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Everything posted by turtle
  1. Perhaps you cound invite her to share some of her Jewish culture with you and the other residents. Asking her about what is obviously very important to her may be a great way to get her involved in interacting with the other residents.
  2. Giving your programs creative names helps in enticing the residents to come. Whenever we come up with a really clever name for a program, the residents meet us at the door in the morning asking "What are we going to do today in ------?" My usual response is "Come and find out". Their curiousity often gets the best of them and they will come, even those who may not normally attend. Another good way to get them to come, is to change the routine a little. Our residents often will show up thinking we are doing one thing but we changed the time for the month so they wind up actually attending something else and learn that they actually enjoy that. I try to remember that if I am in a rut, then most likely my residents are too.
  3. I have a used copy of The Professional Activity Manager and Consultant that I no longer need. The cover fell of off the book and it is in a 3-ring binder. If anyone is interested, please let me know. I am willing to send it wherever.
  4. We are sticking with the "Love is Ageless" and will be focusing on a different decade each day. We will be having a Roaring 20's Party, a Sock Hop and a Disco Party. We are also holding a baby photo and wedding photo contest. Employees will bring in their photos and the residents will choose their favorites...Maybe they will pick mine...I am the most newly married staff member...5 months...LOL. Whatever you do, have fun and celebrate your residents!!
  5. 1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs? We use live musical entertainers 2-3x a week. 2. If not, is there a specific reason...would you consider using live musical entertainment? 3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both? Most of our entertainers are volunteers...we live in a small rural community and are very blessed by the talent that is share with us. However, we do have some very wonderful entertainers that we pay as well Depends on the type of performance and the occasion. 4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy? Ours love it all...they enjoys singing along with gospel and country music...however, to my surprise they also like some of the newer music 5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repetoire? Anything upbeat and lively 6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility? Talk down to the residents. I have had to ask some of my entertainers not to return because they spoke to the residents as though they were children. 7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments? Music is a wonderful way to reach so many residents at so many levels.
  6. We are very forutunate and have three acitivity team members who work the weekends. On Saturdays, we have a music program in the morning, word games or a sing along and then bingo in the afternoon. Sundays are filled with Sunday school, church services, gospel sing alongs and the favorite ice cream social. We tried doing other things on Sunday but we live in a small rural town and our residents are very traditional...Sundays are for church, resting and visiting. One way to figure out what to plan for the weekends is to ask the resident what they want...it is, after all, their home. I also think that there should be a team member on staff for the weekends unless you have dependable staff from other departments that will ensure all activities are held as scheduled....you never know when that state surveyor may choose to show up on the weekend.
  7. I can totally sympathize with you. When I was hired as the Activity Director there were 5 assistants who had been in the field for a lot longer than I had. The only experience I had was as a schoolteacher so you can imagine how some of them felt about a new person coming in and "taking over. The description of your assistant reminds me alot of one of mine at that time. I wrote a very specific job description for her and had her sign and date it. At the bottom, it said something like "I understand that other duties will be assigned as needed. I also understand that if I feel that something should be addressed, it is my duty to inform the director so that she can take the appropriate action." I also spoke with the administrator who agreed not to listen to her "petty complaints" without ensuring that she first came to me. It was very effective and the problem soon became a non-issue. It is hard to argue with something that you signed your name to. Good luck! And don't worry about your management style...you will soon develop your own. I used to be very laid back, and while I still am in my personal life, I have learned to become a bit more assertive professionally because it is for the benefit of the residents!
  8. It is always difficult to find somone to work just the weekends. Nobody wants to tie up their whole weekend with work when their friends / families are most likely off. Our weekend staff work either Friday / Saturday or Sunday / Monday so that they have at least one weekend day off. Is it possible to rearrange the schedule so that you are not specifically targeting a "weekend" person?
  9. We are planning an "Over the Rainbow Party" for St. Patrick's Day. We will being playing games with various color themes and serving snacks with a rainbow theme. We will also be having a treasure hunt where everyone will be working together to find the hidden pot of gold. For Easter, we are hosting our Annual Easter Hat Parade. Each participant decorates a hat of their choice with a variety of items and then wear them as we "parade" around the facility. We are 173 bed facility and have about 80 people who usually particiapte in this. It is amazing how many of the guys get involved with their hats which are usually decorated with fishing lures, tools, etc. Staff are also invited to participate and this is a great way to utilize family and friends to assist with pushing resident wheelchairs. We do not spend much money on this...most residents already have a hat of some sort and families and staff always are more than willing to donate the decorations. We follow the parade with a church service, easter egg hunt and refreshments.
  10. We will be decorating the facility for Spring but will change out the table centerpieces for St. Patty's Day decor on the 17th for the day. It is the only thing we could come up with so that we did not have to decorate everything twice this month. I do agree that combining the decorations for the two holidays would probably look a little odd. Maybe ask the residents what they think..they always have an opinion about how things should be decorated (well, at least mine do).
  11. We are embarking on a 10 day "cruise" that will begin on Mardi Gras and end on Valentine's Day. We will be stopping at various "ports" along the way with crafts, trivia and food related to that port. Our first on board event will be the Mardi Gras party. The residents will be working together in groups to create shoe box "floats" and will each create their own masks. Our event will end with the Valentine Party.
  12. We only offer them 3-4 nights per week and have never had a problem with state. Tag F248 states "offers activities at hours convenient to residents (e.g. morning,afternoon, SOME evenings and weekends)" so a few nights a week should keep you in compliance. Good luck convincing your administrator (I know how difficult that can be) Have a great day. Heather
  13. A picture is worth a thousand words. Take pictures of your residents having a good time dancing, singing, etc and submit them to the administrator. Images of your resident happily engaged in activities cannot easily be ignored. Posting completed craft projects on bulletin boards also works well. This also creates conversation between the residents and their visitors. Ask the administrator exactly what he/she expects and for their own activity ideas. This usually gets my administrator to back off.
