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Pennie

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Posts posted by Pennie
 
 

  1.  
    Do you have questions about infection control procedures?  questions about masks, gowns, respirators, gloves and visiting room to room?
    This document outlines the Guidelines CMS.gov has issued to State Surveyors concerning State Inspections For Nursing Homes During the COVID-19 Outbreak.   F-880
    Take a minute to read the document and Print out Pages 10-28, the Nursing Home Checklist Tools, to help you evaluate your facility. 
     

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    Activity Directors Network

    Activity Director Course - Next MEPAP Starts April 7th
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    COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers
     
    A.D.N. will continue to provide updates from CMS to keep you informed. The following portions has been extracted from CMS bulletin to highlight areas of immediate concern to you – please see the following link for the full article.
     
    The following blanket waivers are in effect, with a retroactive effective date of March 1, 2020 through the end of the emergency declaration. For general information about waivers, see Attachment A to this document. These waivers DO NOT require a request to be sent to the 1135waiver@cms.hhs.gov mailbox or that notification be made to any of CMS’s regional offices.
     

    Long-Term Care Facilities and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) and/or Nursing Facilities (NFs)
    • 3-Day Prior Hospitalization. Using the authority under Section 1812(f) of the Act, CMS is waiving the requirement for a 3-day prior hospitalization for coverage of a SNF stay, which provides temporary emergency coverage of SNF services without a qualifying hospital stay, for those people who experience dislocations, or are otherwise affected by COVID-19. In addition, for certain beneficiaries who recently exhausted their SNF benefits, it authorizes renewed SNF coverage without first having to start a new benefit period (this waiver will apply only for those beneficiaries who have been delayed or prevented by the emergency itself from commencing or completing the process of ending their current benefit period and renewing their SNF benefits that would have occurred under normal circumstances).
    • Reporting Minimum Data Set. CMS is waiving 42 CFR 483.20 to provide relief to SNFs on the timeframe requirements for Minimum Data Set assessments and transmission.
    • Staffing Data Submission. CMS is waiving 42 CFR 483.70(q) to provide relief to long-term care facilities on the requirements for submitting staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal system.
    • Waive Pre-Admission Screening and Annual Resident Review (PASARR). CMS is waiving 42 CFR 483.20(k) allowing states and nursing homes to suspend these assessments for new residents for 30 days. After 30 days, new patients admitted to nursing homes with a mental illness (MI) or intellectual disability (ID) should receive the assessment as soon as resources become available
    • Physical Environment. CMS is waiving requirements related at 42 CFR 483.90, specifically the following:
    - Provided that the state has approved the location as one that sufficiently addresses safety and comfort for patients and staff, CMS is waiving requirements under § 483.90 to allow for a non-SNF building to be temporarily certified and available for use by a SNF in the event there are needs for isolation processes for COVID-19 positive residents, which may not be feasible in the existing SNF structure to ensure care and services during treatment for COVID-19 are available while protecting other vulnerable adults. CMS believes this will also provide another measure that will free up inpatient care beds at hospitals for the most acute patients while providing beds for those still in need of care. CMS will waive certain conditions of participation and certification requirements for opening a NF if the state determines there is a need to quickly stand up a temporary COVID-19 isolation and treatment location.
     
    - CMS is also waiving requirements under 42 CFR 483.90 to temporarily allow for rooms in a long-term care facility not normally used as a resident’s room, to be used to accommodate beds and residents for resident care in emergencies and situations needed to help with surge capacity. Rooms that may be used for this purpose include activity rooms, meeting/conference rooms, dining rooms, or other rooms, as long as residents can be kept safe, comfortable, and other applicable requirements for participation are met. This can be done so long as it is not inconsistent with a state’s emergency preparedness or pandemic plan, or as directed by the local or state health department.
     
    • Resident Groups. CMS is waiving the requirements at 42 CFR 483.10(f)(5), which ensure residents can participate in-person in resident groups. This waiver would only permit the facility to restrict in-person meetings during the national emergency given the recommendations of social distancing and limiting gatherings of more than ten people. Refraining from in-person gatherings will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    • Resident roommates and grouping. CMS is waiving the requirements in 42 CFR 483.10(e) (5), (6), and (7) solely for the purposes of grouping or cohorting residents with respiratory illness symptoms and/or residents with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and separating them from residents who are asymptomatic or tested negative for COVID-19. This action waives a facility’s requirements, under 42 CFR 483.10, to provide for a resident to share a room with his or her roommate of choice in certain circumstances, to provide notice and rationale for changing a resident’s room, and to provide for a resident’s refusal a transfer to another room in the facility. This aligns with CDC guidance to preferably place residents in locations designed to care for COVID-19 residents, to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 to other residents
     
    Home Health Agencies (HHAs)
    • Requests for Anticipated Payment (RAPs). CMS is allowing Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to extend the auto-cancellation date of Requests for Anticipated Payment (RAPs) during emergencies.
    • Reporting. CMS is providing relief to HHAs on the timeframes related to OASIS Transmission through the following actions below:
    - Extending the 5-day completion requirement for the comprehensive assessment to 30 days.
    - Waiving the 30-day OASIS submission requirement. Delayed submission is permitted during the PHE. 13
    • Initial Assessments. CMS is waiving the requirements at 42 CFR §484.55(a) to allow HHAs to perform Medicare-covered initial assessments and determine patients’ homebound status remotely or by record review. This will allow patients to be cared for in the best environment for them while supporting infection control and reducing impact on acute care and longterm care facilities. This will allow for maximizing coverage by already scarce physician and advanced practice clinicians and allow those clinicians to focus on caring for patients with the greatest acuity.
    • Waive onsite visits for HHA Aide Supervision. CMS is waiving the requirements at 42 CFR §484.80(h), which require a nurse to conduct an onsite visit every two weeks. This would include waiving the requirements for a nurse or other professional to conduct an onsite visit every two weeks to evaluate if aides are providing care consistent with the care plan, as this may not be physically possible for a period of time. This waiver is also temporarily suspending the 2-week aide supervision by a registered nurse for home health agencies requirement at §484.80(h)(1), but virtual supervision is encouraged during the period of the waiver.
    Read Full Article
    Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to celestechase@activitydirector.org
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    Our MEPAP 1&2 Courses   2 Course Formats
    www.ActivityDirector.org - 1.888.238.0444
     
    Structured Class (16 Weeks) - Begins the First Tuesday of each Month
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    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
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  3. Here is an industrious undertaking..  UnityPoint Healthcare has provide a website with details for making a new modular mask, The Olson, named after 1930's legendary maker nurse Lyla Mae Olson.  The Mask was quickly developed by clinicians from UnityPoint Health and is being shared across the globe in the fight against COVID19

    St Lukes Hospitals are in short supply of masks.  

    UnityPoint Health has provided downloadable patterns, YouTube Videos, and complete instructions on how to Sew, Package and Send completed Masks to the St. Lukes Hospitals.

    ----------------
    https://www.unitypoint.org/cedarrapids/sewing-surgical-masks.aspx

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    Completed Masks

    • Enclose completed masks in a closed plastic bag or closed plastic box.
    • We will launder them prior to use so no need to wash before delivering.
    • Please deliver to the St. Luke's Foundation, 855 A Ave. NE,  1st floor, Cedar Rapids. Phone (319) 369-7716.

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    • Like 2

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    Article reprinted  with permission:

    QUARANTINE ACTIVITY GUIDE
    Posted on March 19, 2020 by
    ElderSong
    The COVID-19 coronavirus, which is sweeping across our nation, has certainly caused many of our usual activities and routines to cease. Our government is asking Americans to keep their distance and stay home in order to contain this devastating virus. For many of you, this means that your facility is on lock down. Family members may not be allowed to visit their loved ones. Your usual group activities may have had to halt for a time. Your members may be feeling anxious, worried, and unsure. In this time of uncertainty, we want to support you, the activity people. That's why we created this special edition activity guide to help support you and your group as our nation and world faces this pandemic. Below you'll find a list of one-on-one activities, as well as a few other non-traditional group activities to help you raise morale. Please adapt as needed. Let the other departments in your facility know your activity plans, and then follow your company's policies and procedures during this emergency.

    DAILY BOOST – There are so many good stories happening as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Look for a positive story to share with members as you visit room to room. Share a video you find on social media, an inspiring quote, or a heart-warming story. Speaking of boosts, be sure to share (with permission) positive stories that are happening in your community. With many people turning to social media, it's a great time to flood newsfeeds with positive stories and reassure family members that their loved ones are doing well.

    GO LIVE – Many institutes, celebrities, and programs are taking their talents live on social media in order to boost morale all over the world. Join the going-live movement and interview members of your community. The senior population has lived through WWII and has a lot of wisdom to offer the younger population. With permission, invite members to go live with you. Advertise ahead of time so that your audience knows when to tune in. Then, select members to discuss various topics, such as how they survived WWII, parenting suggestions for multiple children, tried-and-true recipes that use common ingredients, or other advice to help Americans through this crisis.

