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LaineyBeth

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About LaineyBeth

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  1. I guess I am blessed--my facility doesn't have that negativity. I work in an IL/AL facility too--and here are a couple things I have learned: 1) The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Remember that just because "some residents" said it, it could just be one person who was having a bad day or bummed because they didn't get the raffle. 2) If you are new, you still don't know which staff people you can trust. Maybe the staff person is just blowing something up or just wants to see how far they can push you. Maybe they loved the last person and are taking it out on you. 3) For the most part, if you try hard, do it with a smile, and stay positive, so will everyone else. Remember, your attitude affects everyone else. The happier you are with an activity, and the more fun you have, the better it will go for eveyone else. So, have fun, forget the glitches--they always happen and there is nothing that can prevent that. 4) There will always be someone trying to ruin your day or make you feel badly about yourself. They only win if you let them. When you are enthusiastic and cheerful some people see it as fake and try to change it. Don't let them! Just keep at it. At some point there will be criticism. Take it and learn from it. I bet 99.9% of your residents loved your activity. Feed on that--NOT the negative! If there is negative, take it and find someway to make it positive. You are doing great--keep that in mind. Blessings--LB
  2. Diana-- I agree that a volunteer's own drive is a big determinant. Wasn't it Dr. Charles Swindoll who said its all about attitude. However I have found the other factors that impact volunteers include: level of staff support, finding the right activity for the right volunteer, and sometimes just plain luck. Most of my volunteers come when I cannot be here--nights and weekends, and if the staff here doesn't help me by helping the volunteers, things go crazy. I had one pet therapy volunteer have to go to another facility because a staff member would go so far as to ask residents not to come out and see her and the dog. Also, if you have the volunteer doing something they don't enjoy, they won't be motivated to stay. Taking time with them in the beginning to figure out their interests helps me there. Also, my ability to connect with them seems to make a difference. So, although I agree that attitude is the number one determinant of how good a volunteer will be, I think there are other factors as well! --LB
  3. My favorite piece of junkmail is the advertisements to the amusement parks. Yes, I can see my 95 year old residents on the looping rollercoaster! LOL! --LB
  4. At my facility staff are not allowed to take anything from residents. That includes candy and in this case would include cigarettes. (Its really hard to say no to a peppermint.) Can you imagine how many more cigarettes that resident will have to buy to keep you supplied too? Plus at some point she may think if she doesn't offer you one you won't take her outside. Even though that is in no way the case. I would just be wary of taking anything from residents. They will expect certain favors, or other residents might start offering you thinks trying to get special treatment. Just be careful! --LB
  5. Your situation must be tough, but my incidence of resident gossip is much funnier! I had a resident come to me in tears and ask me when my last day was. The rumor had gotten out that I had quit. She just couldn't stand to see me go, and why was I abandoning them? As soon as I calmed her down, I reassured her that I was not leaving! I had four or five more residents through out the day ask me if I was leaving and about 20 say something like, "You wouldn't ever leave us would you?" I never felt more appreciated in my life! --LB
  6. A collegue of mine went to an inservice on it last year. The information she passed along to me listed this as the resource www.myersresearch.org. From a Dr. Cameron J. Camp. My coworker thought that it was a great idea and said that the training gave her some great ideas! Hopefully that helps! --LB
  7. I know what you mean--we always seem to give the same bags, pens, lunch bags, clocks....the list goes on and on. My facility just celebrated 40 years and we gave these beautiful silver key chains--they were cheap too. Or what about plants? The begonias should be pretty and cheap around the end of April. Then its a lasting memory--they can plant it. Might be more work for you having to pick them up but it might work. Good Luck! Let us know if you get any great ideas! --LB
  8. I love Publisher, and I couldn't live without it! I make my calendar on legal sized paper and my copier can blow it up to 11x17. I get 5-7 activities on it a day. (If you can print directly to your copier, then you can just make it in 11x17 though.) Plus my calendar is two sided, presented like a book with a fold in the middle. The front is a cover, the inside is my calendar and the back is for transportation and things that happen regularly. Good luck! --LB
  9. Well, I am at an IL/AL center, and although I swear there is more sex here than in any college dorm, I usually don't see it. (We are still a very conservative, church related facility!) However, yesterday we were packing up our library, which will soon be moved to a new location. And guess what I found on the shelves--Joy of Sex. Let me tell you how suprised I was! A resident looked over my shoulder smiled and said, "What a good book. That really brings back memories!" Smiles, I am glad that they still are active enough to have all the pleasures anyone has! --LB
  10. Sounds like a lot of fun! It would also be good sharing--ie those with macular degeneration or other sight problems would be really good at it and those w/o visual impairments could empathize with the others. We also do something kind of similar, but we call it getting to know you. I give each participant a survey. (What floor are you on, how many children do you have, where did you grow up, what did you do for a living, etc) Then I read the answers to the questions, but not the names. The residents have to guess who the person I'm speaking of is. They LOVE this one! It really helps people get to know each other. Even without serving food I average 80 residents a session! But I for one say GO FOR IT! Good luck and tell us how it goes! --LB
  11. Also, what about the length of time? I have found that almost no activities work well that last over an hour! You said they were having fun for a half hour, ate, then left! My residents get really tired after about an hour. Plus they have to use the restroom, etc. Whats important is that the volunteers know they were appreciated! As long as they understand that the hour they spent was important, thats what mattered! Any time at all makes a difference! I understand how that feels though--its terrible when things don't go as planned. But, you live and learn! Better luck in the future --LB
  12. My residents love our spelling bee too! I did a couple things. First of all, if you subscribe to Creative Forcasting, they have a list of spelling bee words in each issue. I also did an internet search on "spelling bees" or "commonly misspelled words" and I got some great words. (I needed to find harder ones, my residents were too smart! :-D ). Another place would be Miriam Webster Online has commonly misspelled words. Good luck--spelling bees are a blast! Do you play them competitively? My residents get really bored when we do that, so we just go around and let everyone spell. I thought they would miss the competition that way, but they actually prefer it--that way everyone can participate! --LB
  13. Hey-- I'm also a coordinator in an IL. Thankfully I only have 200 residents to myself! I can't fathom planning for 380!!! I really liked Pennie's suggestions. To add--have you gone to your resident council? Or better yet--do you have an activities/entertainment committee? I get lots of my best ideas directly from the residents themselves! Also, with the languague barriers, do you print your calendar/signs in other languages? Maybe communication is a problem! Also, have you tried different times or days of the week! A lot of times I will put something at a bad time for residents (like scheduling ANYTHING on senior discount days at the grocery store! LOL!) IL is a wonderful and rewarding place to be, but sometimes (for me at least!) its hard to remember that these people still have real, meaningful, and FULL lives! They don't always have time to come to a party or play a game! (but since I planned it they should make time--right?) Smiles--anyway, I guess the point I'm trying to make is keep your chin up! 75 is still a big crowd! Good luck! --LB
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