The SilverFit Alois has been specially designed for people living with dementia. The aim is to create moments of joy in order to improve the quality of life. The SilverFit Alois stimulates physical exercises, cognitive activities, and social contacts. Personal photos and other material from the user’s life are used in several games. The various activities can be used in different stages of dementia. The SilverFit Alois can be used in a group but also in a more intimate setting such as with family or friends.
People who suffer from dementia often have limited social and physical activities. This can pull them into a downward spiral as they lose more and more capabilities. The more active people are, the happier they tend to be. Activity can lead to a decrease in challenging behaviour. Often, all sorts of small tasks can be performed much more independently.
In recent years, there has been a rise in person-centred care whereby the resident’s wishes and interests are leading. People have very different wishes and interests. The SilverFit Alois uses photo’s, music and where possible video’s from the user’s life and offers a personal training package. For many people, old photos of the place they grew up in can trigger a wealth of recognition. The man who discovered Alzheimers was Dr Alzheimer. His first name was Alois. Our activities are aimed at the person, not the disease itself. That is why we have chosen this name."Residents come to the realisation that there are many things they are still able to do, and that boosts their self-esteem."
Involving the family
Family members often say that they do not know what to do during a visit. Sometimes this gives them the feeling that there is no point going to visit their loved one. Yet people are happier when they have regular visitors. The SilverFit Alois offers activities which can be done together, by adults as well as (great) grandchildren. The family is engaged from the start, thanks to the structured introduction programme."This thing brings structure. I finally feel I can do something useful with my mother."Family member
Introduction and use of the SilverFit Alois
The SilverFit Alois can be used in a number of different places, depending on its purpose: in the living room, activity room, as recreation or as an activity programme in all departments. Family members and volunteers can play an important role. Wherever possible they are involved from the start in collecting personal photos and music. SilverFit has an example action plan available. Based on our customers’ experiences we have put together best practices which we will gladly share with you.
The SilverFit Alois is based on the most up-to-date scientific insights. We have based both the overall design and the development of specific exercises on scientific research, complemented with experience from informal care providers, care professionals and people suffering from dementia.
Always something to do
A study conducted in the US (Schreiner et al., 2005) shows that care home occupants who suffer from dementia are 7 times more likely to laugh or have fun during an activity than during the rest of the day. They usually spend the rest of their time alone and/or idle. The research suggests an approach whereby activities are done throughout the day in which people can participate. An appealing approach is described by Volicer et al. (2006) in which all kinds of suitable activities are organised in a Veterans’ care home: morning call, marching, a military club. This is possible without the need to hire extra staff: all staff members, at all levels, contribute to this approach.
Cycling with images
A motorized passive active bike can be placed in front of the SilverFit Alois. Cycling with video imagery has positive effects on a person’s stamina and cognition, in particular on the capacity to plan tasks. People living with dementia enhance positive emotions when biking in familiar scenes again. We hear that residents also enjoy seeing new parts of the world and feel they are really traveling around!
In The Netherlands, Professor Scherder (Scherder, 2010) is a leading and well-known advocate of the importance of an active lifestyle for people living in a care home. He demonstrates that being physically and socially active improves a person’s well-being and decreases problematic behaviour. Based on the evaluation of 30 studies, Heyn et al. (2004) conclude that for people suffering from dementia, physical activity has a positive effect in areas such as cardiovascular fitness, strength, and flexibility. But it also has a positive effect on functioning in daily life, cognition, and behavioural problems.
Music and photos
Testad et al. (2014) looked at the different types of activities in care homes. They showed that by using reminiscence: exercises using personal photos, depression is less likely to occur. Activities involving music lead to less agitation and unrest.
Aquarium and eating
Edwards (2013) researched the effect of an aquarium in the living room at nursing homes housing people who suffer from dementia. It was shown that people who could look at an aquarium while eating, on average ate better and had fewer weight problems. This is why the SilverFit Alois has its own (virtual) aquarium!
A personal approach is essential: offering activities that are suited to a person’s specific needs. Brownie et al (2013) show that people are less likely to become bored, depressed and needy when the approach is of a personal nature. Family members are more satisfied and staff members say they have a more personal relationship with the occupants.
Tested in practice
All our ideas are first tested in practice and adjusted according to the insights of the users. If interested we can send you the evaluation report of our physical activity exercises tested at 16 care homes in cooperation with independent consultancy in dementia care called DAZ.
- Brownie, S. and Nancarrow, S. (2013) Effects of person-centered care on residents and staff in aged-care facilities: a systematic review. Clinical Interventions in Aging 8: 1-10
- DAZ (2014) Evaluatierapport ‘Bewoners met dementie in beweging. Over de ervaringen met 16 SilverFits’
- Edwards, N.E. and Beck, A.M. (2013) The influence of aquariums on weight in individuals with dementia. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders 27(4): 379-383
- Heyn, P. (2004) The effects of exercise training on elderly persons with cognitive impairment and dementia: a meta analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 85: 1694-1703
- Scherder, E.J.A. et al. (2010) The more physical inactivity, the more agitation in dementia. International Psychogeriatrics 22(8) :1203-1208
- Schreiner, A.S., Yamamoto, E., and Shiotani, H. (2005) Positive affect among nursing home residents with Alzheimer's dementia: The effect of recreational activity. Aging and Mental Health 9: 129-134
- Smit, M., (2014) Scientific Background SilverFit Mile
- Testad, i. (2014) The value of personalized psychosocial interventions to address behavioral and psychological symptoms in people with dementia living in care home settings: a systematic review. International Psychogeriatrics: 1-16
- Volicer, l., et al. (2006) Effects of continuous activity programming on behavioral symptoms of dementia. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 7 : 426-431
|Nature trips: cycling through woods and over moors|
|City trips: trips through historical and famous cities|
|A day out: the zoo, windmills, canal trip, airport|
|Personal photos: photos or drawings provided by family|
|Themed pictures: young life, travel, history, nature, objects|
|Personal films: watching personal video's such as the person's wedding|
|Young life: a selection of films showing young life|
Moving to music
|Conducting: conducting classical music (conductorcise)|
|Chair dancing: making big movements to various types of music|
Music box: intuitive interaction with sound and colour (inspired by snoezelen)
|Aquarium: life-size aquarium to view and enjoy|
|Fireplace: warm images for long winter evening|
Listening to music
|Jukebox*: jukebox with golden oldies and nursery rhymes|
|Personal music*: enjoying listening to personal music|
|Mental arithmetic: physical activity based on doing sums in your head|
|Recognizing sound: physical activity based on different sounds|
|Bingo: bingo whereby the player has to stand up or bend over|
|The Fox: practicing balancing the upper body|
|Polishing: polishing the screen and gradually revealing personal photos|
|Puzzeles: making puzzles with personal photos|
|The fairground: throwing balls at a fairground|
A SilverFit implementation plan is available to involve family members, volunteers, and staff from the start. This implementation plan is based on experiences drawn from current practice. Upon purchasing the system, we will discuss this plan with you and see what aspects are applicable to your location.
The SilverFit Alois is mounted to the wall
The SilverFit Alois can be moved to different departments (extra cost)
Active / Passive trainer
Motorised bicycle for hand or leg training