    REMINISCING – Now is a great time to reminisce with members about WWII or the Korean War. Questions to prompt discussion include: Where were you during most of the war? Did you or any family members serve? Where were they stationed? What was everyday life like? How did you stay updated regarding war efforts? What do you remember eating? What was rationing like and how did your family handle rations? How did you guide your young children through the wartime? How did you hear that the war was over? Do you remember where you were, or what you were doing or wearing? How long did it take for life to get back to normal after the war?

    IN-ROOM BINGO – Keep the fun going by offering in-room Bingo, especially if your members can't gather for usual activities. Copy your regular Bingo cards so that participants can use a pen to mark their individual cards, reducing the risk of spreading germs. Ask members to sit near their doors while you walk down the hallway, calling out the numbers. Play with just one wing at a time, and schedule other Bingo games for other hallways, so that everyone has a chance to play. If your facility has an in-house TV channel, put the numbers on the screen and ask participants to tune in to the appropriate channel.

    HALLWAY SING-ALONGS – Boost morale with a hallway sing-along. Gather participants to their doors and play their favorite sing-along music. Encourage members to sing-along or just enjoy listening to the voices of their neighbors.

    ZIPLOCK CRAFTS – Sort through your craft supplies and create individual crafts that members can do in their rooms, or that you can do one-on-one with them. Include all the supplies needed, such as glue sticks, stickers, markers, etc. Be mindful of your participants and only give the kits to those who can follow instructions. Work one-on-one with those who need assistance. If you don't have a lot of supplies right now, copy adult coloring pages and encourage members to color in their room.

    CREATE A STAINED GLASS PANEL – Work one-on-one with members to create individual stained glass panels, then display them as a collective piece of artwork on your community's front windows to boost morale. You'll need contact paper, colored tissue paper in all sorts of colors, and black construction paper. Start by cutting a rectangular frame out of the construction paper, about 1/2 inch thick, as large as you want. Cut two pieces of contact paper the same size as your frame, but leave them whole (do not remove the center). With your participant, peel off one of the backings to the contact paper, laying it sticky side up on a table. Place the black frame on top of the sticky side. Then, tear small sections of the tissue paper and ask the participant to arrange it how they desire. Fill the entire panel. Peel the backing off the second piece of contact paper and carefully place it on top, sealing the panel together. Make two panels with each participant. Secure one panel in the window of the participant so they can enjoy it. Use the second panel to create your community stained glass window.

    TAKE A VIRTUAL RIDE – Walt Disney World may be closed, but that doesn't mean that participants can't enjoy a virtual ride. Head over to Romper.com for links to rides. Then, share one-on-one and take the time to reminisce about thrill rides, amusement parks, Disney World, fairs, and more. Ask about their first roller coaster or theme park: What was the name of the ride or park? Where was it? Do you prefer rides that spin or rides that offer bigger thrills? How much did a ticket to their the park cost? Is it still open?

    TRAVEL TO A MUSEUM – In addition to virtual rides, many museums across the world are offering virtual tours. During one-on-ones, ask participants about their favorite museum and visit, virtually, with them. Use a laptop or tablet to share images. Reminisce about their travels to the museum: Who did you go with? What did you like most about it? What memories does this virtual tour evoke?

    TUNE IN LIVE – As mentioned above, many celebrities, artists, institutes and more are sharing free, live programs that you can share one-on-one with participants. Search on social media for art classes, book clubs, concerts and more. Then, schedule one-on-one visits according to individual participant preferences. For example, if you have someone who loves art, bring a drawing pad and pencil with you and follow along to a live drawing class. Someone who prefers reading might appreciate being a part of a virtual book club. It might take a little effort on your part to coordinate schedules, but it will be worth the great boost to morale.

    IN-HOUSE FITNESS – Keep participants active by offering in-house fitness classes. If you have an in-house TV channel, record a fitness video that can be shared over the TV. If you don't, invite participants to join in from their doorways, in smaller groups. Sit in the center so they can hear and see you, and lead them in a condensed version of your usual fitness classes. Then, move down the hallway and repeat with the next group. Be mindful of blocking the hallway; stand if necessary, so that you can quickly move out of the way if there is an emergency.

    ADVERTISE WAYS OTHERS CAN HELP – Turn to social media to share ways the community can support and encourage your group. If your facility permits, accept handmade cards or pictures from children. Distribute to participants, or display them throughout the hallways. If members have access to a balcony, perhaps a musical family could give a private concert while keeping a safe distance. If your facility is near a neighborhood, encourage families to walk by and wave to your participants. A little note or gesture could go a long way to boost morale during this pandemic.

    UTILIZE VIDEO CALLS – If you aren't already doing this, be sure to offer video calls so that participants can stay connected with their families. Provide members' families with information on how to request a video chat with their loved one. If participants have a smart phone, teach them how to make a video call during your one-on-one visits.

    SET UP A WINDOW VISIT BOOTH – For families who live locally, set up a window visit booth so that members can visit in person. Designate a certain window on the first floor where families can drop by to visit. Ask members to use their cell phones, or use a regular phone, being sure to follow proper disinfection protocol between users.

    MINDFUL MEDITATIONS – Help participants combat anxiety and fear by leading them through mindful meditations during your one-on-one visits. Start by instructing the participant to find a comfortable position in a chair or bed and close his or her eyes. Then read a guided meditation from your favorite resource. Use a Bluetooth speaker to play soft, calming music in the background. Properly disinfect the speaker after each room visit. (Some people with hearing loss may hear the meditation better without the background music.)

    BRING THE OUTSIDE IN – If members cannot get outside due to strict quarantine guidelines, bring the outside in for them to enjoy. Here are a few ideas you can do during one-on-one visits. Plant a window sill herb garden. Grow grass in a plastic basket for Easter. Give each member a small houseplant to take care of during the quarantine. Place bird feeders near windows to attract wildlife. Watch nature DVDs with participants or take a virtual hike through a national park. As spring arrives, take pictures and share with members.

    GRATITUDE JOURNALS – Give participants a small journal and encourage them to take a moment each day to write one thing they are grateful for. Encourage them to think of different, unique experiences or moments from that particular day, instead of writing the same thing each day.

    AFTER-THE-QUARANTINE BUCKET LIST – Start a running list of what participants are most looking forward to once life returns to normal. Display the list in your activity room or common space and update it whenever someone has a new idea. Once the pandemic subsides, be sure to cross off items as participants engage in the activity. Use the list to guide your future activity planning.

    SUPPORTING THOSE WITH MEMORY LOSS – Individuals with memory loss may be most susceptible to feeling anxious and afraid during this global pandemic. They might not understand why their loved ones aren't visiting, or may not comprehend the scope and severity of the coronavirus. The best way to support those with memory loss is to try to maintain some sense of routine and normalcy with them. Lead smaller groups if permitted. Take them for short walks in a safe area. Keep them busy by asking them to fold towels, sort items, or organize cabinets. Limit their access to the daily news. Read short stories with them and ease their anxiety through humor. Sit down and enjoy a cup of tea or decaf coffee with them. Encourage them to rest in the afternoon. Be mindful of your own feelings and conversations with other employees. Members with memory loss may not understand the global pandemic, but they will pick up on anxiety in conversations. Ask employees working with memory loss members to be present and to save certain conversations for the break room.

    A QUOTE TO INSPIRE YOU
    "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." ~ William James

    "Quarantine Activity Guide" was written by Erin McCart. Copyright 2020 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

    Reprint Policy: To reprint or republish all or portions of this entry, you must acquire written permission and agree to link back to the original source. Please contact us at newsletter@eldersong.com to obtain permission.
    Visit ElderSong
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    Disposable BINGO cards to help keep your facility safe.
    FREE BINGO Packs
    For the time being, we think it is best if you have all the help you can get free of charge. Please peruse our Member's Activity Database and take any inspiration you can from it to help you plan your days.
    Activity Database
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    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. Activity Directors are the key to creating environments that we ourselves would be excited to live in. We envision facilities that feel like homes, not institutions. Facilities that celebrate our resident's individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe providing the best education available, with the most talented teachers we can find, is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
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    Copyright © 2020 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351

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    • Like 1

  5. Hey All.. here is a unique way to get a scheduled Sing-A-Long activity on the calendar. Rob Crozier from Michigan, is a Sing-a-long entertainer in Senior care. He has put a demo of his program up on youtube. Schedule a Hallway Sing-A-Long for each afternoon at 3: I love it, Let me know what you think and contact Rob for more info on his program. We need a few days of song.. He seems like a hard working creative guy, Activity Director material... thanks Pennie

    ROB CROZIER ( ROBCROZIER123@GMAIL.COM )

    Website - Youtube Channel

    Hello,   I am an Ann Arbor, MI music professional with a specialty in sing a longs and senior entertainment.

    As you may know, musician gigs are all cancelled in Michigan.

    I was wondering if it would be possible to share the work that I'm doing with your community?

    I'm offering a full sing a long program for one month with unlimited use for $100 per facility.

    The video is ready as a Youtube link that can easily be played back like this demo: https://youtu.be/ZC4TiSqzxYg 

       As you may know all "Outside Entertainers" have been cancelled and as Senior Home Musicians we are trying to get creative.

    I’m worked out a new platform of "Online Entertainers" a Sing-A-Long YouTube Presentation video for a month’s use, perfect for scheduled activities several times throughout the month , great way to economize).

