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Corrie 19th Nov 2018
I am the Activity Director at a Nursing facility, we have 3 separate floors: 1st floor is for the short stay rehab residents, 2nd floor for long term residents, and 3rd floor is our memory care unit. I am having difficulty finding activities to get the short stay residents involved in and programs for our less advanced memory care residents that they do not find boring/to childish. I am operating on a small budget and we do not have many volunteers. We are located in a small community that is struggling to get back on its feet, so it is difficult to find people who have time to help out in the facility for free.

Any help and or ideas you can give would be greatly appreciated.
Susan 19th Nov 2018 Activity Director
This is a challenge
Who is insisting that the short term residents be involved in activities??

Speaking from personal experience I was in short term rehab because I broke my hip and I was not in any mood to do activities I wanted to get better and get out of it and that's what I think many short term residents want

I don't know if you have entertainment but that is always something good for all residents also some short term residents might like to play bingo

Another idea is to bring them things they can do independently because They can't do that but can't get around that well

Just make sure your progress notes and care plan reflect their feelings about activities

This might help you too

These people might be your future volunteers
Michelle 20th Nov 2018 Activity Director
I agree with Susan, I have not had to much as far as involvement with rehab residents. Individual activities would be okay. I have yet to have issues with the state here during survey. Document accordingly or you may get caught in a tough spot. I would gladly send you an example of my memory calendar if you would like. I have a 28 bed Memory Care Unit here. Do you possibly have a local school that can come in to do crafts and singing programs?
Corrie 21st Nov 2018
Nine of the local schools want to participate in coming unless it is for the holiday. I have even contacted local scout troops to see if they would come. I would love a copy of your calendar. Do you have to post a large 30"+ calendar on the unit it just individual ones in the rooms?
Kylie 22nd Nov 2018 Lifestyle Enrichment Carer
Perhaps supplying a box of items for the rehab residents to do at their own leisure ( a few boxes pre-organised and stay at the centre when the resident leaves) - all dependant on their admission notes and level of ability. A pack of cards, crosswords, notepads, colouring, a list of DVDs available etc.
Generally rehab residents won’t integrate easily with the General Activities, however letting them know they have other options is a lovely gesture. Meaningful engagements - chit chats etc May let them feel they are understood and not alone.

There are so many fun activities to do with residents living with less advanced dementia. Our program involves Sale of the Century ( not the board game - I am the host of the show and run it this way with a large whiteboard to keep score). The wheel of Fortune Game ( again not the board game, I’ve made a large pinwheel and we use this with the whiteboard) indoor tennis, ( balloons ), quiz time, reminiscing time, Cooking with the residents ( their ideas for what to cook are run each week) , awesome art and craft - watercolour painting, freestyle, cardmaking, knitting, papier-mâché, ( paddlepop sticks are cheap and the ideas are endless). Try Pinterest for more activity ideas as well.

During the year I collect all recyclables- cooking jars, milk top lids, paddle pop sticks, egg cartons, tissue boxes etc. These are all an awesome way to keep the budget down and also have great new art craft ideas each week.
Susan 22nd Nov 2018 Activity Director
It's a good idea to post a weekly calendar in a common area so that the residents can see it
Here are some member ideas

Here are some sample calendars from other activity directors
Molly 10th Dec 2018 Activity Professional & Writer
Hi Corrie, I echo the difficult experience of engaging those in Short-Term Rehab! We ended up creating an activities cart specifically for the unit that included things like movies, newspapers, books, magazine's, puzzles, decks of cards, sensory items, notebooks and pens, books on tape and a tape recorder. We would walk the unit at the beginning of the day and at night to collect the items or switch them out. We would also end up having conversations with those who would want to chat but just didn't feel up for going to an activity. Best of luck!
Michael 10th Dec 2018 Game Therapist
You can also try leisure linking. Find the short term residents with similar leisure interests to each other, or even long term residents, and give them a place to hang out together.
Susan 11th Dec 2018 Activity Director
That is a really good idea Michael and you can document that too

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