The Octoband promotes interaction between people with dementia

The idea: The Octaband is a product designed to stimulate and engage people with dementia, and helps people with dementia to interact with each other during an activity.

I am Donna Newman-Bluestein, a dance/movement therapist in Boston, Massachusetts, whose father had dementia and who has been working with people with dementia and other cognitive limitations for over 30 years.

I created the Octaband when faced with a group of people with dementia who were difficult to get to interact with one another. Because there are loops at the ends of each of the "legs", a person's hand/s or foot can be slipped into the loop. Once connected, people immediately feel their connection to others through the stretchy material. Their sense of connection is immediate, something they often cannot experience through words. You can see a video of it at as well as an Activity Guide to get you started.

The Octaband is being used effectively around the world by activity directors, recreation therapists, dance movement therapists, music therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapists. While designed for use in groups, it is also being used individually by creative caregivers

Editor's Note: The following video shows the Octoband being used with various age groups, starting with youngsters. 

Published on 20 February 2012
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