Solution Name: Compensatory Skills Training
Compensatory Skills Training is training that focuses on learning a wide range of coping strategies, also known as “workarounds,” for dealing with various cognitive challenges such as: short-term memory problems
With the support of others around them, seniors should remain mindful of their strengths and limitations.
Avoiding activities that exceed one’s ability level is important in minimizing frustration, which can aggravate existing cognitive weaknesses.
Seniors may be more vulnerable to the effects of fatigue, pain, and/or stress
Seniors may limit involvement in more demanding activities (e.g., driving, cooking) when they are feeling physically or emotionally overwhelmed.
Regardless of the specific cognitive weaknesses planning and allowing additional time for completion of tasks can minimize frustration for all involved and promote optimal performance.
Attention, Concentration, and Organization Strategies
Maintaining a predictable routine and structured environment that incorporates prioritized checklists and reminders (e.g., Post-Its) may enhance the person’s functioning.
When completing tasks, the individual should try to focus on one task at a time and complete it in its entirety before moving on to the next task.
The person may benefit from minimizing background distractions when working on complex tasks. For example, TV, radio or ongoing conversations in the background may hinder his/her ability to focus on the task at hand.
The individual may benefit from taking regular breaks from tasks that require prolonged attention. In general, regular breaks from complex tasks can help prevent lapses in attention, which can result in errors.
The person can outline the steps required to complete a task prior to beginning it, which can help ensure an organized approach. Also use the outline to refer to throughout the task as a reminder of the steps needed to complete task.
The person may benefit from alternating tasks of high and low interest. If arousal is an issue, less interesting tasks should be completed at the time of highest arousal.
Make a point to praise/reward “on task” behavior while removing reinforcers for “off task” behaviors.
Make sure the person is paying attention when he/she is being spoken to or beginning a task. Providing cues as needed may be helpful in cuing him/her to focus or refocus.
In cases of compromised arousal, ensuring adequate sleep can be imperative and the individual may benefit from completing tasks in an upright position.
Slowed Speed of Processing
Plan to allow additional time for the completion of projects. This will minimize frustration or errors that can result from experiencing time pressures. Therefore, information can be presented in smaller chunks, giving the senior opportunities to repeat it to ensure it is understood and to promote memory for the information.
Post It Notes:
Description: Early Buy 6 Bright Color Self Stick Notes