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The Benefits of Small Group Settings for Adult Day Programs: Alleviating Anxiety for Those with Dementia

May 30,2024

Living with dementia can often be accompanied by anxiety, as individuals navigate the uncertainties and changes brought about by the condition. At Elder-Well® Adult Day Program, we understand the importance of creating a supportive and calming environment to help alleviate this anxiety. One of the most effective ways we achieve this is through small group settings. These intimate, personalized environments offer numerous benefits for participants, especially those experiencing anxiety due to their dementia.

Personalized Attention and Care

In a small group setting, each participant receives more personalized attention from our trained and compassionate staff. This individualized care helps build trust and rapport, which is essential for those experiencing anxiety. Knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment where their needs are understood and met can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

Reduced Overstimulation

Large groups and crowded environments can be overwhelming for individuals with dementia, often exacerbating anxiety. Small group settings, on the other hand, provide a quieter and more controlled atmosphere. This reduction in sensory overload allows participants to feel more at ease, making it easier for them to engage in activities and social interactions without feeling overwhelmed.

Stronger Social Connections

Forming meaningful relationships is a key component of our small group approach. In smaller groups, participants have the opportunity to interact more closely with one another, fostering deeper connections and friendships. These relationships provide emotional support and a sense of belonging, which can significantly alleviate anxiety. Knowing they are surrounded by friends who understand their experiences creates a comforting and reassuring environment.

Tailored Activities and Therapies

Small group settings allow for more tailored activities and therapies that cater to the specific needs and preferences of each participant. At Elder-Well, we design activities that promote relaxation and well-being, such as art therapy, music sessions, and gentle exercise. These personalized activities not only engage participants but also help reduce anxiety by providing familiar and enjoyable experiences.

Consistent Routine and Structure

A consistent routine is crucial for individuals with dementia, as it provides a sense of stability and predictability. In small group settings, it is easier to maintain a structured schedule, helping participants know what to expect throughout their day. This consistency can be incredibly reassuring for those experiencing anxiety, reducing uncertainty and helping them feel more secure.

Enhanced Communication

In a small group setting, communication between staff and participants is more effective. Our staff can take the time to understand each participant’s unique communication style and needs, facilitating clearer and more supportive interactions. This improved communication helps address any concerns or fears participants may have, further reducing anxiety.

Opportunities for Meaningful Engagement

Small groups offer more opportunities for meaningful engagement in activities that participants find enjoyable and fulfilling. Whether it’s a favorite hobby, a therapeutic exercise, or a social interaction, these activities are designed to promote positive experiences and reduce stress. Engaging in meaningful activities helps distract from anxiety and enhances overall well-being.

Family Peace of Mind

Families and caregivers of individuals with dementia often worry about their loved one’s well-being and anxiety levels. Knowing that their loved one is in a small, supportive group setting at Elder-Well can provide peace of mind. Families can rest assured that their loved ones are receiving the care and attention they need in an environment designed to reduce anxiety and promote comfort.


At Elder-Well Adult Day Program, we believe that small group settings are essential in providing the best possible care for individuals with dementia, particularly those experiencing anxiety. The personalized attention, reduced overstimulation, and meaningful connections fostered in these intimate environments can significantly alleviate anxiety and enhance the quality of life for our participants.

If you or a loved one could benefit from the supportive, small group environment at Elder-Well, we invite you to learn more about our programs and join us in creating a calming and enriching experience for those living with dementia.


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