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Everything posted by AggieTiff
  1. Thank you all for such valuable input and advice. I am going to be very brief as it is 8pm and I am still at work trying to get caught up on budget and other activity admin things. I was out most of the day AGAIN doing Dr runs and transporting one resident to a HAIR CUT. I question this everytime it is on the tranport schedule and am told "yes, we do this". So here I am still at work....BUT good news....I got approved for 10 hours a week for a driver. Now I have to find someone who needs a 10 hour a week job and has a CDL. But I am VERY happy for what I can get....baby steps, ya know? Also, an Aide or other staff MUST go with me for any outings. I had the best helper today that I have ever had and I told her so... She was called in special for the day to help me. It is a company policy to have another member of staff on the bus so THANK GOD I had that in writing to back me up. Thanks again and I will try to update on how everything is working out. Tiffany
  2. Thanks so much for the input. And MICKI, I like your way of thinking. I might have to do that. I already go into overtime, most of the time when I drive...and in my opinion they are paying too much for a driver in those cases...LOL. It is not the driving I mind but it is hurting our activity program. I feel silly driving to an appt and sitting there with nothing to do when I could be better serving the residents with activitites. Thanks. Tiffany
  3. I am trying to see if this is something other activity directors do. In my community this responsibility is mine and it takes me out of the building several times a week. If it is a normal activity director responsibility...ok, I will deal with it in my own way....but I know that most in my area have other drivers that do this and the Activity Director only drives on Activity Outings. I know that these appts are neccessary and I am not questioning that. The question is if it is the Activity Director's responsiblity. Please let me know what your experience is in this regard. Thanks, Tiffany PS I know I asked this before but it was in a post slightly related. I would like to get more input.
  4. Do most activity directors have the responsibility of running residents to Dr Appts and being their spokesperson, if they are unable to? Since our Driver quit that has fallen to me and I do not like it. I have mised events and activities and I think it is demeaning to my job. (not to mention hurting residents because some activities take someone with know how). All of the other ADs I know have drivers so this is not part of their job, and when I started here we had a driver but since she quit it is ME!!! I feel for you not getting everything done because of being spread too thin. Thanks, Tiff
  5. I am taking Natalie's class right now in Richardson, Texas. We will have our third class Friday. I look forward to attending every week. Natalie is a wonderful instructor. Have fun, Tiff
  6. There is a series out that you can get from S&S, and probaby Nasco, as well, called Reminiscing. The CDs have the songs with and without lyrics. Also, we use the "Reflections" series you can find in the candle dept at Wal Mart and target. We love Name That Tune but only play once or twice a month. Tiffany
  7. I found my current position on monster.com, the previous one was through the company I was already working with as an Activity Director. My very first AD position I found in the local newspaper. You never know where you will see a posting. I applied for one once that was posted in our local alternative free paper. Networking never hurts, either. I took a business / marketing course in college, that my Dad insisted on and I thought was a bunch of wasted time as I never wanted to go into a "business" type of field....but the most important thing I learned was how to network and I use that almost everyday. Monster.com is a great site on tips on how to interview, research a company you are interested in, and resume writing. It is never a bad idea to take a continuing education course on things like this. careerbuilder.com monster.com jobs.com (I think that is one) your local colleges career center networking with your classmates from the AD cert class VOLUNTEERING, a great way to network and get experience maybe joining your local AD group (and the national one, too) Hope this helps. Tiff
  8. I tried to add my "vote" and it said I already voted...mine was "other" because there was not an option for college degree non certified (but am working on it and taking the class starting Friday...whoo hoo). Thanks, Tiff
  9. We have a "no scrubs" policy where I work, however this idea can go for anything that is sold in the building. When any vendors come to make a profit they should give something back. Gift and Jewlery shows, clothing vendors, Mary Kay....whatever. Money or a gift to the building. The scrubs idea is a great one, that is something that is needed and sometimes required. I am going to pass this on to my mom who is a Director of a childrens day care center where they are required to wear scrubs in the baby and todler classes. Thank you for sharing. Tiff
