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44 results for Facilitate

Susan 18th Mar 2021 Activity Director


Hi Florence
Hi I’m not sure exactly what you mean
Do you want a number of activities for the residents to do independently??
Do you want an arts and crafts project they could do??
do you want a socially distance group activity?)
Do these residents have a connection to technology??
Would these residents like to do a telephone activity??
How long do you want this to last??
Do you want a long term project or things that could be done daily??
Do you have volunteers that could help facilitate an activity or activities??
Let me know so I could be of some help
Katherine 16th Jan 2021 Activities Assistant


Hi all, I was hoping I could get some suggestions. I am new Activities Assistant in a Senior Living Center. My experience in "activities" comes from working with Adults with Developmental Disabilities, and working with Children. I knew my experiences could translate, as I am quick to making modifications and adaptations to activities. However, I am feeling overwhelmed. I don't really have an " Activities Team" to collaborate with. I work at an Assisted Living Facility on the Memory Care Unit. My Activities Director, is responsible for the Assisted Living floor, and I am responsible for the Memory Care Unit (which I should mention too has 30 adults) We have 2 per diem employees, one who covers for when I am out, and the other days he works, he helps on the AL level, once a week the other per diem person assists me for 2 hrs in the afternoon. The activities I do, translate well with the AL floor, however, they do not do so well on the Memory Care floor. Also, they are all at varying stages of dementia. I try to do a lot of individual activities, like puzzles, sorting, drawing, coloring, etc,. We play a variety of games that involve some type of movement, bean bag toss, beach ball volleyball, ladder ball, ring toss and such. I know they love using the parachute, but I don't have staff that can assist me with this activity, nor do I get a high turn out for activities. When I try to "facilitate" conversations, or attempt any type of "reminiscing" I get zero responses, (it get's so quiet you can hear a pin drop). I feel as though I am doing a disservice to my folks. I'm just at a loss, and any insight, suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Susan 9th Jan 2021 Activity Director


Hi Tina
I agree this site is better than others I have seen and been part of
It is certainly more cost-effective
I am not sure exactly what you are talking about when you say vocational programs
Even if you design kids like activities make sure that they are geared towards adults for example if you do Doll therapy use the ideas here
There are also any other good links in this article

Sometime having residents do tasks like folding sorting setting the table untangling knots making pom-poms have worked for me
You can have a laundry basket with items that need to be folded
Let me know what other programs you want to try
I like sing-alongs that’s not really a vocation
I also like having residents sit at a table and let each one do what they are capable of doing for example one might be coloring the other one might be doing word searches one might be fiddling with items in front of them
One might be pushing down on a top
Some might be playing with playing cards or dice
Remember you or another staff member are the facilitator that brings the group
The staff member talks to each resident and shares what other residents are doing with them
Remember to talk with each resident as if they were adults even if they do not make sense to you
You can say I can tell by your smile that you think whatever you think they’re thinking
You can ask another resident what he thinks about what another person is doing again you facilitate the conversation
I hope this makes sense to you
As I said before let me know what other help I can be
Susan 5th Jan 2021 Activity Director


Congratulations on your new job
I assume you are a natural when it comes to activities
Activities for those with dementia can be difficult especially group activities
However I am sure you will find a lot of help on this site
I’d like a sing-along because people of many different levels can enjoy it
Some people who cannot speak can sing the words to a song
I think that is important to include everyone in the activity in someway
You might have to have a multi level within a group

Besides these ideas you can always do balloon ball kickball with the beach ball
You can have a number of residents sit at the table and each does their own thing but you can facilitate conversations with each one
I also like playing card games
and dice games
Often you have to be the facilitator to make the group as smooth as possible
This should be a good place to start
Let me know if you need any more specific help about things I have mentioned
Jill 31st Dec 2020 Activities Coordinator


My residents have suggested that we run a regular friendship group to gather in the lounges. They want to share poems, stories, something light hearted.
Our residents want to run the group themselves and I will facilitate.
Will keep you posted to how it develops.
Elaine 28th Jul 2020 Activities Director/ Speech Path

Hang the Song Man

Just did hangman with the residents this weekend which was a big hit. We played several times on a wipe off poster. Clues were given about category, ( people, place, thing) and sometimes clues about letters ( ex: a letter made with the lips) . Definitely worked well after dinner in the group lounge as people could join anytime after finishing dinner. As the game progressed, residents would whisper new word to me and even a few aides became involved guessing. When one of them won, I had them choose the next word and facilitate the guessing which became an added bonus getting another staff member involved in Rec activity!!
Bronwen 16th Jul 2020 Assistant Manager

