Forum Discussion

Ask questions, share ideas and support one another.

Michelle 13th Jul 2018 Activity Coordinator
We have 3 units with 15 residents in each unit , the units have mixed capacity . I was wondering if anyone can tell me if it's normal to have only a few residents each day that are interested in taking part ?
I find one to one a lot better as you really get to engage with the person and it is always a success but when it comes to group activity there isn't a lot of interest. My manager has asked me to make a folder for each resident to show person centred activities but I am finding it hard to gather much information and without sounding horrible reading their biography they didn't have hobbies or really any interests I was actually shocked by this .
My manager would like to see the residents continue with their interests but I can't seem to find out much or there is no record .
Solange 13th Jul 2018 Diversional Therapist
Hi Michelle, I know what you mean. You are quite right about one to one, you couldn't get any more person-center than undivided individual attention. But your manager is right too, while you attend

​some​ other​s​ go unattended. Try to find out via their families what sort of leisure they did in the past. Most likely they were busy with life in the past and only now they are ready to take on a hobby. The best thing is to start with very small groups like two or three people and engage them with Cards/ Puzzles/Word Search/ Find the Differences/Word Game. You would have to gather three like-minded residents so they can cooperate with each other. Meanwhile, you could be nearby with another small group. Eventually, you will need a volunteer or two to help you out and make the groups a little larger. All the best!
Margaret 19th Jul 2018 Senior Carer/activity Co-ordinator
HI Michelle I started the activity coordinators role in may and was finding it quite difficult to get all the residents involved as only a couple would turn up I went round to customers flats and asked about their back ground history and their hobbies were of what activities they would like to see put on in which I had good feed back and find their are a few more residents taking part in the activities.
the golden carers site is really good as residents are enjoying all the paper work that is sent
they enjoyed doing the name the film stars and the quizzes.
Olwyn 18th May 2019 Diversional Therapist
Hi Michelle,
Yes, this can be a problem- connecting in a person-centred way with residents that did not have a history of doing any hobbies and state they had no past interests. (Our facility is in a small rural dairy area, where large families were the norm, and women having hobbies or interests outside the family, UNHEARD OF) However, I found that by digging a little deeper, and the following things bought a smile and interaction. Initially, I had to dig around in their profile to find historical events from the towns, or regions they grew up in. Sometimes I hit gold by doing this. But the following usually elicits warm fuzzies...
Anything about dogs, cooking, ladies natter and chatter groups discussing fashions of the day (the local theatrical group loaned us some costumes for a display), the best movie stars of the day, one lady grew up on the family apple orchard, so I arranged for an apple tasting (as many varieties as I could find),Another time we had an ic cream flavours tasting afternoon. Sometimes I do the homes ironing while we chat, and quizzes are always fun. Our faves are "words starting with".
Hope some of these ideas help,
Susan 19th May 2019 Activity Director
Michelle I hope you can use some of these great ideas with your residents

I hope your manager realizes that residents change over time

I had good attendance at my activities because I have some of the suggestions mentioned
I find that music activities are a good choice for many because there are so many things you can do
Here is a suggestion on golden Carers https://www.goldencarers.com/how-to-plan-music-activities-for-dementia-care/3192/
These ideas work whether the residents have dementia or not

I also like to have one to one activities with in a group so you can address each person individually but have a group setting
Jean 24th May 2019 Activities Provider
It is difficult to do a group activity when you are working with mixed ability. Having a sing along may be 1 option, some may be able to sing others may only listen but remember if the toes are tapping they are engaged
Susan 24th May 2019 Activity Director
You are right Jean
Jana 25th May 2019 Programs Manager
I always try to think if it were me. Would I want to attend every program offered? Probably not. Its OK to have private down time. Just give them options and let them pick what they want. Don't get your feelings hurt when they don't attend. You cant make everyone happy every time. Remember they worked most of their lives and had no time for hobbies.
Elisa 25th May 2019 Senior Activity Coordinator
Hi Michelle,
I agree that sometimes it is difficult to find past interest of the residents, specially if the lived in rural areas or have a lot of cognitive impairment.

I use a tool from the Model of Human Occupation called "Interest Checklist" to document interest in a person centered way.
It has a list of common passtimes and three columns; past, present and future. This allows to write what they used to do before, what the do now and what they would like to keep doing or try out in the future. This tool has copyright but it is easy to create a list of possible interests (you will need at lest 20 varied ones).

The role of the Activity coordinator is to facilitate activities, knowing past interst is very useful but being old and in an institution does not mean that people cannot find a new interest or that they won't like to try out something new.

Also, when thinking of groups, I find useful to transform the numbers of people you get to percentages. If your unit has 15 people, a group of 7 or 8 represent 50% of residents. It would be very unusual to find something that will be enjoyed by half the population. So if whatever you are doing gest an attendance of 5 you are actualy engaging with a third of your population, which is quite a sucess.
Susan 25th May 2019 Activity Director
I agree with Elise and Jana has some good ideas to
Hopefully this will help you

Leave a comment

You must have an account to leave a comment. Create one now »

Help