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National Nursing Home Week


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Hi all I am a new Activity Director in Ohio, and I am looking for fun inexpenisvie things that I can do with the residents and staff for National Nursing Home Week.I don't have a big budget at all!! And being brand new I don't want to seem like I and asking for to much either. Any ideas you have I would love to hear!!!

We have 68 residents ranging in all ages from 30's to 100 and we have all kinds of residnets too. We already have a cookout planned, and a ballon launch for Monday, and a ice cream social for Friday. Thanks for any ideas you have Denise :-)

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This year we are doing "A Tribute To The Stars". My staff came up with this idea, and we are still planning it, so if ther are any other ideas to add, please do.


We are doing Rock Hudson/Doris Day, Fred astaire/Ginger Rogers, Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra.


I am looking up infor on all of them, and we will discuss them. We will have an entertainer, which will probably be for Frank Sinatra.



We don't have a lot of plans right now, but it is an idea.


Stacy :hammer:

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The theme for Nat'l Nursing Home Week is "Embracing Our Hertiage" so you could do a spin off from the theme one day.


We have done some of these in the past:


Pat on the Back Board or Shinning Star Board. No prizes are needed the board is the prize. Cut out hands or Stars from paper. Have everyone write something on the hand or star about another staff member. Why they should get the pat on the back or the shinning star. Also write the staff members name, which they are writing about, as well as their name. Read what others have written about others over the PA or at a staff meeting.

*This could be a way to pick employees of the month, &/or present them with a T-shirt or Jacket,

*Or on Friday give those who earned a pat on the back or star a small prize (don't tell them you are doing this.) Run this program for a length of time.

*Have the department head of each department pick 1 of their staff member a day for 1 week, why they choose them & place their name on the star or pat on back board.


Staff & Resident Collection Have staff/residents bring in items that they collect. Write a little bit about why they collect this & maybe a little history of items collected.

You could have the person tell about the history & the stories about items that h/she collect, to the residents/staff at an activity. Place these on display for everyone to see through the day. This helps everyone get to know each other as individuals. It may also draw those of similar interest together & create new friendships within the facility. Possible items that people collect: baseball cards, pigs, quilts, coins, salt & pepper shakers, thimbles, dolls, stamps the list is endless.



Guess "Who is This Person?" Have all the staff &/or residents (family members can possible help out here) bring in a picture of himself or herself as a baby or very young child. Be sure that they write their names on the back. Hang these on a bulletin board & place a letter or number under the picture, for everyone to see. Have everyone write down the letter or number & the name of who they thing the picture if of. First person who identifies all of them correctly wins. Give a small prize.

*Option: Have satff/residents bring in a wedding picture. Or ask them to bring a picture that didn't make the wedding album.

* Option: Have 2 boards one for the staff & one for the residents. Or just do staff this time & at a later date do the residents.


"Getting to Know You" have a list of items on a sheet of paper can be in a line or Bingo style. Staff/Residents must find the person who has done the item on the list. You could do this by units. Have the staff/res. initial it or write their name by that item. The first one to complete the list wins a prize. (Verify the initial or name) This helps everyone to better know each other & what their lives are like outside of the facility or in the past.

Ex: of questions: I like to be read romace books, I had 5 children, I sew, Belong to organization (name if preferred), Use to be a teache, nurse, farmer, love to swim, I love to waltz/dance, paint, Riding motorcycles, etc.

*Another option is to have staff do this with the residents only.


"Have Staff contest"

*Bring in 1 bed for each unit. Have a CNA from each unit get on the bed. The nurses, use 2, are to race each other to see who can make the bed the fasted. The CNA on the bed is from a different unit & is very difficult to work with.

*Have units compete with each other, Pop balloons by sitting on the, DO this relay style.

*Blind fold nurse & CAN sit the across from each other Have the CAN feed the nurse. Opt have a Housekeeper, dietary, or res. stand by them & give directions. The first person to finish wins.

*Have a contest on shaving balloons. Use a department besides nursing.