Bringing Art to Life in Your Community

I have found all your art and craft ideas inspiring, and have got a collection of activities prepared for when our service users return to our day centre after this lockdown has ended.
It has also provided me with an activity base, to facilitate sending activities home to service users to enable them to keep their minds and hands active and improve their well being.
Robert 15th Jun 2020 Nurse

The Power of an Apology

I like this post. This can certainly be connected to faith and forgiveness as well. Helping facilitate internal rest/peace is one of the biggest gifts we can give out residents. -Katie-
Ruth 10th Apr 2020 Therapy Assistant


Hi Everyone, Last time I chatted was late December 2019, regarding my poetry sessions and asking for ideas on how to position the residents in the group. Thank you for the great suggestions......all is going well.
I just wanted to mention, craft activity (configurating a tree).....which I facilitated with another TA one afternoon at our RACF. The residents had a great time painting and colouring the different shaped leaves. I constructed the trunk, branches and leaves on our therapy door cupboard and wrote the names of the residents on the leaves. It really brightened up the room and from time to time I see the residents admiring it, plus I've had very good feedback from other staff members as well. One of our residents suggested to include some birds.
Thank you to "golden carers" for initiating the idea......I love seeing the beautiful smiles on the residents' faces.
Susan 22nd Dec 2019 Activity Director


Hi Carol
Happy holidays to you
This activity on golden Carers may help you

Also I would suggest a reminiscing group and you can facilitate the interaction with the residents by saying a person likes whatever I bet you like that too
Just keep pointing out the similarities among the residents and how they could be good friends and could talk about these things
Solange 8th Nov 2019 Diversional Therapist


Hi Mohini, to become an Activity/Lifestyle professional you will need to have a certificate IV or a diploma in Aged Care. You also must complete a minimum number of credit hours - which varies from country to country. Activities Coordinators develop, implement, and evaluate leisure activities to individuals’ needs and groups. They are also expected to facilitate the volunteers’ program, manage budgets, chair meetings, and supervise new staff among other duties. It is a great profession. Good luck!

Wendy 6th Aug 2019 Recreation therapist

How to motivate residents in long term care

Hi Kandace
With very capable residents, ask them to make suggestions and take a role in making it happen, giving them a sense of "ownership" and empowerment. List the potential resident roles and put that up in a common area asking residents to nominate if they would like to do one, or if they would like to suggest another role. Some ideas to start might be: a "roving reporter" in the home, finding/writing up snippets for the home newsletter; using a camera to take pics of flowers in the garden, birds feeding etc for a "photo of the week" noticeboard; finding a joke, poem or prayer of the week to share on noticeboards; maintaining supplies of quiz, spot the difference, or crossword sheets around the home in designated spots such as lounge areas, corridor activity stations for residents to use at any time day or night- adult colouring sheets are very popular too; dining areas often have residents who fold serviettes decoratively, vary floral arrangements on tables (silk, dried or real). Setting up one or more spaces with a large jigsaw puzzle and sign inviting people to complete has been popular in our home - one resident started and was soon joined by others and staff from time to time! An area with board games can be good for self-directed activities - from complex ones like chess, checkers, word games, to snakes and ladders - try to get one or two residents to nominate to keep the games area tidy/re-set. Do you have a computer for resident use and any residents who are computer savvy - having one show others places they'd like to see or visit using Google Earth has been popular in our facility - they don't need you there to facilitate, it can be fully self-directed - they just organise a time to be there & anyone interested joins. Depending on the interests, expertise and skills of your residents you might get a wide variety of other interesting suggestions from them! Wendy
Julia Scheib 22nd Jul 2019 Not Live

Sensory Stimulation for Dementia Care

Hi everyone,

Wow, what a great article. I am an occupational therapy student in Pennsylvania. I've just finished my last internship and am doing a research project to help my internship site (a skilled nursing/long-term care facility) find the best ways to carry out person-centered care and employ sensory interventions to decrease agitation and facilitate meaningful engagement in activities.

Do you work in a nursing home that has a good system for successfully using sensory strategies with patients who have dementia? I would love to chat with you! My email is [email protected]

Thank you,
Angela 8th Jul 2019 Leisure And Lifestyle


Studying atm and one of the questions asks;
Care workers should have a detailed knowledge of the ways in which a variety of leisure and health activities can be facilitated. List six different types of leisure and recreation activity in which clients with complex needs might participate. Take into consideration a range of activities that would require different facilitation methods.
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.
Leeanne 13th May 2019

The Price is Right Game

I presented a PRICE IS RIGHT afternoon a few weeks ago and have another planned soon.....

