Total Engagement


Activities for Growth and Expression in Older Adults, Second Edition

By Pamela Atwood, M.A., CDP, and Thomas Atwood, PT

ISBN 978-1-938870-94-1
8.5 x 11 paper
Approx. 200 pages
© Sept 2020

Product Description


Total Engagement presents activity ideas for encouraging exploration and self-expression in older adults experiencing varying degrees of limitation in mental or physical performance. Its goal is to present engaging activities that respect and celebrate each person’s lifelong knowledge and experiences. It emphasizes the creative arts—dance, drama, music, and visual arts—as a pathway for mental and physical growth, self-discovery, and self-expression. Total Engagement also emphasizes that adults need to be engaged with the self, the environment, and with social networks for general well-being. Activity professionals and nonprofessionals can facilitate these multi-sensory, holistic activities to promote physical, psychosocial, and cognitive well-being in a wide range of older adults who may be struggling with disengagement due to losses from aging.

UNIT 1 Self: Functional (Physical) Well-Being

  1. Gross and Fine Motor Skills
  2. Balance
  3. Conscious Breathing
  4. Walking and General Exercise

UNIT 2 Self: Psychosocial Well-Being

  1. Inner Peace and Coping
  2. Reminiscence and Life Review
  3. Generativity and Wisdom

UNIT 3 Self: Cognitive Well-Being

  1. Cognitive Games
  2. Visual/Spatial Orientation
  3. Patterns and Sorting
  4. Creative Thinking

UNIT 4 Environment

  1. Plants and Pet Care
  2. The Great Outdoors
  3. Feng Shui/Living Space

UNIT 5 Social Networks

  1. Family, Friends, and Neighbors
  2. Civic and Community Action
  3. Spirituality and Religion

Coming soon!

Pamela Krist Atwood, M.A., CDP, has worked with older adults professionally since 1989, and in 2001 earned a Master’s Degree in Gerontology and Human Development from Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut. She earned a Bachelor’s from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Pam is accredited through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. In 2010 she became a Certified Laughter Leader through the World Laughter Tour, Inc.

Pamela is a member of the senior management team at Hebrew Health Care in West Hartford. As Hebrew Health Care’s Director of Life Enrichment & Dementia Care she is responsible for dementia care programs and staff specialty education, and she also manages the Life Enrichment/ Recreation department. She hosts a cable television show, For Health, For Life, and she is a regular guest on WTICAM1080 radio program Living Well CT. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the gerontology program at Saint Joseph College teaching: Systems & Networks that Support Human Development and Aging; Sexuality & Aging; and Cognition & Aging. Before joining Hebrew Health Care she was the director of programs for the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She also has experience as a community case manager and worked in several skilled nursing facilities.

Thomas Richardson Atwood, Sr., PT, specializes in what he calls “geriatric sports medicine.” As a licensed physical therapist, he believes that rehabilitation of older adults should go beyond functional goals to maintain lifestyle if possible. Tom graduated from the University of Hartford’s physical therapy program in 2000. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in geography from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Tom is an outpatient therapist who works at six of Hebrew Health Care’s assisted living services sites. He has also worked in home care and other outpatient therapy offices. He is a skilled manual therapist, with expertise in neurological and orthopedic conditions.

Tom’s specialty is balance and fall prevention. Since 2002, he has worked with the Connecticut Collaboration for Fall Prevention, a consortium of clinicians and researchers from Yale University and other colleges, hospitals and health organizations. Tom lectures to senior organizations and health centers about fall prevention techniques and enjoys helping older adults overcome their fear of falling to minimize their risks. He was featured on a PBS special about the Connecticut Collaboration for Fall Prevention in 2003.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Total Engagement”

Your email address will not be published.