*Wheelchair race, relay style, divide team in half. Wheel themselves to other side then another member gets in & wheels to other side 1st team to finish wins.


"Have a Talent Show" Have people sign up include res. (opt) Winner(s) get a T-shirt, jacket something from the dollar store, a lottery ticket. Maybe a gift certificate or day off with pay. Let res. &/or staff judge. Make dept heads do a show together to start off the show.


Also check out these websites:



do a search for National Nursing Home Week.

Don't forget to have the Major sign the proclaimation for this week.

Do some PR in the local newspaper. This & more can be found on the internet when you do your search.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Liven up your ice-cream party by making it a 50's event. Have Root Beer floats, and play 50's music. Include staff by suggesting they ware their poodle skirts, bobby socks and have hair in a pony tail. Our residents enjoy this, and watch them laugh when you try to dance.

My facility also works on a shoestring budget. During Nursing Home Week we pass our weekly ideas to all the department heads and ask which event they would like to help sponsor. Every year our maintenance department wants to do a cookout. Simple hamburgers and hot-dogs. Our Social Worker enjoys helping out on our Glamor Shots day by doing make-up, hair and nails.

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Hi I have noticed that you have stated that you have a limited budget. Nursing Home week as well as Nurses week should not come out of activity budget. They Nursing Home week should come from the PR budget talk w/ administrator about this. After all this is to promote the facility. Also this should not fall on the act staff to do all of the planning all depts should pitch in for this.

Nursing week comes from nursing budget & not yours again this is not your responsible to plan the act fo rthis event the DON should do it or at least make a major attempt to help out!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest FAYE


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  • 11 months later...
Guest Shiva



In our facility we are having:


Monday: Beach party day- faculty wears hawian shirts, lei's, - we will have a jamaican themed diner- beach boys, regae, eagles, and ocean music- with snowcones and salt water taffy for treats in the afternoon.


Tuesday: Fitness day- going to park to walk and have an outside picnic


Wendnesday: Spa Day- ladies get hair, makeup, nails done and dressed up. Men get shaved hair done- finger food and gingerale will be served in wine glasses.


Thursday: Emmy Awards: staff dresses up: have red carpet out, residents and faculty says nice things about people they would like to identify. Fingerfood and gingerale served.


Friday: Wrap it up party: cook out for entire faculty and residents and community- we have big cooker and smoker to cook hamburgers, ribs, chicken, sausages - all the trimmings, plus an outside tent, it seems to rain on this day every year.


Hope it gives everyone an idea,



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Guest JodyB



We are kicking off on Saturday with a Mother's Day celebration with special desserts and the High School All-girl's show choir.


Monday: "Get A Wild Hair Day"--resident's are the judges, staff are the contestants to see who can come up with the wildest hair do. Prize is a gift certificate for a free hair cut.


Tuesday: Mardi Gras theme:--having cajun food and a Blues band play. Staff/residents dress in Mardi Gras masks/bright colors.


Wednesday: Lumberjack Day--staff/residents dress as lumberjacks. Having pancakes and all the trimmings for dinner.


Thursday: "Let's Go Bananas"--staff/residents dress in yellow, serving banana splits and having square dancers entertain.


Friday: Hillbilly Day--staff/residents dress as hillbillies, having country western music for entertainment.


Always a challenge to come up with new ideas. Hope everyone has FUN!!!

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sunday- mothers day social/wine and cheesecake and fruit fam/res

monday- flavored coffee donuts-wacky dress up day and volley ball game. residents against staff

tuesday- fla coffee bagels,state rep visits. "photo opp in newspaper" resident for half a day,talent show

wed=fla coffee muffins,movie star dressup contest,baby photo contest res/staff,scaveger hunt res/staff team up

thursday= pancake breakfast staff/res,wheel chair race staff/res,keroke staff/res

friday-fla coffee/baked cookies,crazy hat day,cookout staff/res/family


through out the week

tickets given out through out the week for job well done, hat day,movie star gifts to be given on fri for most tic.