I had 3 different groups of 6 items -
1. grocery group - actual items
2. Miscellaneous group - empty box of a kettle, signed football, AFL team scarf etc
3. Large laminated photos of cars, boats and houses

....... I had my residents in 3 groups and then gave each group one of the "Price is Right" groups to discuss and place in order on a prepared answer sheet.......after about 20 minutes of discussion each group got a different cluster of items to place in price order. (each group had either a volunteer or staff to facilitate discussion)

After each group had listed their items for each PRICE IS RIGHT Group we discussed answers, reminisced and laughed.

During the afternoon I also had a few spot games:-
1. all residents randomly took a colour coded ticket with a price on it......with the correct price winning the item (items where small items like chocolates, biscuits and small ornament)
2. A live PRICE IS RIGHT where all residents yelled out a price for a lovely bunch of yellow roses......residents kept guessing until the actual price was called out - with the person getting the correct price taking the roses for their room.

It was a great afternoon and enjoyed by all.
Phillippa 1st May 2019 Carer

Artist Impression - Paul Klee - 1914

Brilliant idea. I facilitated this activity with a group of 8 and it went down well.
Solange 18th Apr 2019 Diversional Therapist


Hi Elisa, you are absolutely right. Sometimes all you have to do is to facilitate several activities on a large table and let clients explore. With soft music on the background and supervision, clients can be easily satisfied for an hour or two.

Although it doesn’t work every time it is certainly worth trying.
Susan 15th Apr 2019 Activity Director


Hi Jessica
An activity director has some many jobs
I am not sure what your responsibilities are

Your Objective:
To provide person-centered, meaningful, mind stimulating, activities to residents you serve, by using your compassionate, patient manner.

Your Duties:
Devised, planned, coordinated, and facilitated stimulating activity programming.
Created strong & active volunteer program.
Communicated with family members
Prepared weekly & monthly activities calendars.
Led group and 1:1 activities.
Performed resident voice interviews and inputted data including MDSs
Wrote initial assessments, care plans, and quarterly and annual activity notes
Marketed to the community including a program for homebound senior citizens
Ran community events
Performed additional duties as assigned.

I talked to the residents before I actually started the job
You should have a meeting with the resident Council immediately
Get an idea of what they want
Then devise an activity calendar
You can use this to help you

I did not know what your other duties are but let me know and I Will give you suggestions
You probably will have to do documentation this article should help you

Solange 19th Mar 2019 Diversional Therapist


Hi Carolyn,

I am sorry for your troubles. To lead an activity for over two hours on your own is too long in my opinion.

Activities should go for 45-50 minutes if residents are engaged in it. Otherwise, change the activity. With the length of time you have, I would recommend you request a couple of volunteers and divide residents into two or three groups.

Regarding noisy elders, they should be in a group of their own playing cards, balloon baseball, or Bingo and facilitated by a volunteer.
Solange 10th Mar 2019 Diversional Therapist


Hi Jackie, that's the first time I hear that. All the activities that you mentioned have to be planned and facilitated so the residents can attend them. How can they not be in the Monthly Activity Planner? Who is going to remind, escort, encourage, and make sure residents are well dressed and prepared for the occasions? Are your instructions from management or from government bodies? What are the reasons given to support such antagonistic instructions?
Sally 26th Feb 2019 Retired Volunteer


I volunteer at a local community centre where I facilitate a Reminiscence group.
Most of the people born in the mid-late 1930s. Most of them were evacuated during WW2 and did not have much education during their teens, they do not have dementia. Most travel independently and look after themselves, but still like to remember.
We are based in London and I am wondering if you have or know where I can access resources that are relevant to them, they married/started work in the late 1940s, & 50s and have similar memories to me.
Most of what I have found is for those with dementia or Alzheimers, and is not very British.
I am also wondering if you have reccomendations as to how to manage a group of twenty or so for these activites, I am only with them for one hour at a time.
Sally Caplan
Solange 4th Jun 2018 Diversional Therapist


Hi Sunya, one way to run activities on weekends without a Lifestyle staff is to ask a sympathetic nurse to do it without taking too much of her time. For instance, setting up a Mandala drawing activity on a table for a group of residents. A poster activity could also work; a theme poster on children for instance where she would give residents lots of magazines and safety scissors to search and cut out pictures of babies and children for a poster. She can come back later and tidy up.

