than those whose network is very small.
Strengthen their connection to time and place. Socialization provides a sense of normal structure and order to the life of an individual with memory loss. It helps stimulate that part of the brain that connects us to time and place.
Enhance and maintain their focus. Older individuals have more difficulty transitioning between daydreaming and focused states of mind. The more time the aging brain spends mentally active and socially engaged, the easier the transition becomes, which is key to maintaining and stimulating cognitive function.
LEAP provides three levels of activities throughout the day for Vista Cove residents and Day Break participants, encompassing personal, neighborhood and community interactions:
Personal activities provide beneficial one-on-one interaction between the primary caregiver and resident. Personal activities include emotional and social interactions and family involvement in resident assessments and activities and updating care plans.
Neighborhood activities allow residents to interact with friends within their neighborhood and assist residents in identifying with and relating appropriately to others in their neighborhood. These activities are led by a caregiver and feature small group activities, long-term memory activities such as reminiscence therapy, and bonding with caregivers and neighbors.
Community activities involve all residents and staff and are conducted in the activity room by our Activities Director. They feature interactions, coordination activities, volunteer involvement, current events, sports-like activities and recognition and reward activities.