  10. We have a pretty good activity budget...but it is really never enough. I want my residents to have the best of everything. One of the things I have learned is that some of the Hospice groups will donate alot. We have one marketing rep from a Hospice that calls and just askes what I need or what she can do for me. we get bday cakes, ice cream, plastic wear, bingo prizes...whatever. They are trying to get business from you so they are usually ooen to scratching your back so to speak. Also, charitable organizations will donate more than their time. We have a mom and daughter group that spend alot of time here and they have just valled this week to ask what we need. They are donating a tea set for our afternoon teas. They have also donated differnt holiday supplies. And families and a great resource. I do not like to ask too much from the families because they are already paying good money for their loved one to be here but if they ask...well I am not shy. It is not for me, afterall, it is for the residents. I love to get anything for free so I do not hesitate to accept anything. Also, I ask for alot of discounts when I go shopping. I play a guilt card with the merchants. Good luck and have fun. Tiffany
  11. What is your name? Tiffany What is your occupation? Director of Activities and Volunteers of an Assistd Living and Alzheimers community, Marketing Director of a Consulting and Admin Firm that my family owns. •What are you listening to right now? Frank Sinatra • What was the last thing you ate? Handful of M and Ms from our BINGO prize box...who has time for lunch? LOL •Do you wish on stars? Sometimes •If you were a crayon, what color would you be? I would be a Rainbow Crayon •How is the weather right now? HOT heat advisory all day but pretty sky •Last person you spoke to on the phone? Car Dealer (still haggleing) •How old are you today? 32 •Favorite drink? Non-alcohol:Dr Pepper Alcohol: Grey Goose Martini...Dirty •Favorite sport(s) to watch? Football, baseball, whatever....as long as it is live and in person. •Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes •Do you wear contacts or glasses? supposed to wear glasses but cant see where I put them •Pets? at home: 2 spolied cocker spaniels (Dixie Lee and Delta Dawn), a fluffy crazy cat (Belle Star) At the community (I am the one responsible for her care) a droopy eared, sad eyed, but silly as all get out Basset Hound (Dolly) •Favorite month? I seem to find something I like and get excited about something in every month. •Favorite food? depends on mood.... I just like to eat. •What was the last movie you watched? Casino for the millionth time, new movie was Mr and Mrs Smith...SEXY!!!! •Favorite day of the year? this changes depending on what is coming up next....but I like 4th of July and Christmas....and Halloween and my birthday and...and... •Fall or Spring? Both •When was the last time you cried? I don’t know •What did you do last night? Hassled with a dealer for a new convertable. Watched CSI NY •What inspires you? a resident who trys and keeps an open mind. We have a lady who will be 101 and she just has a grand time with a great sense of humour. I love it!!!! •What are you afraid of? Rats, mice, rodents •Favorite car? Escalade, 1977 - 1980 Mecedes 560sl Convertable, T-Bird (old and new but want an old one so darn bad...) Honda Accord (gotta be realistic...) •Favorite dog breed? I love all dogs but I esp love Cockers and Bassets •How many years at your current job? 7 months here (about 16 months as a paid activity director and YEARS as a volunteer activity provider) •How many states have you lived in? 1 Texas •How many cities/towns have you lived in? Dallas and College Station, Texas
  12. This is interesting. I would love to hear more about this. I have worked with mental health in the past...just children on a one on one basis. This must be very challenging. Good luck to you. Tiff
  13. I sure hope I spelled that right...LOL. I am in a venting mood. I was a theatre major and actress and have grown up in the theatre and around artsy people...so I am used to Divas and to tell the truth, I can be one myself....BUT....these entertainers who come in and want to pick at everything just really chaps me. I love all of the ladies and gents who come in and entertain us...for the most part... But there is one every now and then that wants to BE PAID, borrow our equipment, and for me to get it ready for them. My Aunt owns an entertainment agency based in nashville. She has entertainers all over the world and even the ones who are VERY successful (not just on the retirment home circut) are responsible for setting up their own shows (or have roadies). The space is not good enough, the dog bothered them, the chair was not right....To tell the truth, maybe THIS HOME is just not right for them. Here is the problem...the residents liked them :roll: But then again they like EVERY entertainer that come here...LOL. I am very hospitable to everyone who comes to our home, entertainers, therapists, families, volunteers....whoever walks in the door...so I am not saying I will do nothing for them but come on.... Ok...venting over and now I feel much better. Tiff