Alternatively seek a volunteer willing to come for a couple of hours to lead a class of seated exercises like Movement to Music, or take a ​group for a walk, or facilitate a High Tea. Of course, you can also rely on​ a good movie for a couple of enjoyable hours. Best of luck!
Thea 8th Apr 2018 Facility Manager

Resident Facilitated Historical Sessioin

A new activity has been posted by a Golden Carers member: Resident facilitated historical sessioin
Renee 21st Feb 2018 Recreation Therapist


Agree with many other posters. Sounds like you need to have some time to train your staff on how to facilitate activities, teach them about the activities, etc. Or it sounds like your facility really needs to hire a seperate person to facilitate the activities since obviously you can't be in two places at once.
Morgan 17th Feb 2018 Activity Director


Hi everyone, I am running into a problem and myself and the others in the admin team are not sure where to go next. We have a separate unit for our residents who have advanced dementia. There are usually about 7-10 residents back there depending on the current census. We do not have the staff to have someone from activities back there constantly, and we tried it in the past with not great results.

The care staff back there have more than enough time to engage the residents but they don't. They talk to each other instead and use it as a social time. It is listed in their job descriptions to facilitate activities and engage residents, and they have also had several reminders and check ups from me but still they do not do activities back there. They have many activity options for them for all levels of ability, but they do not utilize them.

We are at a stand still and are looking for any advice. Thank you!
Solange 14th Feb 2018 Diversional Therapist


Hi Dima, not at all. Music activities must be meaningful to the person listening to it: the key is to find the music that resonates with your clients. You can plan individual sessions where the client listens to the music of his era and preference, or group sessions where clients participate actively: singing/playing melodic or rhythmic instruments: percussion, clapping, rhyming. By the way, Music Therapists have professional training, (postgraduate level). They work with children and adults to address social/emotional behaviour, anxiety, eating disorders and communication difficulties. Their aim is to facilitate positive behaviour changes, among other things.
Pb 30th Dec 2017 Quality of life director


I am short staffed on Sunday's and our cna's are too busy to facilitate any activities. Any suggestions? Thank you
Ros 29th Nov 2017 Diversional Therapist

Christmas Pantomime - Aladdin & the Magic Lamp

We have just presented Aladdin to our residents and family, what fun! I would recommend this as an excellent activity to facilitate interaction on another level between staff and residents, boost self esteem and have a really great time.
Solange 22nd May 2017 Diversional Therapist


Hi Carla, don’t be too hard on yourself; I am sure you are doing your very best to engage your clients. However, there will be always those who do not respond for reasons of their own; which eventually may or may not be revealed. Some people are by nature alert and others lethargic; theses are traits difficult to change. To alleviate social isolation here are a few ideas to try:
- Keep informed of new activities, Residents' meeting and outings. Don’t give up!
- Schedule room visits to listen to them. Elders thrive in being 'listened to'.
- Encourage and support residents’ family to visit more and facilitate visits.
- Enlist their 'help' in activities; everybody likes the feeling they 'are making a difference'. Washing dishes, peeling potatoes, hanging washing.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Cheers.
Kathy 31st Mar 2017 Social Work


Does anyone have any resources to order materials? The only one I'm aware of is Eldersong. I know it has been discussed before but I am unable to find it again.

I work for an Adult Day Health Care, and I facilitate a "Memories" Group twice a week, and a "Socialization" Group once a week for adults with cognitive deficiencies. I especially need some new ideas for the Socialization group. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Love this site!
Solange 22nd Mar 2017 Diversional Therapist


Hi Amanda, you are very lucky to have volunteers, they are invaluable assets for any care facility. Volunteers can teach a small group (2 to 3 persons, cognitively similar) how to play card games; they may have to learn simple games like: Go Fish! Crazy Eights, or any other game they know. Volunteers could also facilitate small groups for these activities:
1)Take a couple of clients to a coffee shop (approval from management and written consent from clients or family is necessary).
2) Creative work: sculpting, painting, colouring.
3) Board games.
4) Cooking activities: frosting cupcakes, filling Halloween bags of Trick or Treat, making fruit kebabs, decorating half boiled eggs,
5) Craft: Chocolate Holder Chicks for mothers’ day, Festive Wall Art, decorating eggs for Easter.
Best wishes.
Solange 16th Mar 2017 Diversional Therapist

