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Activity Director From Iowa, United States

About Niki: I have been in the activity department for 5 &1/2 years and just recently became an Activity Director about a month ago!

38 Comment

Nori 23rd Feb 2021 Activity Director


Wondering if any of you have experience with using digital signage in your facility? If you have it, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you don't, think of those TV/Computer screen menus many restaurants now use, or else imagine your old "local access" TV channel with still images rather than video.
Specifically, I am asking:
-Does your facility use software "in house" or stored in the cloud?
-What software do you use?
-Who "controls" content (activity department, management, dietary department, etc.)?
-Do you use TVs or computer monitors?
-Do you LIKE using digital signage? What are the benefits for your activity program? What are the drawbacks?
Thank you in advance to anyone who responds!
Nori 20th Jul 2020 Activity Director

20 Creative Ways to Hydrate the Elderly in Senior Care

Wow, these suggestions are just great! Hydration is SO important, and anything we can do to encourage water intake is fantastic. Thank you!
Nori 8th Apr 2020 Activity Director

15 Exercise Program Alternatives for Senior Care

Great ideas! Thank you so much!

I work in an Assisted Living Facility, so my tenants are able to move on their own or with a walker/cane.

I've had success with:
1. Hallway exercises (traditional stretches, marching in place, etc.)
2. Hallway dance party (bring a little speaker with 1950's & 1960's dance music, shout out the dance move ("now try the Twist!"), etc.)
3. Hallway children's songs with actions sing-along (I'm a Little Teapot, The Wheels on the Bus, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, etc.)
4. Hallway guided walks/hikes (choose a location/monument, walk/march in place to the location while I describe it ("The waterfall is rushing past, can you feel the cool breeze and the spray?"), high-step over barriers ("Oh, there's a fallen log across our path, let's lift our knees to get over it"), etc.

Right now, I have "Hallway Exercises" scheduled M/W/F for 15 minutes down each of our 4 hallways during the 9am hour: Apartments 1-8 at 9am, Apartments 9-16 at 9:15am, etc. I set a timer for 12-13 minutes each session so I don't run late. I arrive in the hall, knock on doors to remind everyone, and then participants sit/stand outside their doorway to do the exercises.

My facility is also lucky enough to have a rather large Multi-purpose Room that we normally use for Church services, music performances, etc. Since we're not allowing large groups to gather, nor outside performers/presenters in the facility, I can let small groups of tenants use the room for enjoying indoor/outdoor games like Cornhole/Bags, Bocce, Indoor Golf Putting, Ping-Pong, Bowling, etc. Even inexpensive children's activities like bubble-blowing, plastic beach balls, etc. work pretty well. Of course, everything must be sanitized and tenants must wash their hands, wear masks, stay at least 6 feet apart, etc., but at least it gets people moving.
Nori 22nd Jan 2020 Activity Director

15 Goals for Your Activity Program

Wow! This article is very helpful. I agree: goals can be a wonderful way to refresh your activity program.
In my limited experience, I have found that it is helpful to have a person with whom you can discuss your goals. I visit with a friend who occasionally volunteers at my facility to get her feedback on my ideas/plans/goals. She will ask questions and offer suggestions that usually help make things go more smoothly. For example, if I say, "I'd like to encourage tenants to play more games," she might respond with, "What kind of games? How often will they play? Are the games self-directed?" This helps me to understand that my goal is a good one, but it is too broad and difficult to reach without further refinement.
(Not the best example, but you get what I mean).
Nori 7th Jul 2018 Activity Director


Zoe Cordwell's youtube channel has some wonderful seated chair zumba with both old and new tunes!
Nori 7th Jul 2018 Activity Director


A friend of mine who formerly coached college and high school basketball was more than happy to work with some of my tenants when they wanted a "pool" for basketball tournaments. Perhaps you could ask a local coach to help? Here in the USA we have sports-themed bars and restaurants that often create just the type of boards you're asking about. Do you have a similar local establishment? Maybe someone from there could help you and your tenants.
Nori 7th Jul 2018 Activity Director


Wish I lived in Sydney (for many reasons, actually) so I could use this great list!
Another suggestion is to send an email invitation to schools, churches, community clubs, etc. at the "beginning" of their year (August/September for us here in the US) and encourage teachers, pastors, and leaders to consider your facility when looking for rehearsal or gathering spaces. For example, I send an email to the secretary of our local college's music department, who forwards my message to all faculty. I usually say something to the effect of "If you have a student or group who would like to rehearse before an audition or recital, please consider our facility!" I usually get 5-7 concerts per year this way. Community clubs who need a meeting space have also agreed to give a presentation or talk for our tenants in exchange for using our meeting room in the evenings.
Nori 7th Jul 2018 Activity Director


Jomar, what do you mean by "Activity Recording"? I'd love to offer suggestions, but I'm not sure I understand what you're asking! :)
Nori 7th Jul 2018 Activity Director


Laurie, Morgan, and Solange all have amazing ideas, and I second them!
Nori 17th May 2018 Activity Director


Hello everyone! I am interested in setting up a trolley or cart with which to offer my Assisted Living Tenants a kind of convenience store where they can purchase snacks, laundry detergent, postage stamps, etc. Has anyone else done this (or something similar)? What has been your experience?