Member Profile:

Pauline

Activity Officer From New South Wales, Australia


12 Comments

Pauline 21st Jan 2014 Activity Officer

Forum

Hi gail i bought the shall we dance cd from B&S books it was cheaper I used it in the dementia area for sundowning along with a regular nursry rhyme quiz my residents loved this and told me that they never felt like children when doing it. people though I used to ask questions like who jumped over the candlestick.? who ran throiught the town in a nightgown? and the residents would guess the answers laughing and joking the whole time. the staff got used to the quiz and joined in and the result was happy staff no sundowning behavours ,tea and then comedy hour on the tv, news, supper and time to go to bed. It became a familiar routine and the residents loved it. While listening to the music CD residents to sit and colour singing as they did it.
Pauline 15th Jan 2014 Activity Officer

Forum

singalongs, dvds and music is your best bet at this time of the day everyone loves to sing and you will get through the worst of it without the residents realising they are doing it, you can also try book reading and just a cup of tea along with a chat. if none of this works try bingo everyone loves bingo but you may find it stimulating not relaxing. remember with sundowning you have to make it enjoyable, and relaxing so the residents will sleep when they go to bed. I also found that some quiet things like knitting and crocheting and helping with the evening chores for some residents will work. We all have an evening routine your job is to work the residents out and cater to their needs not the staffs. some men like to watch the evening news some DR Who some the evening comedey hour once you can work this out sundowning can be very easy for everyone.
Pauline 13th Jan 2014 Activity Officer

Forum

hi everyone how did you manage to get resident participation in animal vegetable and minerals game over the years every time i have tried to do this my residents refuse to participate stating it is the silliest and demeaning game they have ever played so i stopped doing it. one that has worked for me in quiet times though is giveing the residents word games to do in their rooms if they don't want to come out as a group due to the heat. encourage reading and crafts while they sit quietly i have also taught male residents to use their computers.
Pauline 13th Jan 2014 Activity Officer

Forum

Kate please don't feel too bad about this it is not you it is usual at this time of year' remember your residents have been with their families over christmas new year, it is hot and they are tired so watching tv in their rooms is what they want to do remember how you feel on a hot day and for them it is twice as bad. I used to complete a couple of 1-1 visits during this time and then catch up on some of that much needed paperwork. The residents will let you know when they are ready to put their time in for activities and believe it or not it is usually about the second week in february when the entertainers start coming back. pauline
Pauline 2nd Jan 2014 Activity Officer

Forum

Pamela,

try making some jigsaw puzzles of your own of things mum likes. Also ask her to knit or crochet something for you. I had residents who used to like and felt useful knitting and crochetint baby items for charity if this helps. One of your problems may be simply that she does not want leave your dad's side and he needs to encourage her to go and remind her that he will be there when he gets back. If this does not work due to them both having Dementia although you do not say what stages they are in maybe they could both go and then he leaves when she is activiely involved.
Pauline 2nd Jan 2014 Activity Officer

Forum

HI Alexis to my knowledge all there is left as rescourses for Australian Rescources is the Golden carers group and books from the australian section of B&s Books, The activity to go magazine seized publication in dec 2012 which was a very sad day and it is still needed by ao's today. This wonderfull magazine became the ao's bible until Golden Carer's came along. The other thing you could try is to ask your residents yes even the one's with dementia what they would like to do. I used to aske my residents every day morning and afternoon if the activity planned was the activity they wanted to do and if they did not want to do it we chose the one they did. Due to this reasoning I got to know my residents very well also their likes and dislikes, If more than one activity we would select two and take a vote and the winning one would take place and the residents knew that their activities of choice would come later. If possible at times I had residents sitting at different tables in groups participating in all activities of choice if they were things like reading, puzzles, folding and cards. pauline
Pauline 20th Dec 2013 Activity Officer

