There is hardly anything more rewarding for activity coordinators than an increase in resident participation. Weeks of hard work have paid off!
It's especially touching when a resident, who previously refrained from participating, decides to join in—whether for a concert, a game, a trivia night, or a discussion group.
Here are a few tips that may help improve participation rates at your facility. Some you may be using already, others you may not have tried for a while.
1. Tune In to Their Needs
Dedicate time to listen attentively. Genuine, undivided attention is a precious commodity. It's often more manageable and effective to focus on small groups. If staffing is an issue, volunteers can be of immense help in guiding these smaller groups.
Related: 12 Tips for One-on-One Visits with Seniors
2. Foster Friendships
Foster camaraderie by pairing residents with similar interests or personalities during events, meal times, or leisurely garden strolls.
3. Engage Family Members
Actively involve and invite family members to join various activities and events. Their presence often motivates residents and increases the frequency of their visits.
4. Extend Personal Invites
Personalized invites for recreational events can make individuals feel special and valued.
5. Harness the Power of Volunteers
Establish a volunteer program. These dedicated individuals can supervise activities, facilitate discussion sessions, or read to the residents. They play an essential role in motivating attendance. Related: Resources for Finding & Managing Volunteers
6. Advocate for Physical Wellness
Emphasize the mental and physical advantages of exercise classes. Gentle exercises can notably enhance strength, mobility, and overall well-being.
7. Organize Special Interest Group Sessions
Weekly or monthly gatherings for poetry, high tea, crafting, or film viewing can foster deeper connections among residents. Related: Ideas for Hobby Clubs & Special Interest Groups
8. Introduce Drumming Sessions
Invest in percussion instruments and utilize free online lessons spanning diverse cultures, including African, Middle Eastern, and Native American rhythms.
9. Incorporate Daily Music
Music evokes memories and emotions. Ensure a varied daily mix based on residents' preferences, from classical and folk tunes to children's choirs.
Related: How to Plan Music Activities for Dementia Care
10. Foster Intergenerational Bonds
Collaborate with local schools. Encourage student groups to perform, craft, or engage in activities with the residents.
Related: Intergenerational Activities: Program Planning & Activity Ideas
Remember that consistency plays an important role in increasing participation. Regularly invite residents and keep exploring innovative ways to intrigue and attract them.
We'd love to hear your feedback!
What do you find are the best ways to increase activity participation?