  14. Our biggest fundraiser is the annual art calendar. We use pictures the residents have painted as a part of the art program and create a calendar for the next year. The calendar is displayed at the Annual Art Show every December and is then offered for sale in the community. Family members love this and often purchase many calendars to send to family and friends as Christmas gifts.
  15. My activity progress notes include group activities the resident enjoys participating in and how often they attend, independent activities they engage in, family / friend visits, television shows they enjoy, the types of books they like reading, etc. For my residents who are 1:1, I include the types of activities they are most responsive to during 1:1 such as crafts, hand massages, being read to, music, etc. I also try to include things they enjoy talking about and if they receive mail / phone calls. I end my note with an update of their care plan and any changes in their activity preferences.
  16. I am required to have at least one activity staff member in the building every day, even holidays. What I found works best for me is to gather my staff at the beginning of the year and ask for volunteers to work each holiday. I am amazed at how quickly I get that done by just asking for volunteers. Everyone is required to work at least one holiday and are given the option to choose which one. I am fortunate enough to have plenty of staff so everyone only has to work one. Everyone has holidays that are more important to them but don't mind working others. I usually work Christmas because my family celebrates the week before to allow everyone to be home with their children on Christmas morning. I enjoy being here with my residents that morning although I totally understand those with families wanting to be home. I was just married on Saturday and am sure that in years to come, as we have a family, I will be rotating that Christmas with others. I can see both sides of this but think that the important thing to remember is that there must be a balance between family and work. If there is ever a choice.......Choose your FAMILY. The residents had families of their own and will understand. Happy Holidays! Heather
  17. Last year we bought each of our residents a pouch to attach to their wheelchair, walker, etc. They were a big hit. Even those who ambulate independently enjoyed having a place to put their stuff. We also always purchase socks for everyone. For an additional gift, we always ask the residents for something that they might need or want. We have purchased things such as nightgowns, sweaters, cd's, books and sweatsuits. It makes shopping a little more time consuming when I have to shop specifically for 173 residents but it makes them feel special that we would take the extra time to make their gifts a little more personal. Fortunately, we have an excellant budget for Christmas gifts and are able to spend $10-20 per resident if needed.
  18. turtle


    I think the most important aspects of professionalism are ethics and integrity along with the way we interact with others. To me a big part of professionalism is how I interact with other department heads as well as how I treat my staff. I guess it goes back to the basic rule we all learn as children, "treat others as you want to be treated." I know the area I have the most trouble with is I tend to be shy and can sometimes be intimidated by others and I have to work hard at not backing down when I am standing up for the residents. I like to attend management seminars and to read in order to improve my professionalism.
  19. We use the CareTracker system that the CNA's do all of their documenting on. It is set up for activities but requires some redesigning to be the most beneficial. I worked with our IT department to make the program work for us. It makes things easy for my staff and since it is on the network, I can pull the participation logs to review while writing notes and care plans. Another benefit is that nursing and social services can also review participation logs as needed. Our CNA's have also been trained and are assisting us with logging independent activities while they are doing their routine documentation. I pull the logs each quarter and file them but the records can be pulled at a moment's notice. We have been doing this for two years. The state surveyors (who just happen to be in the building at this very moment) always compliment us on our method of documentation.
  20. My favorite holiday to plan for is Halloween. Many of our residents don't celebrate Halloween but they always attend the "Fall Party" we host on that day. I love creating the games, decorating with the fall theme , etc. Fall is my favorite time of year, I love all of the colors. (too bad I live in Florida!)
  21. The short term rehab residents are the ones I have the hardest time care planning as well. We have a 60 bed rehab unit and it is always such a struggle for me to get their care plans done. Any suggestions any one has would be appreciated. Thanks, Heather
  22. I work at a 173 bed facility in a rural town in Florida and make $10.25 an hour. I realize I don't get paid well but I do love my job and my residents. Plus a wonderful staff of three full time and five part time. This is definitely not a job for those who just want to be rich. But maybe that is what makes us good at what we do...we are here for the residents, not the money. I tend to view this as where God put me as a ministry. It is interesting to see, though, that we are all underpaid, no matter where we live and work.
  23. The craft supplies most frequently used by my residents are craft sticks, foam (self-adhesive and regular), beads, chenille stems, ribbon, silk flowers, stickers and scraps of fabric. Your co-workers and family members probably have some of this stuff sitting around at home and would be glad to pass it on to such a worthy cause (you just have to let them know what you need). Discount School Supply is a great place to order this stuff from in bulk for pretty reasonable prices. The web is full of wonderful ideas for inexpensive craft projects, you just have to take the time to look. Good luck with the new job and don't forget to take the time to enjoy your patients.
  24. We always give our new residents a goodie bag when they first arrive with facilty pen, pencil, notepad, puzzle books, and an activity calendar. We also provide them with a card with our names and the activity office extension number and encourage them to call if they need anything. The bag also includes candy, snacks and a welcome card. We usually hang the welcome card on the wall and the residents are usually very eager to show their loved ones what they received. We have found this has gone a long way with letting our family members know that we do touch base with their loved one. Something else we do is to take pictures of our residents participating in group activities or working on a project during 1:1 visits and hang them in their rooms. The family can't really say anything when there is proof posted on the wall. Figure out what works best for you and go for it. Good luck.
  25. Hi faithbygrace. I would be willing to share what we use with you. I could fax it or send it via e-mail, whichever works best for you. Let me know. Have a wonderful day, Heather
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