    You get to use it for a full month for $100. Are you interested in my Sing a Long youtube link?

    Let me know if you can put this to use. These videos take about 8 hours to record, edit, mix and upload. Just so you know that I’ve put some thought and hard work into this product.

    Feel free to send any feedback, or if you are running into hardship, you can pay whatever is affordable.

    Here is a demo: https://youtu.be/ZC4TiSqzxYg 

    All the best, Rob

    Website - Youtube Channel

    • Like 2

  6. Movie News ..   New Release Movies will change to "Video On Demand Programming" to help with Social Distancing.

     

    Universal - The Hunt, Ema and The Invisible Man  Goto "On Demand" on Friday.  Check your cable or satellite for days and prices.

    Trolls World Tour , still pending for working moms with kids home...

     

    https://news.google.com/articles/CAIiEB1HnokAxrRfqYh8Sct994IqFggEKg0IACoGCAowoPUEMKAjMP6Y1gU?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen

    • Like 1

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    HIPAA for Activity Directors
    Activities professionals deal with resident information on a personal level, including but not limited to: family issues, special requests from the resident, newsletter articles, etc. Without a doubt, there is a great deal of detailed personal information that must be monitored to prevent unintended disclosure.
     
    The following information will hopefully ease your mind about HIPAA regulations. That way, you will be able to have your calendars, banners, bulletin boards and posters, while being in full compliance with all of the regulations.
     
    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191, was enacted on August 21, 1996.

    It details standards for the electronic exchange, privacy and security of health information. These guidelines were initially designed to regulate "individually identifiable" - health information that was transmitted electronically. Since then, the "Privacy Rule" that is defined by HIPAA has expanded that concept.
    Covered Entities "must" be HIPAA Compliant
    HIPAA, or Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act of 1996, covers both individuals and organizations. Those who must comply with HIPAA are often called HIPAA-covered entities. This information will focused on Health Care Providers known as nursing homes - specifically health care professionals in the role as Activity Directors.
     

    Some of these entities are:
    Health care providers such as nursing homes, rehab facilities, hospitals or any other facility providing skilled or intensive care.
     
    Other entities also included are:  Health Plans, Health Care Clearinghouses, and Business associates. Not sure if you are working in a Covered Entity; download this PDF for more details check the following resources.
     

    Source:  https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Administrative-Simplification/HIPAA-ACA/Downloads/CoveredEntitiesChart20160617.pdf
     
    Source: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Administrative-Simplification/HIPAA-ACA/AreYouaCoveredEntity
     
    Personal Health Information (PHI)
    The specific information targeted under the HIPAA regulations is data known as: "Personal Health Information" or PHI. This would be any data that provides "Individually identifiable health information" - including demographic data.
    PHI information may be received or created by a facility. It may contain past, present or future health diagnosis, history and/or treatment and is inclusive of payment information for medical services normally found in medical charts and billing files. Portions of such personal information may often be found on bulletin boards, photos, calendars, birthday cards, activity rooms, common areas and activity progress notes.


    The Nuts and Bolts for Directors
    There are several ways to keep your department and resident's privacy intact and remain in compliance with HIPAA regulations. Staff orientation must include appropriate training in this area across all interdisciplinary team members.
     

    When is PHI distribution approved under HIPAA?
    There are different allowable ways to exchange medical information. Generally, the facility may provide select PHI details to family members, friends and clergy.
    The resident's name and room number.
     The general condition of the resident:

     - Having a good day today.
    - Asked to attend sing-a-long group.
    - Has been a little sad today.

    The residents' religious affiliation.

    Note: Be sure to check if your residents have authorized a legal "Health Care Proxy". This appointed person or persons can stipulate the dissemination of any health information or may over-ride permissions as to whom this personal information may be given.
     
    That said, the following are scenarios in which you are not allowed to disclose medical information in any circumstances:

    Never walk away from your computer, laptop or other electronic health record device without shutting down or entering sleep command to close your screen. It is never permissible to momentarily walk away to tend to another matter while leaving personal information visible on your screen.
     

    Never carry on conversations in areas lacking privacy within the facility between staff members. There will never be any circumstance when you should discuss or comment about your resident's day within open areas in which the conversation might be accidently overheard; such areas could be hallways, bathrooms, etc. REMEMBER: "THE WALLS HAVE EARS"
     

    Any inbound or outbound resident health information whether fax, email, completed forms, and standard mail. Any document must be immediately addressed upon receipt. Under no circumstances should any health information be allowed to remain in waiting within view on your desk, fax machine or open file organizer until you can tend to it.
     
    Activity Plans, Bulletin Boards and Other Publications
    Photographs/Pictures: Ensure that a permission form has been signed by the authorized individual and is filed in the resident's chart. This permission form is mandatory if you plan to take resident pictures. However, once you include the resident's name with that picture, you will be in violation of HIPAA. If you need to use a name (on a bulletin board for example) all you really need to do is ask the resident for permission and document that permission was given.

    Calendars and Birthday Cards: Simply remove the birth year from any information. You may only provide the residents name, month and day of birth within the given month.
    For example: Happy Birthday to Teddy – (3/21). It goes without saying that you should never include medical information (diagnoses, dementia items, etc.) on your monthly calendars.


    Bulletin Boards and Miscellaneous: Documented permissions are worth their weight in gold.  In almost every case if you take the proper steps to ask permission, you can prevent any confusion and facility privacy citation during survey. Never add names to pictures. If you absolutely must, be sure to get explicit permission and again document that it was given. However, I would suggest you to steer clear of adding names period to prevent possible confusion.
     

    Activity Rooms and Common Areas: Can pictures of residents be used in your common areas? Yes, but once more, be sure that no medical information accompanies those pictures. Additionally, never identify residents by room or unit, especially if that resident resides on a memory/dementia care unit. This information is simply not needed to convey the resident experience through pictures.
     

    Activity and Progress Notes: As previously stated, completed resident forms should never lie in waiting, inclusive of all progress notes. These forms must be put away in the individual chart to prevent unwanted viewing of resident privacy information. Never leave it out in the open on your desk to attend to another matter. The only exception would be when you are able to secure (lock) the document in an office.
    Shreddables
    Pure and Simple...you bear the responsibility of ensuring that no "unauthorized" eyes are able to view resident health information. This also applies to any documentation that is no longer required for record retention.
     

    "Record retention guidelines" outline how long resident & treatment records must be retained.  Records deemed to expire must be permanently disposed of by way of shredding. Always check with your facility Administrator to ensure your understanding of how and when shredding services are utilized by your facility.
     
    The major goal of the Privacy Rule is to assure that individuals' health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public's health and well being.


    Source: https://managemypractice.com/cms-releases-record-retention-guidelines/?print=print
    Source: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/CMSRecordsSchedule
    Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to celestechase@activitydirector.org
    76e16ddb-709b-4c76-96c2-021bbe9d7e7b.jpg
     
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    Our MEPAP 1&2 Courses   2 Course Formats
    www.ActivityDirector.org - 1.888.238.0444
     
    Structured Class (16 Weeks) - Begins the First Tuesday of each Month
    Self Paced Class (13 Weeks-1 Year) - Enroll and Begin Anytime
     
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    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident's individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
    d820bd07-1237-4127-a86b-b91880553a13.png
    Copyright © 2019 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351

  8. Senior Comedy Afternoons Logo
     

    Hi Everyone!!

    Or, As the Irish in Ireland say "Dia Dhuit! (May God Be With You!)

    Well I trust you all had a lovely weekend, what with Valentine's Day and Presidents Day.. !!
    Chocolates, flowers, dinner out.... clothes, furniture, sales, it's all good! Time spent with loved ones or shopping.. it's the American way!

    So, the clock is ticking! This past Sunday makes it one month away from our Big Irish Extravaganza! and yes, I finally got my green outfit! Not an easy feat.. green is not exactly the most popular color I find.. and i have been searching for weeks!! It helps me to get in the mood and excited for putting on our shows... So I'm excited now!!
    Are you getting excited yet? To wear your green, to laugh, to sing, to celebrate a Holiday that brings the spirit of a country and a culture to life?.. I am!

    There are many reasons to associate green with Ireland and by extension with its Saint Patricks Day games and traditions.
    Green is one of the colors in Ireland's tri-color flag. It is also the color most typically associated with the classic Irish symbol, the shamrock, and of course Ireland herself is frequently referred to by her nickname, the "Emerald Isle."

    And did you know that Ireland is the home of the Limerick. It's said that Limericks were invented in the 18th century by an Irish brigade when they were returning from France. They sang a song with a chorus about Limerick, an Irish port city. Impromptu verses were added. Each verse was about adventures of people from other Irish towns. The verses had to be invented on the spur of the moment, each line by a different singer. After each verse the whole group sang the chorus, "will you come back to Limerick?".. so began Limericks! Who knew!!??

    Here's two for you when you're having a cocktail to remember!
    .. An Irishman name of Pat Sweeney,

    In Nice drank a quart of Martini.

    The local gendarme,

    Wired his wife in alarm,

    "Nous regrettons Pat Sweeney est fini."
    .

