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Megan 8th Feb 2021 Activity Coordinator
Hi there!

I am currently working as an Activity Coordinator in a 50-bed nursing home with residents ranging from early 60's to almost 100 and varying dementia stages and abilities. Due to COVID we are able to have group activities, but the residents have to remain 6 ft apart. I'm struggling with having bigger groups for activities (word games, baking, sometimes art, etc) as it feels I am doing multiple one on one sessions at the same time, trying to engage everyone. With that being said, if someone isn't getting attention after a few minutes because I am helping someone else, they either get bored, or forget what they are doing and wander off. Sometimes I have another person with me which helps, but doesn't always solve the issue. I try to keep everything person centered as well.
Has anyone experienced this, and/or have any tips or ideas I could implement? It would be greatly appreciated! :)

Thank you!!
Susan 8th Feb 2021 Activity Director
Hi Megan
Your situation can be difficult
Have you tried any of these activities??
What about simple card games or dice games
Often times you have to be the facilitator to bring the group together or as you say one to one with in a group
Katherine 10th Feb 2021 Activities Assistant
I am struggling with the same. I have 34 residents, and it is just me. I struggle getting them to come to activities, and keeping them engaged. What works today, doesn't work tomorrow, It is a struggle playing even the simplest of games. We have a subsrciption to Activity Connection also, and the music activities are great, I make play lists of music, and try to have visuals to go with the music ( Umbrella- Singing in the rain, Blue shoe- Blue suede shoes.. etc) if I don't have an actual prop, I have colored pictures. I will show them the prop, and start the music, and have them guess the song. It seems like a lot, but I sometimes will have "stations" set up, so we can do the more "hands on activities" (cooking and crafts that need more one to one attention) coloring table, puzzles, etc, and work with a small group doing the main activity, b/c they require so much one to one attention, then I switch groups ( with out moving them from their area (I find too many transitions pulls them away, and getting them back is difficult
Susan 10th Feb 2021 Activity Director
Wow Katherine
Thank you for this very helpful information
It sounds like you are doing a great job
Keep up the good work
Katherine 12th Feb 2021 Activities Assistant
Susan, I sure am trying. I had to think outside the box. I am relatively new to this position (Activity Assistant), and it is me by myself on our memory care unit. From my understanding, we used to have lots of volunteers that came in, and families were able to visit often. I started in in June. I have relied on the experienced CNA's for input.. I don't know whether their interests/ lack of interest is COVID related (b/c of the isolation), or the dementia... I take my job to heart, and I was getting discouraged when I would only have 5- 6 people joining me, and they would fall asleep on me.. I felt like I was failing. When I would have a larger group, I would become very overwhelmed with an activity, b/c they all need some level of support. That is when I decided to do "stations", it's keeping those engaged that generally aren't always engaged, and allows me to give attention and help for more structured actvity. Sometimes it works. sometimes it doesn't though...
Susan 12th Feb 2021 Activity Director
It’s obvious Katherine you would love the work and your residents
I agree that stations can be a good idea
You are the facilitator connecting them
Personally I like sing-alongs because Manny can get involved
I used to like table ball but with Covid it probably is not a
good idea
I like exercise groups too
The ones by Gwyneth are simple
Card games also work well
I also like dice games
My favorite is one because you can include residents of all abilities
As I’m sure you know you must try to include everyone be excited and enthusiastic and engaging to be successful
Thank you again for all you do

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