Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Music's Effects on the Elderly

As Activity Directors, we know that music is part of the program.  A recent study shows us even more that music is an essential part of our residents' quality of life.  To see more on this study, along with an accompanying video, click here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Beginning Again!

First let me apologize for being so long away from this blog.  
Second let me say I am back.  It might be slow going for awhile, but with a little luck, I will get this blog up and running properly.  
In the meantime, take a look at my other blogs and let me know what you think.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Host of Ideas Coming???

I just moved and in the process came across all my old Activity Director notes and books, etc. I am looking forward to getting things done here and then going through some of those notes to get ideas for you on this blog. Maybe it will bring this blog back to life. Whatdyathink???

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Something Really New!

New to me anyway! I just found this cool website. It is and you can go there and let it create word art from any piece of text you might want to put in. The link below is what it created in just seconds from the text on this blog. All I had to do was type in the URL for this blog and this is the art it came up with. This would be something fun to do with your residents because it gives you the opportunity to print out the resulting art. For example, if your residents have been working on life stories, copy and paste a few paragraphs into the text box at the wordle site and then see what word picture comes back. It would make a really cool cover for the book or scrap book they are writing. I am sure you could find other ways to use it as well. Give it a shot.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Time to Take a Big Breath?

Okay, Mother's Day is Sunday and the start of National Nursing Home Week. You are probably getting a bit stressed out about now because of all the busy-ness that is ahead of you next week. It's okay. We've all been there at one time or another if we are in the activities field. So, it's time to step back, take a big breath and relax for a little while. Oh I know. There's no time to relax right now. But that's just the point. Right now is the best time to take that time. It will help with making next week go much more smoothly. The more stressed you are right now about it, the more you need the time.

What kinds of things do you like to do to relax? It only takes a few minutes, or even longer if you like. You can go for a walk, go to the park and relax with the flowers and nature. You can take a long bubble bath with candles, soft music and your favorite bath oils. Whatever it is, do it. Even if it is just getting in a nap after work on Friday.

When I was taking my certification classes the instructor said the normal burn out rate for Activity Directors is 2 years. That meant that the average Activity Director didn't last in a specific position for more than 2 years at any one time. Isn't it interesting that a job that has so much fun involved would have such a burn out rate? I think it is because we spend all our time making sure everyone else is having a good time, and making sure that we are documenting it all, including trying to document why we think some are refusing to participate; then we are coming home and making sure our families are having a good time with their lives. But what about making sure we ourselves are having a good time with our lives? Why aren't we taking care of ourselves? And why wouldn't making sure we are relaxed and feeling confident before the busiest week of the entire year other than Christmas be a priority in our lives?

One of my acting theories while in my job as an Activity Director was to make sure the rest of the staff was also happy. I figured that happy staff makes for happy residents. So I did my best to spoil them with the same goodies that the residents got at parties, and trying to include them in brief periods in the scheduled activities so that they had at least a few moments each day to laugh and have a good time as well as bond with the residents. If you are doing this, it's a good thing. But the remaining question is...are you doing this for yourself as well?

Being an Activity Director can be such fun mixed with all the responsibilities involved. Combined with home responsibilities, as with any other job, it can be so much stress. So, sometimes during this week before National Nursing Home Week, stop and take that big breath. Relax and find a way to have some time to yourself, and/or some special fun time with your family. Forget about the coming week for awhile. And as I said in a previous post, find a way to celebrate Mother's Day in your own family.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mother's Day Is Coming

In addition to National Nursing Home Week, Activity Directors have Mother's Day to plan for. It is a busy week, that is for sure. Today I just want to share some of the Mother's Day ideas and activities I have been involved with in the facilities where I worked.

The most memorable Mother's Day activities I can think of right now was the Mother/Daughter "Tea" with entertainment we held annually for all the ladies of the facilities. The funny thing about it was how so many of the men would try to sneak inside the door to get to be part of the party. The entertainment and the layout of the facility was such that anyone just about anywhere in the main social areas could hear the music. But the men just loved trying to work their way into the crowd. Just like teenagers. Of course when Father's Day came around, the ladies were content to just sit around in the social areas and listen. None of them tried to sneak in.

I enjoy doing fund raisers. This same facility my entire budget depended on fundraising, which thankfully included a good chunk from United Way. When Mother's Day came around I had ordered a bunch of cute coffee mugs and mylar balloons from places like Oriental Trading. I made decorative candy and coffee mug balloon bouquets for resident families or staff members to order for mother's day gifts. They made a lot of good money for the activity fund.

This blog is supposed to be more for relaxing than for work. The majority of Activity Directors in long term care facilities seem to be women. What kinds of ways do you celebrate Mother's Day in your families? What would you like to be able to do for your mother or grandmother? Or, are you a mother or grandmother who will be center stage on that special day? What have been your most memorable Mother's Days? I hope with all the busy-ness of these next few weeks as you prepare for National Nursing Home Week, that you find ways to take some time out for yourself to relax and enjoy a little time to yourself. And don't forget to have some fun.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spring Idea

These two pictures show something I did at one of the facilities where I worked to brighten up an area where the residents sat visiting before meals. The flowers are the artificial ones you can get at WalMart. The fencing is actual yard fencing you would use in your own real flower gardens...also bought at WalMart. It was a challenge to get the fencing and flowers to stay in place. First I stapled the flowers to the wall at the bottom, also using some packaging tape where necessary. Then to get the fencing to stay in place I used flower bulletin board boarder woven in and out of the fence stakes and stapling the border to the wall. The one corner closest to the dining room entrance kept falling down, and every morning while it was in place, I would have to re-staple in places where it had come loose overnight. But the residents loved the bright colorful flowers and it gave them all the feeling of being outside on their front porch. If I remember correctly, the rainbow was made from tissue paper. If you have an area where something like this might work, maybe you could incorporate it into your National Nursing Home Week Celebration.