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Nori 17th Jan 2018 Activity Director
Wondering how others deal with chronic tardiness?
I'm the Activity Director for an Assisted Living facility, which means that our tenants are ambulatory and capable of managing their own schedules. They get themselves to and from meals, drive their own vehicles (or use a taxi service), and make (and keep!) their own appointments outside our facility. However, when it comes to in-house activities, many of them don't make the same effort. It can be really frustrating to schedule a guest speaker or musician (who usually has a strict time schedule) and have one or two tenants present at the start of the event, 4-5 more show up after 15 minutes, and the last "wave" trickle in just as the presenter is wrapping up. I've tried positive feedback ("I'm so grateful you're here for the start!"), negative feedback ("It's discourteous to arrive late for our guests"), and reminders (daily written and oral announcements), but I'm at my wit's end! Our facility has 32 apartments and I simply don't have the time to knock on every door prior to an event, and we do not have an intercom system. Every tenant receives a monthly Activity Calendar, and extras are always available in both the dining room and the main offices.
Any suggestions/thoughts would be very much appreciated.
Renee 18th Jan 2018
Unfortunately, it sounds like they need the door to door reminders. Do you have any other staff that can help you round people up especially when yuo have a guest coming in?
Nori 24th Jan 2018
Renee, thank you for the suggestion! I think you're right--I need to enlist other staff to help me make the rounds before a guest arrives.
Nikole 30th Jan 2018 Activities Director
Door to Door reminders have helped with attendance to activities at my facility as well. I also put small reminders in their mailboxes. I use bright yellow paper so that it is easily seen. If you could walk around and remind them face to face-that helps too.
Cathy 30th Jan 2018
How about enticing them with a cuppa and cupcake for when you have a guest speaker etc , say 10 mins before start time? or a ticket for a door prize for those who come by a certain time? Would you be able to use a hand bell or horn to "remind" the residents in each area, instead of knocking on each door? think "town crier". LOL
Dori 24th Mar 2018 TRD Director
Are there other staff members in the facility that can help you with reminders. Maybe a reminder on the dining room tables the morning of the program.
Nori 28th Mar 2018
Thanks for all of your suggestions, Dori, Cathy, Nikole, and Renee! It is so amazing to be a part of Golden Carers--I feel like I have hundreds of "co-workers" who can help me brainstorm great ideas. Thank you!
Tania 17th Apr 2018 Recreation Officer
Tell the residents that the event or speaker is going to be there 15 mins before the actual time booked, and have a bit of a catch up before the speaker arrives to distract them from tne wait
Kymberly 18th Apr 2018 Activities Coordinator
I have the same position in supported living Nori. We serve them tea and coffee, and a piece of cake or bisc, starting 1/2 hour before the activity, served up by volunteers. The activity is advertised at this time, and seats are encouraged to be filled away from the door first so that those stubborn 'late -comers' can be seated without too much disruption. And if they come late I'll say "shouldve been here earlier for a cuppa". But I do have a list of ppl who need assistance to get to the activities, and carers who need to get them there early. And door knocking helps but if you make a habit of it ppl will get lazy and start to rely on reminders
Rachel 22nd May 2018
Maybe a reminder at breakfast/ lunch would help? Even a printed note at their place at the table so they'll take it with them and see it in their room throughout the day before the time of the event.
Maybe put up posters around the place advising of the guest/ entertainer/ event well before the day, then change them to say TODAY IS THE DAY so-and-so is coming to sing for us, or whatever...
Perhaps find out who is really looking forward to the event and ask them to help get others enthusiastic about it and there on time. They could do some door knocking for you - like a "time-keeping" committee!

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