  14. Hi, We had a senior olympic themed idea last year durring the Olympics. I was working with Independant Living, at the time. we had a blast. I found a big bag of summer type games at wal mart on clearance since summer was winding down (v-ball, pool games, horse shoes and other things like that for 5 bucks!!!) I just set up these games and we all had fun. Throughout the fun we had a snow cone machine going, hot dogs, and nachos. Of course the food was a bigger hit than the fitness, food is always a hit, ya know. We had some set up outside in our activity courtyard, in the club room, and around our indoor pool. The food was set up ion the club room by the bar area. I miss the "space" I had at my .last job when I think about all of this stuff. LOL. Just relax and have fun. Good luck. Tiffany
  15. We have a very strong volunteer program, company wide. I have found that the best luck I have had is with National Volunteer Organizations, like the Junior Leage, National Charity League, Boys Club, college organizations, and the like....and also high school kids who need the hours for college apps and other requirements. The highschool kids like to wait until the last minute but I try to always have something for them to do...I just make sure I know their deadlines so I can know they MIGHT be stopping by. With the National Volunteer Organizations like the Junior Leage and such, you might not have the same individual volunteer for a long period of time (but usually you do)however you will have a commited group that will provide individuals....if that makes sense. I have volunteers that have really taken "ownership" of an activity. For example, one lady comes every week to do nail care. Another will come every Friday and have a craft club. We have a commited groups and individuals that do a tea party one saturday a month, 2 big bingo nights a month, bible studies every week, pie tasting once a month, gospel hour once a week. We just got a commitment to be a chosen philanthrapy for the Young Mens Service Leage Chapter in our area and they are doing a lot on Saturdays (when I am not here) and Wednesdays (when I take another group on outings). They will host our Ice Cream Socials on Wednedays, Snack Shack Socials on Saturdays, and do misc activities throughout the day. They are also helping me start a Men's Club. I will admit that we would not have the volunteer program that we have if it was not for these national groups. We do have many individual volunteers, and I am very thankful for them, but we get the required hours from the groups and it is less stressfull KNOWING they will be here each week / month. Also, with these National Organizations, we get quiet a bit of things donated...which saves on the Activity Departments Budget. The National Charity League donated and helped to host our annual Easter Egg Hunt, for example. We get volunteers and donations from the Hospice Providers, as well. We have a Volunteer Orientation about every 3 months or whenever we get a big National Organization's commitment. The orientation consists of a tour, rules, and the like. We have our Alzhiemers Care specialist discuss her area and they watch a few videos about the disease. We have lessons on Communicating with Dementia and other related things. We go over the calendar and discuss opportunities and the activity program. This is usually an all day orientation and when it is complete the Volunteer is issued a Certificate of Completion and a Thank you gift. I am still a bit new to this company but I am very excited and serious about our volunteer program. I have always been an active volunteer, myself, with differnt National Womens Groups and my Sorrority while in school. As a matter of fact...it was with my own volunteer activitites that lead me to this profession. While my grandmother was in Assisted Living, following a stroke, there was NOTHING going on ... I do not even know if they had an Activity Director ... When I came home from school durring the summer and on weekends, I would plan things for her and her friends to do...then more people came....we had a great time. Good luck and have fun.... Tiff
  16. We have wonderful life skills centers in our Alzheimers Neighborhood. These are great for the residents to go to on their own or with staff. We have a nursery set up like "Grandmas Baby Sitting Service", a kitchen area (nothing dangerous), laundry room (folding and such with warm "just out of the dryer feel and smells"), Wedding vanity area, wood working (again, nothing dangerous), fishing, another vanity area with redhats for our Red Hat Society, teacher area with differnt teaching things in there....these are just an expample of the many area we have. We tried to think of things our residents did and careers they had. A lot of our ladies were the type to be into shopping and being pretty so the vanity are is a hit. We will go over and just talk about life as we try on hats and boas and scarfs. I have a lot of fun with them, myself. The wedding area brings back memories of their own wedding, or their childrens weddings, and such. Along with the lifeskill centers, we have lap bakets for those who do not get out of their rooms or just do not want to walk around to the differnt areas. These lap baskets help us bring the supplies to the resident. Our snoezelen room is also very nice and well used. We have a resident dog and cat and this is also goood for conversation starters. Reading, rolling up a ball of yarn, anything really....the conversation is the important part, in my opinion. Tiff