bul board in front lobby for res/staff/family " everyone is given stars to put on bul board "write good things about res/staff/vol and families" for all to see


any other ideas? pls respond

hope this helps :hammer: :hammer:

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I am doing a week of Reality T.V


we are doing american Idol, Survivor, Fear Factor and extreme makeovers. Its been something trying to plan this event. And by the way I got some really good ideas from memebers here. Thanks. Everone have a wonderful Nursing Home Week. :hammer:




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Guest JudiS

Hi Everyone. We have planned to explore various cultures during nursing home week. Some of the countries we will be "visiting" will be Greece, France, Spain, Poland, and Italy. Any ideas for activities we could use during taht week would be appreciated. I plan to show travel videos, play music fro the various countries, and serve representative foods each day. Looking for games we could play or web sites that might be helpful. Thanks JudiS

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:-D Hi, I am planning for each day a different activity from each department. It starts Sunday with Mother's Day, we will have our Mother's day tea. Monday will be Resident Council day, and they planned a pajamas day, and will have milk and cookies in the afternoon. Tuesday is Dietary day, they have planned something, each day is different and you have activity, food and costume. It should be fun for all, it will get everyone involved. Later...actpro

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I usually do an ice cream social with fresh hot waffles. I might do something new though.

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We are going to have different dept, sponsoring the activities for the week, AHCA theme is "Taking Center Stage" and that's what we decided to go with, we are kicking off the week with one of our residents 100th birthday party(ACtivity and Social sponsoring), nursing is doing a red-carpet(best dressed and worst dressed) activity, Maintenance is doing a cook-out, Housekeeping is doing a "build your own sundaes" and Dietary is doing a Talent show, we are getting all the supplies and prizes for all of the events, but we thought each dept. could spotlight their dept. with Residents particpating in all the activities, we also are having a stage with a power point presentation in the front on the t.v featuring our residents. PLease give me your feed back. 8-)

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Guest Guest_guest

For Nursing Home Week I have a variety of activities my department will be doing.


On Mother's Day we are having a simple tea/coffee and cookies/pastries table set up in the front lobby. Our resident council president will be watching it for us for one hour in the afternoon at change of shift...2-3...this is a good time for us because much of the staff will be at work or arriving at work, residents won't be too full from lunch and it won't ruin their appetite for dinner, also many families will be in and out of the building at this time...some will be returning with a resident, and others will just be arriving to pick up residents.


"Taking Center Stage" We are doing it all around stars, celebrities, etc. our stars are our staff, residents, volunteers, and family members.


Monday, I have an entertainer coming in the morning to sing Broadway songs, show tunes, etc. and we will be serving refreshments for all. In the afternoon we will play double Bingo--double the prizes in other words.


Tuesday, Residents will bake star-shaped cookies and they will be free to anyone who wants some, also some of the cookies go to a day care center...this is the residents community service project on a normal basis I just modified it a little bit to fit the theme. i.e. stars, celebrities, etc.

In the afternoon the residents will be hosting an ice cream party for the nurses and each nurse will receive a hand-made gift, (made in arts and crafts by the residents.) This is also the residents way of recognizing nurses week which overlaps Nursing home week.


Wednesday, we are having a celebrity auction for the residents...all free of course, just so they can get some nice gifts this week.

And We are having an entertainer who will play themed music ie: broadway, show tunes, etc.


Thursday is all day spa treatments, after all our resident are our celebrities and most celebrities go to spa's regularly. I have volunteers to help and our DON will do hair because she used to be a hairdresser. We are doing hair, nails, facials, and make-up application.


Friday, we are doing an awards ceremony and happy hour with fruity drinks, cheese, beer, wine, (for those who are allowed to drink), crackers etc.



Celebrity trivia all week announced over the P.A. system...staff must have a resident as a partner...some questions residents must answer, some the staff must answer...prizes awarded to the first team with the correct answer.


Each unit and department is assigned a broadway play and must decorate a door with that theme. Prizes awarded on Friday.