    Some merry old monks of Manulla,

    Found life was becoming much dulla.

    So they brewed a fine ale, in a massive big pail,

    And they and their lives were much fulla.

    Nevertheless,.. ticket sales are percolating so get yours now while they're hot! And remember, we're not just comedy, we've got our Irish dancers, musicians, and we love celebrating birthdays so come celebrate your lives with us!
    And that's no blarney!

    Hope I've made you laugh and think this week!
    Have yourself a grand one!

    Always,

    or Mise Le Meas! (Sincerely in Gaelic)

    I Live to Laugh!

    Bonnie Barchichat
    Executive Producer
    Senior Comedy Afternoons.com GO HERE FOR TICKETS!
    714-914.2565 Or CALL!

    P.S. Please share this email with friends who can use some more fun, laughter and sociability in their life.

    P.P.S. Sponsors.. If you're Senior Friendly and want to meet our Audience here's your opportunity! Drop me a line and say "tell me more!"

    www.Here's the Proud Bird!

    O Lucky You Postcard 2020
    4O Lucky You MENU 2020

    Don't forget to email me what you'd like to have for lunch! All orders must be in by March 9th!

    O LUCKY YOU 2 March 15 2020-1
     

  9. Hi..  Don Weitz wrote to the Activity Directors Network sometime last week asking to share his Contact Info with Activity Directors in the Dallas Fort Worth for -- Facility Entertainer - Pianist - Available -- . 

    If you have ever been to the Highland Park Cafeteria , than you've probably enjoyed his music, he plays there 2-3 times a week.  Please visit the Cafeteria, it is Amazing made better by Don's accompaniment .. https://highlandparkcafeteria.com/             Plan an Outing... seriously...

    If you would like Don at your facility, send him an email   ..  Go ahead and call around for recommendations, he was at the The Legacy at Willow Bend Memory Care, Independent Living and Rehab, The Reserve, Sunrise on Hillcrest, Briarview, and the Jewish Community Center of Dallas over the last couple of months....  here is his bio , in his own words..

     

     

    "I am a pianist and I entertain at several retirement communities in the Dallas / Plano / Richardson areas, though I would be happy to expand beyond those cities.

     

    Over the past few months, I have played at Edgemere, The Legacy at Willow Bend Memory Care, Independent Living and Rehab, The Reserve, Sunrise on Hillcrest, Briarview, and for seniors at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

     

    Playing for Memory Care is especially uplifting as residents often start singing along with songs they knew 50+ years ago.

     

    I am a regular pianist at Highland Park Cafeteria and entertain there 12-15 times a month.

     

    My repertoire consists mainly of popular music from the 1960s.  My clients like that this appeals to residents and diners 65+ years old.  Folks were in their teens and 20s during the 1960s and often comment, "Thanks for the memories, I haven't heard that song since I was in high school!"  I recently performed a promoted “1960s Night” at Highland Park Cafeteria.

     

    I play by ear, and can easily customize my music list to include hits of the 1950s and earlier, as well as songs from the 70s and later. I establish rapport with the residents by telling the names of the songs and if I know a bit of trivia, sharing that as well, such as when originally recorded and by whom.

     

    Other than your piano, I require no additional equipment.

     

    I’ll be glad to come by and play a tune or two on the piano and discuss how I may be of service. 

     

    Please contact Don Weitz at donsweitz@gmail.com.  “Wouldn’t it be Nice” to have a special oldies performance!"

     

     


  10. 0f72cf2d-f14e-4d74-9c17-ad541b32ae33.jpg
    8627ef3f-9633-476d-820b-0742dfcf553f.jpg
    For Your Stomach
    972bb45b-e90d-43ff-bce2-7db984ba9302.jpg

    Yield: 6-8
    This popcorn is best eaten the day it is made, so if you are making this for a party, grate the cheese ahead of time then toss together at the last minute.
    Ingredients
        7 cups salted popcorn (roughly 1/3 cup unpopped kernels)
        1/4 cup butter, melted
        1/4 cup crumbled bacon
        1 cup finely grated Irish cheese
     
    Instructions
    In a large bowl, toss together the popcorn, butter, bacon, and cheese. Popcorn is best eaten the day it's made.
    For Your Fun
    64e08e05-f02c-4796-93d4-1c93bf4467dc.jpg
    Shamrock Mason Jars
    Materials
    Pint Size Regular Mouth Mason Jars
    Quart Size Regular Mouth Mason Jars
    Gold Metallic Spray Paint
    Green Acrylic Paint
    Toothpicks
    Medium Tip Paint Brush

    Instructions
    Spray paint jars gold and allow to dry.
    Use paint brush to create 3 small green dots in a clover pattern.
    Create a stem by dragging a toothbrush down at the bottom of the dot formation.
    Place varied shamrocks all over your jar to suit your taste.
    For Your Brain
    1. Saint Patrick was the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is credited with bringing_____________ to Ireland.
    a. beer
    b. Christianity
    c. snakes
    d. clovers
     
    2. Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. Snakes more likely represent:
    a. criminals
    b. snakes
    c. pagan religions
    d. leprechauns
     
    3. The story goes that Saint Patrick converted the Druid warrior chiefs and princes by baptizing them and thousands of their subjects in a spring that still bears the same name of:
    a. Holy Wells
    b. Lochness Springs
    c. Emerald Waters
    d. Golden Hole
     
    4. Saint Patrick's Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.

    T or F
     
    5. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after Saint Patrick, including cathedrals in California and Dublin City.
    T or F
     



    Answers: 1. b. Christianity, 2. c. pagan religions, 3.a. Holy Wells, 4. True, 5. False. Saint Patrick’s Cathedrals are in New York and Dublin City.
    For Your Smile
    36c3e5c7-92b3-44ee-9d8d-1c5113e55634.jpg
    For Your Wallet
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    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. Activity Directors are the key to creating environments that we ourselves would be excited to live in. We envision facilities that feel like homes, not institutions. Facilities that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe providing the best education available, with the most talented teachers we can find, is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
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  11. Try not to over think it..  I had a couple of changes that always saved me,  One was,  I talked my admin into paying me to create my calendars and newsletters at home on my computer.  He approved 6hrs a month  on my check and that helped.  Second was , when I created my activities calendar, I printed one extra for each resident, On the extra copy I would put a blank so that I could put a residents name and room number on the copy. In your case I would end up with 89 resident calendars in a folder, stapled together, that would go to each activity. Each resident in attendance would have their calendar activity highlighted to show attendance, non attendance due to vistor,  participation level  Red Green Yellow  highlighters add a Blue and make your own color legend. Its a fast way to document who was in attendance, include notes.

    At the end of the month you have your attendance records and data for your careplan and progress notes. Each calendar for each resident in the folder will reflect the entire months attendance with notes, most can be documented with a quick swipe of the marker

    Here's a sample 3200.docx

    hope this helps  Pennie

     

    We create a monthly calendar and newsletter available for download each month.  Its a Membership, 9.95 month. http://activitycompanion.com You can use Printmaster or OnlyOffice free online to load our templates and edit to fit your facility.


  12.  
    0f72cf2d-f14e-4d74-9c17-ad541b32ae33.jpg
    99629daa-8d66-43b8-96f3-893db041e366.jpg
    Are you currently a CNA? We have many students converting from the nursing department to the activity department. It is an easy transition for most as they are already familiar with the facility, residents and daily schedule. We hear many reasons for the change of position when talking with our students. Among the listed reasons:
    • Job Burnout
    • Want More Involvement with Residents
    • Better Work Schedule
    • Have a More Creative Calling

    This is in no way an exhaustive list. However, it sheds some light on the thought process. Perhaps you are a CNA and have been feeling the need to make some changes for similar reasons. According to our MEPAP instructor, Kathy Hughes:
     
    NCCAP has rewritten the Certification requirements over the last year to make the transition easier.

    A new Track 4 was introduced to allow the NCCAP applicant to apply additional work experience in place of college credits, and requiring only a high school diploma or equivalent to apply for Certification.

    Here are the requirements for specific to experience in the NCCAP Standards:
    1. Applicable Work Experience
      A. Activity Professionals Certification
      i. 50% of work experience must be directly working with activity programming and documentation
      ii. 50% can be indirectly working with activities, ie Restorative, CNA, Dietary Aide, Rehab., etc.
      iii. 30% of this experience can be volunteer work with individuals across the continuum of care.
    NOTE: NCCAP will require an official letter from the facility typed on letterhead stating the hours accumulated.
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    ENROLL NOW!

    Download the Enrollment Packet for the MEPAP 1 Course for complete details.     MEPAPEnrollPack.pdf

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    BUY NOW!
     
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    ENROLL NOW!
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    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. Activity Directors are the key to creating environments that we ourselves would be excited to live in. We envision facilities that feel like homes, not institutions. Facilities that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe providing the best education available, with the most talented teachers we can find, is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
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    Copyright © 2019 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved.

  13. 624a2989-d4fa-4025-b985-6a42151394bf.jpg
    Excess Disability – Independence with Alzheimer's
    by M. Celeste Chase, AC-BC, ACC, CDP, CMDCP
    When someone has Alzheimer's with presenting dementia, their cognitive function continues to decline but they still possess abilities. In fact, skilled healthcare professionals know that continuing to do as much as they can do at their current ability level stimulates the brain and may even help to maintain skills longer.