10 ways to increase activity participation

Hi Shannon, yes drumming is a great activity for clients; as well as being diverse, fun, and different, those with physical issues can also be included. You could hire a Drum Therapy facilitator or facilitate it yourself. If you are doing it yourself, first learn a few beats with the links below and repeat them in a Drum Circle session; a circle of residents, each holding a drum.
The following links will give you a good idea on how it goes.
Best wishes.
Villan 24th Aug 2016 Recreational Activity Officer

How to host an Olympic Games Theme Day

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Golden Carers website creator. We had a blast in our Mini-Olympic games for the past 2 weeks. Both our Residents and Staff enjoyed thouroughly the program we prepared. Residents and their immediate families were also involved. Most of the ideas presented in your website were excellent and have given us the opportunity to facilitate the activities which had provided friendly competitions among our Resident and Staff alike. We received lots of praises from our Resident, co-workers and the Management.
Josephine 25th Jul 2015 Lifestyle Manager

Trivial Pursuit Game

Hi All, just an update - we have run this activity with a mixture of residents and students. All I can say it went far better than expected, there was a lot of buzz in the room, this activity facilitated a lot of chatter in the room, and laughter and was a great ice breaker for students. Our residents are keen to hold this again and they have let me know they wish to hold this activity each fortnight. We put teams together with each team representing a color and created certificates for the team. Thank you for highlighting this activity, the suggestions assist in creating various activities for the residents !
Nerida 16th Jun 2015

Trivial Pursuit Game

I am a volunteer and we have a social group activity once a week from 2pm till 3.45pm. Residents really look forward to this activity and after taking a leave of absence for 2 months, I have returned so that I can still facilitate the Social Group activities. This Trivial Pursuit is excellent and has given me yet another great idea to keep residents interested and motivated, without feeling we are being condescending. Just because they are in aged care doesn't mean they are not intelligent people we can learn a lot from.
Kylie 20th Jan 2015 Recreation Therapist

Paper Plate Goat Craft

I facilitate a day respite centre for elderly clients and carers and feel this activity is not suitable for elderly adults.
Solange 4th Sep 2014 Diversional Therapist


Hi Elspeth, I can only speak for myself; I would buy gifts for all male residents on Father’s Day and all female residents on Mother’s Day. These dates call for celebrations which include concerts, parties and social gatherings and I would use the occasion (and gifts) to promote and facilitate community inclusion. Many people who never had children most likely ‘mothered’ or mentored a nephew or god-child at one time or another.
Felicity 5th Aug 2014 lifestyle coordinator


Hello Kerry,
we have an annual memorial service once a year at our facility.
We invite residents, familiiies and volunteers to join us.
Our memorial service is facilitated by our site chaplain.
a theme is selected and the service is created in line with that.
We have a display board with displays photos of all the residents that have passed in the last 12months.
Our services usually run for 45 minutes.
Several staff are involved in the service from placing cut roses into a vase as the names of the residents are read out.
Appropraite hymns such as amazing grace and the lord is my sheppard are sung.
if you google sympathy versus some are lovely and able to be used in memorial services.
Also when a resident passes away at our facility. we creat a memorial book and display a photo of the resident with a battery operated candle and a vase of flowers and allow residents, staff and volunteers the opportunity to say goodbye.
Hope that helps.
michelle 6th Feb 2014 Div Therapy


Hi Kathryn,

Personally,spending the 1st week or so getting to know your residents is a great place to start, what they like/don't like, can/cannot do NOW. After familiarising yourself, everything usually falls into place,you will know what residents will or will not attend activity, their capabilities,etc and what can be done to facilitate those who prefer the solace of their room.

Most of all, be yourself and have fun :D
Best of luck,it really is THE best job!!!
Morena 8th Jan 2014 Diversional Therapist

Tips for One-on-One Visits with Seniors

to Kerry; 1:1 room visits. should be between 10 to 15 minutes.
one on one room visit / 1:1 interaction are very important part for long term resident living in facilitates. As this help to give resident a social and emotional support that may require when resident does not participate in general activities is lonely or depressed, confused, scared, angry, frustrated weepy, anxious. In this way recreational staff can implement special program or games interested to the resident and given them the opportunity to reminisce and to build on self esteem.

Solange 27th Jul 2010 Diversional Therapist


Hi Kim, thanks for your feedback. We have had a number of people expressing interest in participating in a post card exchange so we are creating a special section on our website to facilitate this. We'll send out a newsletter with all the details in the next few days.
kerry Bickerton 23rd Jul 2010 Recreation Activities Officer


Hi Solange
Our Residents love to receive post cards from other facilities.The cards generate a lot of discussion.I wold love to exchange postcards with other aged care organisations around Australia & New Zealand.Can you facilitate this in any way?