  17. The hardest part of my job is NOT being able to do the activities. We have meetings, conference calls, appts to run, volunteers to orient and recruit, supplies to buy, plans to make, newsletters to publish, calendars to publish, marketing, hospital visits, entertainers to book, budgets to establish and maintain, networking, bla bla bla....bla bla bla...you get the idea ;-) :-o There is a reident here that is very vocal about thinking that I do NOTHING around here because I am not leading the activity, calling bingo, or whatever. Whe is always telling me that I am the Activity Director but I never do my job....I always deligate it out. I can not argue with her because there are days that this is true. I also can not argue with her because I agree with her. I try to make a joke out of it by saying "I know...all I want to do is play BINGO and they are making me go to another meeting". I know that my role is what it is and I can not pend the day playing games and such but I still WANT to. Another thing is that it is company policy that our care managers do the activities. If I have a spare minute I play bingo with them or excersise with them (as the are manager leads it). Also, I implimented a program where all of the Department Heads (and anyone else who would like to...ex the beautician) lead at least one activity a month. I make sure I am always the one to go on any outing with either of our neighborhoods so that I at leaste get to spend that time with them. There are times that I think I would be happier as an assistant so that I would get to spend more time with the residents. I know I will not go backwards in my career but sometimes I do daydream....LOL. Just a vent....I will get over it. Tiff
  18. HI, I am searching for a pet therapy group in Dallas or Plano, TX (or surrounding areas). I would like to have a group come to visit on a regular basis and also to have our house dog trained and certified. I did a search and did not come up with anything. We just got our dog on Monday and I want her to have the best training. The residents just love her and she fits in well, so far. She is a 2 year old sweet as pie basset hound. They named her "Dolly". She loves all of her new Grannies and Grandpas and we want her to mind all of her manners so training is in order. Any help? I will be very thankful. Tiffany
  19. For our family event, we have a band coming called "the kings of swing" and they will play...swing type of music and songs from their time. We are making it an elegant coctail type of party with hordorves (I know this is not spelled right but can not find my dictionary :roll: ), wine, etc and lots of dancing. The theme is "swing into spring". This is my first family event with this place and I am very excited for this to go well. Good luck with yours, I am sure you will have a great time. Tiffany
  20. I work in an Assisted Living and Alzheimer's Care in Dallas, TX. There are 70+/- residents. I have been an AD for almost a year (have worked with senior and develomentally challenged people for years). My first position as an AD was in Independant Living and I made 11 an hour, part time. A place owned by the same company hired me part time as an activity assistant and driver for the same pay...how can an assistant and a Director (even though it was the same person) make the same? Whatever, right... The job I have now with AL and Alzheimer's Care pays 15.50 an hour full time with wonderful benifits and education reimbursment. I do not have an assistant but we keep wonderful volunteers coming back every day and on weekends (coordinating volunteer schedules is a big part of my job). There is also a part time driver. We have activities 7 days a week and at night. The AL and Alzheimer's callendars are seperate. It is company policy that EVERYONE, aides, directors, ....everyone.... do activities. Even the OT and PT do activitiies. Everyone has a special talent, right? I have found this to be the hardest part of my job. I personally like to do the activities myself but have supplies to order, paperwork, outings, entertainers to book, research to do on future activities, networking with ither ADs for ideas, department head meeting to sit thru (even if they have NOTHING to do with your department), family councels and support groups to hold, and so on.... not to mention different activities going on at the same time so everyone is doing something and one on one visits and such. I am not complaining. I do not want to leave at the end of the day, I like being here, as I am sure we all do. I think it is very disrespectful that an aide would speak to a director in such a way...to call you lazy. Would that aide talk to the Healthcare Director or the Exec Director that way? I never think that I am above anyone but professional respect and courtesy should always be shown. I would never call an aide lazy, I know all of the work they do...I was an aide at one time. I would respect his / her position just as he /she should respect ours. If that person "I wish I could get paid to do crafts or play games"...well get off your tail end and do what needs to be done to get a job as an Activity Professional....but be assured that you will get a job doing so much more than "crafts or play games". Tiff
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