    However, family members unknowingly often cause "excess disability" when in their sincere earnest to be helpful, do everything for his/her loved one to make life less challenging for the dementia diagnosed individual.
    Excess Disability - "Use it or lose it"
    When you provide opportunities for residents to do for themselves it prevents those intrinsically rooted skills from becoming rusty and ultimately no longer usable.

    It cannot be overstated how important purposeful activities are when discussing dementia and topics referencing motivation and engagement. Purposeful activities focused on interests work harmoniously to entice and elicit responses essential to maintain the "use it or lose it" concept.

    As dementia progresses, older adults are capable of less and less. Helping them find self-motivated desires to participate in everyday tasks and activities can boost mood and improve quality of life and holds the power to raise self-esteem and reduce common dementia behaviors, like agitation, repeated questions, and anger.

    Adapting everyday tasks with purposeful meaning for the individual diagnosed with dementia will entice and encourage mental stimulation, and provide support as needed to help older adults maintain a sense of independence and accomplishment. That is something every one of us strive to maintain for as long as it possible.
    Why are Dementia Activities so Important?
    1) Provides Daily Structure: A structured and consistent daily routine gives needed predictability and stability when the individual is feeling disoriented and confused.

    2) Prevents Decline: Continuing to do as many activities and daily tasks as independently as possible helps to preserve innate skills for a longer period of time despite disease progression.

    3) Improves Mood: The individuals capabilities continue to decline with disease progression. When individuals participate in everyday tasks can boost mood and improve overall quality of life.

    4) Reduce Challenging Behaviors: Challenging behaviors present with less occurrence when opportunities are made available to engage the individual in positive oriented everyday distractions. Thereby, providing a means to release energy and unexpressed emotions.

     
    Supporting Remaining Skills
    Look for adaptive strategies & techniques that focus on strengths/skills that the individual still possesses.
    • Allow the individual to retain as much control possible to help foster a sense of personal dignity.
    • Integrate "chunking" methods - (break down tasks step by step) move to the next tasks in sequence only when the previous one has been completed.
    • Attention span may be limited so plan programs of no more than 20 to 45 minutes of time segments.
    • Programs are most effective when they are multi-sensory & spanned over consecutive days; first day – taste applesauce, next day – taste apple pie and so on (connects related theme to facilitate memory input).
    • Incorporate events that "elicit" a response through use of basic sensory stimulation & awareness of his/her body movements.
    Sensory Integration would focus on any combination of the following:
    Visual (eyes)                      
     Auditory (ears)
    Proprioceptors (awareness of body position)        
    Vestibular (balance)
    Tactile (touch, feel)                    
    Olfaction (smell)
    Gustatory (taste)

    Remember: Loss of memory creates an inability for the individual to remember what they did in the past for themselves to find amusement. However, this population may still have the ability to [be amused] well into the disease process.
    Strategies and Techniques
    Meeting the individual abilities will ensure greater success. Particularly when maintaining the overall goal to support opportunities for independence and accomplishment.

    Set-up: Pre-plan what is needed in a manner that cues the resident to complete the task independently.
    Example: Clothing – Place items in order of use: underwear and bra on top, shirt and pants under them.
    Visual distance supervision: Remain within the line of sight to supervise and assist when needed yet distant enough to allow the individual to complete on their own.
    Example: Drying dishes – stand within visual view to make sure the dishes are properly towel dried - replace the towel when it has become saturated with water.
    Prompting: Minimize verbal instructions, simply point to the next task in the sequence to give guidance.
    Example: Point to the place mat. When it is placed on the table, point to the plate or ask what's next?
    Verbal Cues: Provide gentle verbal "cues" only as needed to prevent frustration by stating simple directions for task sequence, allow time as needed for the individual to complete one task before you offer another cue to move onto the next task.
    Example: Bathing – Pick up the washcloth... turn the faucet on... wet the washcloth.
    Physical Guidance: Use "hand over hand" or "mirror" techniques to help guide physical actions.
    Example: Brushing teeth: Stand behind and place your hand over the individuals hand while holding the toothbrush. Gentle provide physical guidance for brushing teeth.

    Note: "Excess disability" refers to the loss of an ability that comes from something other than the disease or impairment itself. In dementia care, this generally refers to the loss of abilities that go beyond the physiological changes that are caused by the dementia.
    090fa9ab-54a4-42f5-8a56-bd82c16f7c8a.jpg
    Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to celestechase@activitydirector.org
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    BUY Now
     
    Our MEPAP 1&2 Courses   2 Course Formats
    www.ActivityDirector.org - 1.888.238.0444
     
    Structured Class (16 Weeks) - Begins the First Tuesday of each Month
    Self Paced Class (13 Weeks-1 Year) - Enroll and Begin Anytime
     
    157336ee-e65f-45b6-be0f-a1d17cfc6014.png
    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident's individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
    d820bd07-1237-4127-a86b-b91880553a13.png
    Copyright © 2019 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351

  14. 624a2989-d4fa-4025-b985-6a42151394bf.jpg
    Best Laid Plans
    by M. Celeste Chase, AC-BC, ACC, CDP, CMDCP
    A best-laid plan refers to when things gone awry or simply stated, something that has not turned out as well as one initially had hoped for. The expression the best-laid plan carries the implication that one should not expect everything to always turn out as planned. Easier said than done… right?

    The idea that no matter how much thought or pre-planning gets devoted towards a certain task or endeavor and it may still turn out unsuccessful is disheartening to say the least.  That said, when things do not go as expected, it is completely normal to feel as though someone has just taken a bit of a bite out of your self-confidence.

    Such is the scenario when the appropriate time has been dedicated to review resident assessments, history, clinical status and pursuits of interest to develop the perfect mix of calendar events for your resident. Surprisingly and low and behold – your resident does not want to participate in the event. In fact, your resident very unapologetically lets you know that your event was a total flop. Adding salt to the wound, that is the same resident initially expressed an interest and requested the event to begin with! Yikes yet again!
    It Happens
    Without a doubt, many of us if not all of us in this field have been there. Sincerely and earnestly planning what we believe to be on target “person centered” pursuits of interest. Only to have the very same residents who had asked for the program to flat out reject it.

    So what happens when those “best laid plans” go off the rails and turn out all wrong! When your plans hit the fan, you can either fuss about it and go negative or choose to take the opportunity to cultivate an optimistic viewpoint. How it that done anyways? It’s a question of rolling with the punches – and acquiring the ability to remain flexible – not take the rejection personally – and lastly, learning from the experience.

    “Adversity can - make you stronger!” Why? Humans have the capacity and the determination to avoid the same outcome previously experienced. Resiliency is a gift and one that we all posses - it’s time to pull up those boot straps ladies and gents and look at the process to find out why that well planned event was not well received by your resident.
    Resident Planning Committee
    Make it your mission to involve the residents in planning the calendar every time a new one needs to be created. The consistent and routine resident participation in planning events will lead to a number of great benefits for both you the professional and the residents you serve.

    Start the process by searching for two residents that seem excited about contributing ideas for calendar events. These two residents will become your “volunteer ambassadors”. These “ambassadors” should be good communicators, warm and friendly residents willing to personally visit fellow residents to talk about all the ways he/she can contribute to facility programming and thereby adding their valued ideas. This “buddy resident” system is a successful approach for both new and existing residents.


    New Residents
    Consider that newbie residents may be shy and undecided about starting interactions with the large existing (perhaps scary) group of residents. When the new resident is approached by two friendly, outgoing and happy residents; he/she may find it less intimidating and more likely open to be part of the Resident Planning Committee.

    Existing Residents
    “Buddy resident” system makes for great ambassadors to help current residents as well. The pair can help to revitalize interest and help fellow residents to feel valued once again. It just takes a couple of energetic residents to give a gentle nudge now and then.
    Committee Structure and Process
    If you have more than one resident interested in chairing the committee, ask residents to assume the resident chair position on a rotation bases. This gives everyone that desires to do so a turn and gives a well deserved break to those that have previously served as chair.

    Write the resident ideas for events on a white board – keep them up on the white board till the next meeting. Why?  
    1) This allows you to erase events after they have been put on the calendar.  Thus, you can keep adding and erasing as you are able to schedule them in any given month. Additionally, this is a great visual for the resident to see his/her ideas actively go from the white board to the calendar and gives the resident a sense of achievement.

    2) Visually displays what the Resident Planning Committee has created for all to see. This is particularly useful for memory impaired residents as they can become agitated or upset when they do not like or recognize a program idea even though they initially suggested it.
    NOTE: Memory issues are the commonly seen contributor relating to event rejection and refusal because the resident does not recognize what they asked for in the previous moments.

    3) Residents can be fearful that their ideas may not be well liked by others. Create an “anonymous “idea box” to keep the identities of those that would not otherwise give up what they secretly want you to add to facility programming.

