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A Guide for Activity Coordinators working in Senior Care.
There are a number of characteristics that prospective residents and families will look at to get a feeling for the quality of care provided at a long term care facility. These include:
and of course…
Sometimes Activity Programs can become stale due to routine. Residents may lack interest and enthusiasm for the activities on offer. Don't be hard on yourself, this can happen to anyone in any type of business!
A lack of engagement in activities is a common problem Activity Coordinators face. This may be due to a number of factors:
Activity Coordinators should consider conducting a survey of residents to seek feedback on the Activities Program annually or bi-annually.
Surveys can be extensive or concise depending on the data that is sought. In this instance, I am providing an example of a small survey that can be examined in record time (see below - Activity Program Survey). A more comprehensive survey is also provided (see below - Resident Lifestyle Survey).
Ponder over your Activity Program. Ask yourself if the activities on offer are still relevant to the needs of clients. It may be time for a makeover!
Conduct a survey and ask your clients for feedback regarding your Program and how to improve it. Some clients won't be able to take the survey on their own, so place a message in your newsletter to make relatives aware of the survey and assist their lover-ones with it.
We'd love to hear your feedback!
Have you run a survey in the past? Were you able to gather useful data from it?
Can be difficult to get everyone involved
It is great that you are thinking of all your residents
First you need to know what the residents like to do and what they are capable of doing
I like to do one to one within a group or a mixed group
This article will be a big help to you
I also like music activities for a mixed group
Here are some more things to try
ave you tried these
If so, do you need help adapting and modifying them to your particular group?
Here are some other ideas
I always had one to one interactions within a group activity. With such a diverse group, it is hard to have everyone participate unless you
walk around the group making eye contact so you get each person's attention
address each person by name
have an activity that most everyone can participate in like a sing along
but what I usually do is play name that tune and here is how
After the group is assembled, make sure to greet everyone. Tell your audience how happy you are that they are there. Greet each person by name. Remember you need to be enthusiastic about what you are doing
Now you are ready to start the activity
Instead of playing one or two notes or playing the game like hangman, (You could play these ways as well), you say the first word of the song title. See if anyone can finish the title. If not, say the second word of the title and so on until someone gets the title. If they are having a hard time, give other hints. To allow the meek resident a chance, ask the other members in the group to give the meek person a chance to name the song. Even if someone else shouts out the title, still ask the shy individual to say the title of the song. Be extremely complimentary to this person, as well, to boost his/her confidence.
After the song title is guessed, ask, who can sing it. Sometimes we only sing the first line. Sometimes we butcher the song, but then we have a good laugh.
Continue playing the game in this manner, singing the familiar songs, or singing them with a CD, for the allotted time period. I usually do it for about an hour
Throw in a little trivia if there is a lull in the action. For example, if the song is about summer, I ask the participants to tell me their favorite season and why they like that season. I always tell the story of how I hate winter.
If they are nonverbal, you can say the answer for them. However before saying the title, say, I can tell by (name of participant)’s smile that she thinks the title is (whatever the song title is). or you can ask a higher functioning resident what he thinks the non verbal resident is thinking
Then you might want to gently squeeze this person’s hand or give him/her a hug
I just go with the flow. Thus, the group is different every time.
Another good game is a dice game called one
We have played a similar game using just one die.
Each person gets a turn rolling the die until he gets a one or chooses to stop
We add up the numbers rolled each person gets
If you want to have a winner, the one with the most points at the end of the round wins.
What is so good about this game is, that it is good for a group with mixed mental and physical abilities. You can have some group members help other group members.
It is great as a long or short activity