End of Year Message 2019

To the golden carers team, thanks for your support during 2013 and I hope this sight continues to be a voice in a lonely world for DTS, It is good good to know someone out there understands and supports us on a daily basis and assists us to with activity suggestions to try throughout the year. Have a merry christmas and even better new year.
Pauline 20th Dec 2013 Activity Officer

Forum

Jennifer I too walked away from an activity officers job this due to the same reason you did and I like you if staff recognised what we do on daily basis for each and every person we work with including staff the aged care system would be all the better for it. I know in my heart that I love my job and it was the hardest thing for me to do. But a time comes when the bullying, harrasment and work roll gets recognised instead of us being the kickboard for everyone in the industry to have a go at things will not change. The Dt association and managements all say they will support us but when crunch comes to crunch they don,t and do they realise if all the long term experienced activity officers keep leaving who will they able to draw on to help teach the newer ones that come along. I really would love to go back to another position in this industry but as they have created so much stress and heartache in my life I don,t know when that will be. So to everyone in the industry have a very merry christmas and an even better 2014.
Pauline 3rd Sep 2013 Activity Officer

Forum

Hi eloisie, you were not intruding on any conversation and feel free to say what is on your mind to any comments I may make.

The answer to your question is yes becoming a DT is a great job providing that is what the facility wants from you.

The current situation that is developing at the moment for all DTs that is not right, we are not classed as nurses nor do we have the insurance to cover us if we "god forsake us have an accident with a resident" as we cannot join the Nurses Union. Should a family decide to sue us, we need someone out there to come to our support as an industry and we have been left high and dry while the other departments in aged care have not.

All I am asking is that managers of a facility recognise this, I love the job and would like to return to it but there are not many jobs available for DT,s in the central coast area of NSW.

Please do not let my situation put you off the job as I repeat I have always loved the job and became Demetia Specific as a DT because of it.

I have also worked interstate in a facility that had good management and provided the activity with full support and carers that welcomed us on a daily basis and wanted to to do their side of the job and provide assistance when required.

I just got a bad deal this year with one facility closing down and another not working out due to them wanting too much done by the activity officer.

So please everyone out there look at the job descriptions that are out there when you apply for them and interview the facility when you get an interview not the other way around.

Being a DT is a wonderful career and very worthwhile if you are prepared to be there for everyone on a daily basis, I have been in it for 13 wonderful years and will recommend it anyone who asks me, but keep your eyes open and your wits about you as things are changing everyday and aged care is becoming a growing area amongst the staff in all areas for bullying and intimidation and if we keep this up no one will want to work in it anymore and what will happen to our wonderful elderly people in the future if this happens.

pauline
Pauline 26th Aug 2013 Activity Officer

Forum

As a long term activity officer in the industry I have been through the days when an AO was just a baby sitter.

I have watched the position grow over the years and worked side by side with all the staff I have worked with RN's, AIn's, Domestics & Cleaners even the dear old handyman & watched our position become an important role in the community, but never have I experienced the treatment that I have received in my latest facility.

The staff have no respect for the activity officers at all, nor do they wish to work with them in a brand new Dementia unit, they feel the unit should not be there and openly state on a daily basis that they have no time for the residents that live there.

I wish to point out to everyone that this is becoming common in many facilities as younger staff come into the workplace & bringing with it a bullying mentality within our industry that is getting out of control.

Please, Please can we turn back the clock a little and respect each other' position's as we are all working together to ensure our residents have the best quality of care we can give them.

I also enjoy 1-1 time feeding the residents, but as an activity officer I have a job to do and if I am working in the kitchen, completing nursing tasks, toileting, feeding, showering and serving meals, and cleaning up after them, where am I supposed to fit in the activities.

Just something for everyone to think about because this could become the future of an activity officer in many facilities and if I wanted to do this I would rather be paid for all of the above positions not just as an Activity Officer.

Also this situation has led me to resign from a job I have loved for many years due to the bullying and lack of respect and I fear the future's of the elderly residents who need us the most.

I am not going to leave the industry all together I would love to find another job with a facility & work with a real team who put their residents first.

Pauline
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