    Memory impaired residents may perhaps make up the majority of the group you serve. When a program event is rejected by this group, whether it was initially the residents’ idea or not, do not take it personally. Remind yourself that his/her behavior is a product of related memory issues. The most effective response for you as a professional is to quickly “redirect” your resident to something else to prevent further emotional or behavioral escalation.
    Know Your Audience
    Knowing who your audience means that you can adapt the content of your presentation to address the main concerns of your audience. Professionals leading a group of seniors regardless of the group size must know and understand why the group wants to be present, what motivates the group, and whether you are matching your information to their level of understanding and interests.  It’s an ongoing day to day learning experience for the Activity Professional and we all know that you have the knowledge and the skills – Remember that you got this!

    The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it. The saying is adapted from a line in “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns: “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley.”
    c4233b8c-958f-44f9-ae75-bf8968ab037e.jpg
    Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to celestechase@activitydirector.org
    f783e57d-a373-4e6c-9e49-20d4480333a1.png
    BUY Now
     
    Our MEPAP 1&2 Courses   2 Course Formats
    www.ActivityDirector.org - 1.888.238.0444
     
    Structured Class (16 Weeks) - Begins the First Tuesday of each Month
    Self Paced Class (13 Weeks-1 Year) - Enroll and Begin Anytime
     
    157336ee-e65f-45b6-be0f-a1d17cfc6014.png
    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
    d820bd07-1237-4127-a86b-b91880553a13.png
    Copyright © 2019 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351

  15. Hi.  your facility routine is definitely unique .. it doesn't follow regulation but it seems that the only thing missing is a way to communicate to the Coordinator the information from the Activity's Dept as to whether or not there is a significant change in activities. All departments know of the residents with significant changes within a facility, you might take a copy of the Sec F and mark the information as it pertains to each resident and leave it for the Coordinator before hand.  Anything to promote teamwork, it makes life so much less stressful..

    thanks Pennie

    " A significant change is determined by 2 departments usually nursing and dietary. Therapy also determines a significant change. Activities would not trigger, but reinforce one determined by the other depts. When you look at section F it would never change from the initial documentation. I know that the MDS would remain the same. Activities rarely triggers a significant change.   Kathy"

     


  16. 8376504f-c712-4042-acd3-d817792ee213.jpg
    Programming for Deaf and Visually Impaired Elderly

    Vision and hearing loss are particularly prominent in the older adult population. The most common senses that are “lost” are sight and sound. These senses are specifically controlled by the visual and auditory cortex, respectively. It is possible to lose the senses of taste, smell, and touch, but these are much less common. While vision loss can have a profound negative impact on a person's perception of the world, hearing loss diminishes a person's mode of communication and can lead to social isolation.

    Leisure pursuits for the deaf and visually impaired aging are paramount to preventing feelings of isolation and lack of independence brought on by physical deficits. Visual and auditory loss can make everyday activities more difficult and significantly contributes to the sense of exclusion from society. Adapted leisure opportunities offer those moments of inclusion that seem to be without disabilities and significantly improves overall quality of life.
    Compensating for Sensory Loss
    Studies conclude that when you no longer need to use that part of the brain to process images (for example), more energy and processing power is shifted to the senses of hearing and touch. The brain automatically compensates to improve your ability to move through the world. Such is the case for blind individuals who often use a technique called “clicking”, in which they make small clicking sounds and then interpret the echo they hear to determine the environment around them. This echolocation technique can even allow people to determine specific objects and walk normally without bumping into walls or obstacles.

    Look for senses that remain intact to help your resident navigate and relate to his/her environment.

    Sense of Touch: Using the sense of touch feel the shape, surface texture, weight and size combined to identify the unknown object which cannot be seen.

    Sense of Taste: Offer a variety of food items and ask what ingredients can be identified. Often a specific food will be remembered from childhood days – encourage those memories.

    Sense of Smell: A particular fragrance can also evoke memories. Perhaps apple or pumpkin pie made with grandma’s love and care. A fragrance distinct to flowers, candles, colognes or spices can be identified and all may elicit memories from days past.

    The “Golden Rule”: Focus on the senses that still remain to lead the way to programming success.

    Tapping into the remaining senses helps to keep minds active by doing things that require inquisitive thought and intellectual problem solving strategies. Stimulating and success oriented programming allows residents to feel useful again, despite their physical disadvantages.
    The Hearing Impaired
    The hearing-impaired elderly are often at risk of having social challenges and not being able to fit in with mainstream groups. This is largely because “communication” is primarily language-based. But there are many available types of leisure pursuits for the hearing impaired that help foster communication and contribute to a feeling of community. A little ingenuity will go a long way towards the discovery of hearing impaired leisure pursuits.

    These include:
    Computer Skills: Computer savvy skills are integral for keeping up with those that are not close by. Studies have shown that older adult with computer skills were less likely to experience mild cognitive decline as they aged.

    Art: From drawing and coloring to painting and weaving, art promotes creativity and expression. Hearing-impaired adults can work with clay and ceramics, as well as all types of sewing activities.

    Bingo: Options for the hearing impaired are available. Such as large calling cards with a yellow background that can be held up for those who can't hear the numbers being called.
        
    Video Games: Video games are no longer just for children. Studies revealed that video games improve cognitive reflex and help to sustain cognitive processing for adults over 60 years of age.

    Board Games: Board games and card games are suitable for hearing impaired seniors. Generally hearing impaired with no visual loss can read game board “how to play rules”.

    Sports: Other options for those who are hearing impaired with good mobility include playing pool, foosball, bocce ball, and shuffleboard.

    Headset: If the resident is not completely deaf, a good set of headphones can make listening to music or audio books enjoyable again.
    The Visually Impaired
    Age-related vision loss is common as we grow older and can often be corrected with glasses, eye drops, surgery and other medications. Some eye conditions however, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and other diseases may evolve into blindness or partial-blindness presenting considerable challenges to those affected. There are many game products are available in adaptive versions for blind seniors.     

    Some of these games include:
    Monopoly: All of the properties and spaces are in large type and accompanied by braille. All of the cards are in braille and large print. The dice and money notes are in braille as well.

    Checkers: Each space and piece is marked in a way that the blind and visually impaired can enjoy this game just as much as sighted people. Bonus points for knowledge of braille not being required to play.

    Chess: There are bumps on the white pieces to differentiate them from the black ones and the black spaces on the board are slightly raised.

    Scrabble: There is an overlay grid that prevents shifting pieces, as well as braille markings on said pieces.

    Here are a few topic oriented books that may be of particular interest to the visually impaired:
    Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness - by John M. Hull
    Autobiography; instructive and profoundly touching.

    The Country of the Blind - by H. G. Wells
    A mountaineer named Nunez slips and falls into a valley cut-off from the rest of the world where inhabitants are all blind.

    If You Could See what I Hear - by Tom Sullivan
    Blind from birth, Tom tells you stories that will make you laugh out loud.

    Stars Come Out Within - by Jean Little
    Autobiography of Canadian children's author Jean Little, blind since birth.

    A Dolphin in the Bay - by Diana Noonan
    A young boy's relationship with a dolphin helps him overcome his fears.

    Tips for Communicating with Visually Impaired People
    • In general, observe first -then ask if your resident requires help - ask for instructions on how they want you to help.
    • Don't raise your voice – or be excessively louder than normal volume.
    • Use normal language- there's no need to avoid words such as "look", "see".
    • Don't point or say 'over there'- be specific; "It is on the bed to your left".
    • Identify yourself as you enter- "Hi Mary, it's Linda".
    • It is acceptable to describe colors, patterns and shapes.
    • Never patronize- do not assume that you have to make things 'easy' for them.
    • When walking, describe the terrain- number of steps, texture of walking surface (carpet, grass . . .).
    • Always respect the person's individuality, dignity and independence.
    What Is Available?
    Reach out to clubs and organizations for those who are deaf to encourage individuals who are deaf-blind to participate in social activities to reduce isolation.
    • YMCAs/YWCAs
    • Church leagues/synagogue leagues
    • Community leagues
    • Local associations for the blind
    • Ski for Light - https://www.sfl.org/
    • University- or college-affiliated programs
    • Local deaf club
    Lastly, but most importantly- Remember that your program must be “interest based” and “person centered”. You will always have a successful program when you ask your residents to guide you.
    1e283046-350d-4b22-8a97-b93bad23f78f.jpg
    Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to celestechase@activitydirector.org
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    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
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    Copyright © 2019 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351

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    Senior Comedy Afternoons Logo
     

    Hi Everyone!!

    I promised I'd be back soon!!

    Here it is, the Flyer.. please feel free to print it out and post it wherever laugh loving Seniors are!! And did anyone catch my offer for the First 5 100- year olds who have proper I.D. They get to enjoy the show for Free!! How bout that? See age does have it's benefits!!

    Nevertheless, I hope you have a marvelous weekend and that the sun is shining for you wherever you are!!

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    I Live to Laugh!

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    P.P.S. Sponsor Opportunities are available.. you don't want to miss this show! Contact me directly and say you want to be a part of it, send me your info!

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    Meaningful Memory Care Planning
     
    Individuals afflicted with Alzheimer’s and dementia complications go through a number of different stages during the disease progression. Leisure pursuits are crucial for residents living with Alzheimer’s disease, particularly those which offer and encourage engagement opportunities and much needed cognitive stimulation.  

