Golden Care Products began as the development arm of Best Alzheimer’s Product. Our mission there is to improve the quality of life for people with dementia, including Alzheimer’s, and for the people who care for them. That was the idea for Golden Care Products – to design and develop activities and other products that are both age- and stage-appropriate for people with dementia. We include people in any stage of dementia.
Age- vs. Stage Appropriateness
The age vs. stage distinction is not always obvious. An age appropriate activity is, obviously, one that is proper or apt or suitable for the age of an individual. Chutes and ladders is appropriate for young children. Checkers, which requires a little more strategy can be learned and played by older children. (I know, some children learn the game as young as five years old, but probably are not competent until they are a little older.) Checkers can be a challenging game for just about anyone, once it is learned. So checkers is age-appropriate for people, let’s say, from 7 or 8 and through adulthood.
Chess is another example of a game that can be age-appropriate for anyone old enough to learn it.
But cognitive disorders like dementia changes things and introduces the idea of stage-appropriateness.
A stage-appropriate behavior is one that is challenging without being too difficult. We can say something is “too difficult” for someone in a given stage of dementia if it causes frustration. Frustration is already a too-real element of dementia, one we don’t want to aggravate. But the idea of an activity for dementia is to challenge the cognitive process. From challenge comes benefit, to memory and other cognitive processes, as well as to .
Golden Care Products’ challenge is to create products that are stage-appropriate but look age appropriate. I think we are off to a good start.