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Section 26
CMaking Time for Alzheimer's & Low-Functioning...
by Understanding Your Perfectionism and PPPs

Table of Contents | NCCAP/NCTRC CE Booklet

Are you a perfectionist?  Do you think it is a good thing?  If so, listen well.  Perfectionism is exhausting to contemplate, and it’s not what, I feel, good organizing is about. Good organizing has to do with making things “sufficient to the need of the task.  However perfectionism is, by definition, “excessive to the need of the task.”  Let me explain further.

Rate your perfectionism below on a scale of one to ten.  Circle a number. 1 is low, 10 is high.
1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10

Perfectionism can lead to procrastination. Do you agree?  One Activity Director complained that her assistant never gets their facility newsletter out in fewer than five drafts, and it is always late. Do you agree that perfectionism can lead to overkill? If you are a perfectionist, I am sure you have experienced extreme frustration in programming for your Low Functioning and Alzheimer's residents.  Just when a resident progresses from Caps-in-a-Bowl to the Bank Exercise described in Volume One of this series, you get all set to work with them on the Bank Exercise today, and they can barely have eye contact with you.  So, you revert down the Skill-Level Activity Ladder to Scent Therapy.  The Skill-Level Activity Ladder is described in detail in Volume Four of this Series, and deals with Motivational Approaches.  Thus if you are a perfectionist, you will probably feel frustrated because you can never find the perfect activity for residents who are always changing in mental and physical ability.

List three Low Functioning and Alzheimer's residents in your facility who have gone 'downhill' recently.




Rate your level of frustration with continually having to develop new programs for residents whose mental and physical ability keeps changing. Circle a number. 1 is low, 10 is high.
1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10

PPPs can become Time Vampires
Ask yourself this question if you suspect perfec­tionism is rearing its ugly head, even if it is under the guise of being well-organized: “Is the amount of time and effort I’m putting into this task warranted by the potential payoff?”  If the answer is no, readjust your goals. Bring your efforts and the payoff into sync. The DVD that accompanies this course uses the term "Pet Pretty Patients."  If you recall, "Pet Pretty Patients" or "PPP's" are alert residents who are pleasant to deal with and meet the activity staff's needs for pleasant social encounters.  However, PPP's comprise a very small portion of your resident population.  So evaluate the effort, a.k.a. time, spent with your PPP's, because there is a huge payoff of a pleasant social encounter.

List three alert, congenial residents who are pleasant to deal with.




Do you feel a disproportionately large amount of staff time is spent with the alert, congenial residents listed above, as compared to the Low Functioning and Alzheimer's residents listed above that?  Consider writing a time below when you might replay the DVD that accompanies this course to review these ideas.

Day of the Week


Staff that will view the DVD




If you are not feeling highly motivated to implement any of the preceding ideas, think again!.  The Implementation of Culture Change requires cooperation from other departments.  You are requesting schedule changes, transporting, and doing activities.  In order to make these requests and provide training for other staff, the more professional and organized you present yourself, the more likely the other department heads, therapists, CNAs, etc. are to treat you with respect and take your Culture Change requests seriously.  Agree?  So I suggest you strongly consider rereading the preceding section more than once.  Sift through it to find the ideas you need to implement.

Forward to Section 27
Back to Section 25
Table of Contents