    The Approach to discovering leisure pursuits to offer engagement and stimulation is the same as any resident assessment process with one very significant distinction:
    Look at what the resident can still do rather than
    what they can no longer do.

    Establish consistent routines. Why? The day is a little less scary when the daily pattern is predictable and somehow familiar. Many of us operate on autopilot whilst going about our daily business but memory deficits can cause a snafu in the normal retrieval process. Thus, even our firmly embedded auto pilot can malfunction.

    While structure and routine is important, there are countless opportunities to do “meaningful” things in unexpected places and times. Daily everyday tasks such as bed making, sweeping, dusting, and watering plants for example are small yet simple though they can provide rich opportunities for engaging residents who perhaps show no interest in bingo, movies, or other group activities.
    Planning Tips
    • Continuously adjust and accommodate to match to the changing needs of the disease progression.
    • Plan for times during the day when the resident tends to function at their best.
    • Use adaptive strategies and techniques that focus on strengths/skills in which the individual still possesses.
    • Allow the individual to retain as much control as possible to help foster a sense of personal dignity.
    • Simplify tasks: break down step by step. Move to the next step in the sequence only when the first step has been accomplished.
    • Attention span may be limited so plan programs in no more than 20 to 45 minutes segments.
    • Programs are most effective when they are multi-sensory and spanned over consecutive days (facilitate memory input) and are connected to a related theme.
    Remember: Loss of memory creates an inability for the individual to remember what they did in the past for themselves to find amusement. However, this population may still have the ability to [be amused] well into the disease process.
    •  Incorporate events that “elicit” a response through use of basic sensory stimulation and awareness of his/her body movements.
      Sensory Integration would focus on any combination of the following:
      -Visual (eyes)
      -Auditory (ears)
      -Proprioceptors* (awareness of body position)
      -Vestibular (balance)
      -Tactile (touch, feel)
      -Olfaction (smell)
      -Gustatory (taste)
    Proprioceptors* sensory receptors in muscles, joint capsules and surrounding tissues, that signal information to the central nervous system about position and movement of body parts.
    Activity Starters
    The following list has been provided as inspiration and motivation only. You will need to look at the individual resident with a Dx of Alzheimer’s to create a “person centered” care plan uniquely suited to the skills that remain and the specific stage of the disease as per nursing assessment.

    Stuffed Toys
    Offer stuffed animals and other soft toys to cuddle. Check for any materials that could be removed and become a choking hazard.

    Baby Dolls and Baby Doll Clothes
    Provides opportunity to foster nurturing characteristics. The goal is not to dress the doll properly, but rather to “elicit” the desire to change the doll’s clothing whilst working on hand eye coordination.

    Pet Therapy
    Animals of varying types are well documented to improve well being and boost emotional connection to something other than themselves.

    Music and Movies
    Foster emotional connections via music, videos, and movies. Keep the time frame brief, only watch/listen for 5 to 10 minutes but if they are engaged, keep allowing them to enjoy the experience for long as continue to be engaged.

    Sensory
    Sensory deprivation is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Use everyday objects to arouse one or more of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch), with the goal of evoking positive feelings.

    Exercise
    Any physical activity can be beneficial, from a simple walk to yoga. Use props, such as tambourines, clappers, top hat, streamers, maracas, batons, pom poms, stretch bands, scarves, or stretch bands.

    Bird Watching
    Hang a bird feeder that will not allow individuals to access the food. Provide chairs or benches to stop and watch the birds.

    Sunshine and Fresh Air
    Plan time for the outdoors (weather permitting) for 10-15 minutes. Supply sun      protection with wide brim hats and sun lotion on arms and legs. Avoid the sun between 11 and 3 pm. Offer cool drinks.

    Read Aloud
    Studies reveal that those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease may be able to hear until very late into the illness. Read articles in magazines and newspapers that the person enjoyed in former times.
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    Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to celestechase@activitydirector.org
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    Our MEPAP 1&2 Courses   2 Course Formats
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    Structured Class (16 Weeks) - Begins the First Tuesday of each Month
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    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
    d820bd07-1237-4127-a86b-b91880553a13.png
    Copyright © 2019 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351

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    I was recently passed an interesting article from our instructor Kathy Hughes, ADC that I think we can all relate to. Nursing home food is often compared with hospital food and is rarely accused of being appetizing. However, the nationwide push to make care homes more person-centered has extended well beyond care and is now attempting changes in the dietary department. It may be hard for some to believe but prior to November 2016 family members weren’t allowed to bring outside food in. The value of sharing recognizable comfort food with a loved one in the throes of dementia could easily be recognized by the family, but couldn’t be executed until this all important CMS update in 2016 that was over 20 years in the making. According to the article:

    The new and modified regulations explicitly state that menus at facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs must now reflect the religious, cultural, and ethnic needs of residents, be updated periodically, and undergo review by a dietician or nutrition professional (who, according to the new regulations, have higher certification requirements than in the previous iteration). Also, for the first time, nursing homes can officially grow their own food or buy it directly from local producers, and allow residents to eat food brought in by friends and family. Finally, meals and snacks can now be served whenever works best for the residents, not just at designated feeding times.

    The changes these updates are making can be felt already in many homes, perhaps even yours. Rather than regular American staples day in and day out residents are now enjoying more ethnic foods being served right in their dining rooms. The ability to participate in
    CSA (community supported agriculture) programs opens a whole new way to plan activities for your community as well, providing pathways for field trips, vegetable, fruit and herb education, harvesting and preparation, increased health education and the lists goes on and on. Better food isn’t just about better taste and nostalgia either. Nutrition is critical in determining how one’s life will unfold particularly at this leg of life. Fresh and accessible food, from a variety of trustworthy sources increase intake in general and nutritional levels greatly. The article discusses many advantages to these CMS updates, but its central point remains that the boost in mental well-being received by these residents is really what counts. The ability to feel autonomous and to be reminded of the good times in life go a long way in contributing to joy. A care home should not feel like a jail and access to a variety of food and lifestyle experiences is a basic freedom.

    The updates are a huge step in the right direction however there is a stark difference between policy change and implementation. Positive effects are being felt as are the negative effects that variety can have on an ever decreasing dietary budget. The article references some worst cases scenario numbers that come in at less than $1 per meal. Think about that. Staffing issues also remain a concern that block many attempts above and beyond the norm of how things have always been. Even still, these changes are good changes and they were a long time coming. It allows residents to remain in contact with food, which is such a cornerstone of all of our lives and interactions therein. It is true progress and I for one was fascinated to read the article. I grew up in an Activity Department because my Mom was an Activity Director and I can remember the food vividly. I really hadn’t realized that food could be or was regulated in that way and that dietary had such restrictive guidelines and budgets (even though I should have because my Mom’s best friend Debbie was the Dietary Manager and she complained about it constantly!). I am glad to see these changes going into place and it gives me great hope about the type of facilities we are all pushing for together. The future is certainly brighter….and tastier.


    Article Referenced:

    Nursing home food is getting better. But the journey is far from over.
    by Jillian D' Onfro

    Nov. 27, 2017
    Read the Article
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    ENROLL Now
     
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    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. Activity Directors are the key to creating environments that we ourselves would be excited to live in. We envision facilities that feel like homes, not institutions. Facilities that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe providing the best education available, with the most talented teachers we can find, is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
    d820bd07-1237-4127-a86b-b91880553a13.png
    Copyright © 2019 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351

  20. d5cef8a8-82f1-4799-93ce-422087eee8d2.jpg

     

    Progress Notes  by Kathy Hughes, ADC      ActivityDirector.org

     

    Recently there has been conversation on social media sites concerning the need for activities to complete progress notes on a quarterly basis. This can also mean a quarterly and annual reassessment of the resident. Let us look at what a “Standard of Practice” is for Activities:

     

    Standards of Practice are a “how to” of a discipline. They can include policy statements, standard operating procedures, activity practice protocols and procedures for specific activities. Policy statements clarify the scope and authority of activities stating who, what and when an activity takes place. It also covers the scope of practice for the activities department. A scope of practice may be that activities cannot diagnose a specific disease or disability. The Standards of Practice also include the documentation requirements as set forth by the federal government and regulations of each state. These standards may not appear in the Activities section of the regulations but may appear in the Clinical records portion of the regulations.

     

    A policy is written by the Activities Director for the Activities Department. Once a policy is instituted the Activities Department must abide by what is written. A procedure is how the policy will be performed and how the Activities Department will do the activity. When being inspected, a surveyor might look first at the federal regulations then the state regulations and if there is a question then the facility policy and procedure. In the past some facilities received a deficiency when they did not follow their written policy and procedures.

     

    We have looked at the federal regulations for the US and found information that there were some references to progress notes for all disciplines, but not activities specifically. Although there are no regulations for having to do quarterly progress notes for activities, it is a Standard of Practice for the Activities profession. It is also a policy and procedure in most nursing homes. Surveyors are directed to look at “Physician’s, nurse’s, social worker's and other staff members progress notes, as applicable” in many areas of the CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) regulations. “Other staff members progress notes” would be where the Activities Department falls.

    State by State Regulations
    Some state regulations specifically state that quarterly progress notes are required by the Activities Department. There are other states that only follow the CMS Regulations. It would be up to the Activities professional to find their specific state regulations for the need for a progress note. Here is a link to the “Clinical Records Regulations” for each state:

     

    http://www.hpm.umn.edu/nhregsplus/NH%20Regs%20by%20Topic/NH%20Regs%20Topic%20Pdfs/Clinical%20Records/category-administration-clinical%20records-final.pdf

     

    You can access your state regulations for activities by using this link:

     

    http://www.hpm.umn.edu/nhregsplus/NH%20Regs%20by%20Topic/Topic%20Quality%20of%20Life.html#statecompare

     

    You can also go directly to your state Department of Health and do a search for your specific regulations.

    In Summary...
    The Activities Department should do quarterly progress notes as a Standard of Practice. We have valuable information to share with the staff, the physician and the other teams. The residents have unique needs and interests that need to be documented and their progress in activities could impact their medical conditions and their progress in the facility. In our never ending quest to be accepted as a valuable member of the facility team writing progress notes, actively contributing to the care plan and having a detailed Initial Activities Assessment lets others recognize the Activity professionals as a modality to improve the residents quality of life.
    Have a question for Kathy? Email questions and comments to kathyhughes@activitydirector.com. Thank You. 873389a2-89c0-41fe-a09a-0cd4c86bbccb.jpg ENROLL Now   157336ee-e65f-45b6-be0f-a1d17cfc6014.png Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. Activity Directors are the key to creating environments that we ourselves would be excited to live in. We envision facilities that feel like homes, not institutions. Facilities that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe providing the best education available, with the most talented teachers we can find, is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network. d820bd07-1237-4127-a86b-b91880553a13.png Copyright © 2019 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved.

     

    Our mailing address is:

    2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351

     


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    There is generally some level of dread when state comes in for a survey. No matter how prepared you are there is always a chance that something could not go according to plan or there may be something you have overlooked. We often see members of the network discussing this possibility on social media and there seems to be a need for some Quality Assurance. For this reason, we have created a couple of forms for you to use as an evaluation tool. It allows you to get some perspective, evaluate your direction, adjust accordingly and improve your department and the lives of your residents. It’s a win, win that helps replace the dread of a survey with the excitement of being on top of it.

    How To Use These Forms

    There are two forms that will need to be completed on at least a quarterly basis. Use your judgement as to whether this time frame needs to be adjusted.

    Quality Assurance: Activity Program Review
    Utilize this form to evaluate your overall department’s performance. Each quarter have a different person complete it. For example, each quarter you could survey one of the following community members: family member, assistant, volunteer, admin, other department head, receptionist, a resident, a nurse and so on. This will give you a great deal of perspective and helps foster a sense of inclusion and teamwork in your work environment.

    Quality Assurance: Resident Quality Assurance
    Utilize this form to evaluate the level of quality that your department is delivering to each resident. It would be impossible to survey every resident every quarter. For this reason, survey at random a good cross section of your population and do the best you can.

    In Conclusion, making use of these two forms as part of your department's policies is one of the best things you can commit to. Evaluation is such an important component to motivation and creativity. When you ask your community to get involved with what you are trying to accomplish things can only improve and your vision can only gain clarity.
     
     These forms are complimentary from BEST SELLING book
    The Activity Directors Bible by Pennie Bacon.
     

    Click the link below to Download

     

    Quality Assurance FORMS

     

     

     

    f783e57d-a373-4e6c-9e49-20d4480333a1.png BUY Now  

     

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    Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. Activity Directors are the key to creating environments that we ourselves would be excited to live in. We envision facilities that feel like homes, not institutions. Facilities that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe providing the best education available, with the most talented teachers we can find, is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything.

     

    Thanks for being a part of Our Network.

    d820bd07-1237-4127-a86b-b91880553a13.png

    Copyright © 2019 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
    2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Dementia Care - Critical Pathway Forms Help Identify Programming Deficiencies

     
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    Dehydration and the Elderly
     
    A widespread blanket of increasing rising temperatures is expanding across much of the country. . . . And of course, hot weather always increases the risk of dehydration.
     
    Older aging populations are vulnerable to climate change-related health impacts for a number of reasons. The body’s normal aging process causes the body’s systems mechanisms, that are meant to protect us from dehydration, to work less efficiently as we age. The elderly population does not have the same internal thirst signals with age progression and consequently do not take action to reach the necessary liquid consumption.
    NOTEElderly people should not be encouraged to consume large amounts of fluids at once but rather small amounts throughout the day. 
     
    Factors that put older adults at risk for dehydration include (includes but not limited to):
    • Chronic problems with urinary continence, which can make older adults reluctant to drink a lot of fluids.
    • Memory problems, which can cause older adults to forget to drink often, or forget to ask others for something to drink - even mild dehydration, can cause noticeable worsening in confusion or thinking skills.
    • Mobility problems associated with aging, such as muscle and bone loss, which can make it harder for older adults to get something to drink.
    • Older adults are more likely to be taking medications that increase the risk of dehydration, such as diuretic medications, which are often prescribed to treat high blood pressure or heart failure.
    Dehydration can also be brought on by an acute illness. Older adults are also more likely to have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, that requires medications for treatment. Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and infection are all problems that can cause people to lose a lot of fluid and become dehydrated. Dehydration also often causes the kidneys to work less well, and in severe cases may even cause acute kidney failure. Additionally, chronic mild dehydration may further exacerbate constipation problems.
     
    Physical signs of dehydration may include:
    • high heart rate (usually over 100 beats per minute)
    • low systolic blood pressure
    • dry mouth and/or dry skin in the armpit
    • less frequent urination
    • dark-colored urine
    • delirium (new or worse-than-usual confusion)
    • sunken eyes

    Caffeine and Dehydration

    Coffee or Tea please!  We all know only too well how important it is for our seniors to enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea while gathering in morning socials to shake off those morning cob webs and get ready for the day’s events.  Is there any other way to start the day?
     
    Technically caffeine is considered a weak diuretic. By definition, a diuretic is a product that increases the body’s production of urine. Hence water, or any drink consumed in large volumes, is a diuretic.
    • It should be noted that urinating more does not inevitably lead to dehydration (excessive loss of body water).
     
    Current studies suggest that caffeinated coffee or tea is not proven to be particularly dehydrating in people who drink them regularly. Caffeine, however, may worsen overactive bladder symptoms, so there may be other reasons to be careful about fluids containing caffeine for our senior population.
     
    Feel free to offer decaffeinated drinks but if an older person particularly loves his/her morning cup of (caffeinated) coffee, there is no reason why they cannot partake unless it is physician ordered to avoid such liquids.

    Help Them Stay Hydrated

    Here are some reasonable approaches to help your seniors remain hydrated during current rising temperatures:
    • Identify continence issues that may make the older person reluctant to drink.
    • Consider a toileting schedule, which means helping the older person get to the bathroom on a regular schedule. This can be very helpful for people with memory problems or mobility difficulties.
    • Offer fluids in small amounts throughout the day; consider doing so on a schedule.
    • Ensuring the appeal of the beverages you offer – they will drink more if they enjoy it.
    • Determine if your senior prefers drinking through a straw.
    • Enlist interdisciplinary staff in your efforts.
    • Track in a journal how much the person is drinking; be sure to note when you try something new to improve fluid intake.
    • Offer more fluids when the senior is ill (seek nursing oversight).

    Reducing Swallowing Problems By Making Liquids Thicker

    While you focus on actions to prevent dehydration issues be mindful of anyone with a swallowing disorder, often experienced in the elderly.  Normal aging causes reduced muscle tone in the pharynx and esophagus and other changes that affect swallowing. Thickened drinks are normal drinks that have a thickener added to make them thicker. They are often recommended for people who can no longer swallow normal fluids safely, because normal drinks go into their lungs, causing coughing, choking or more serious risks such as chest infections and aspiration pneumonia (seek nursing oversight).

    More Ways to Keep Seniors Cool in Hot Weather

    • Offer a cooling snack like popsicles (use cupcake liner to catch drips).
    • Place a cool washcloth on the back of the neck and a pan of cool water close by to periodically re-cool the towel.
    • Meals should be cold like chicken or pasta salad instead of heavy hot dishes like pot roast.
    • Encourage clothing that is lightweight and in light colored cotton so it’s easy to adjust to the temperature throughout the day by removing layers of clothing.

    Calendar Programs

    Older people can have a tough time dealing with heat and humidity. The temperature inside or outside does not have to reach 100°F (38°C) to put them at risk for a heat-related illness. Be mindful of the temperatures when planning programs. Restrict your events to locations that offer cool environments. For outings; seek senior-friendly places that offer air conditioning (Restaurants, Shopping Mall or Stores, Public Library, Art Museums, Movie Theaters). Senior exercise programs may need to shortened in duration and restricted to easy and simple range of motion programs to prevent over- exhaustion. Don’t forget the hydrating liquids!
     
    Stay Cool!      
     
     

    Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to  Celestechase @ activitydirector.org

     

     

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