Sliding glass door window painting...we plan on painting a stage on the sliding glass doors that are in our front lobby. Writing "Welcome to Our Stage" and then listing some of the weeks activities on the stage.


I would also like to do some of the survivor, fear factor type of things but I don't know where to fit it in, maybe wednesday morning. Also, what exactly to do without it being too difficult, gross, or corny.

Any ideas would be helpful and I hope my ideas help you all.

Oh, and by the way my assistant is resigning that week so the stress level is extra high. AHHHH!

Have fun!!!!!

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Hi, my name is Paula.

We are starting our National Nursing Home Week with:

Monday...Baseball Day.

We have a baseball game outside (weather Permitting). Everything is decorated in baseball fashion. Trivia is done with everyone over the PA system. Popcorn, games, drinks, and hotdogs are had by all.

Tuesday...We are having a children's daycare visiting and playing games such as bowling, basketball etc.

Wednesday... A music program sponsored by Kinney Drugs and a Mother's Day Tea Party done in elegant style. Hats, teapots, fancy dishes and snacks.

Thursday afternoon... "Taking Center Stage" variety show. Staff and residents are teaming up for the show.

Friday...All participate in decorating for our Spring Formal. We hire a disc jockey and we all dance together. Residents love it and enjoy dancing. Our theme for the night is "The Stars Come Out at Night".

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Some ideas could include:


Greece: along the lines of the Olympics since they originated in Greece. You can adapt olympic activities depending on if the staff or just the residents will be participating. Also you could possibly have a staff to participate and a resident "sponser" that individual. Ideas: Instead of discus or javelin toss try frisbee toss. Instead of track, try w/c racing,


That's all I can think of for right now. My administrator is from France and could probably tell me some ideas, but she's already gone for the day.


We have a PT from Poland and when I asked her about leisure events in Poland, she stated that soccer and chess are very popular in Poland. A food idea is Polish Kielbasa with onions and peppers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,


Just wondering how Nursing Home is going for all of you. I know I've been busy here. The residents are having a good time with what we've planned. We did a decade theme. On Monday the resident tye-died t-shirts for the 60's. They had a blast. They wanted more shirts to dye. On Tuesday we did a 20's Name That Tune and served Finger Sandwiches. On Wednesday we mad a 30's/ 40's Bingo, and they had a blast. It turned into a great reminiscing session with them. I was so nice to the residents smiling and telling stories. (I guess giving them candy didn't help). Today we are having a 50's party with entertainment and soda jerks. Tomorrow we are having a 70's party. We are wearing the shirts we made, music and grilling outo n the patio. The residents are looking forward to it. I have also bought some 70's attire for my staff which they are excited to wear.


Hope all is well. Please share.



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Our week has been crazy! Very fun, but busy. We are connected w/ a hospital, so in conjunction w/ Hospital week, the powers that be also have us celebrate Employee Appreciation Week. I was put on that committee this year! We have many events/functions for our residents but also things for the staff (highlight today, chair massages for staff). Anyway, so far, the biggest hit has been our annual "90 & Over Party". This year, our Resident's Council voted to serve Beer & Pizza for the party (we used pizza rolls). Whata hit! It was so much fun. We also had a gathering of our "Red Hat Ladies" earlier in the week & that was fun. Tomorrow for Noon we're having a celebrity noon meal (Administrator, hospital board, local Mayor & a couple of pastors) are coming for a Steak dinner w/ the residents. I have a wonderful pianist lined up to provide music & the staff are all dressing in Black & White for the occassion. I'm ready for 4 p.m. on Friday, though.


Hope every one survives!

Stacie O

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Guest Lawrence

I think I speak for everyone when I say TGTF! It's been fun this week but very busy....

Monday we had a costume party dance. Staff was expected to wear a movie themed costume, but only my assistant dressed up. I couldn't as was expected to attend local professionals meeting and no others did. So, I was worried about the whole week....

Tuesday, we did a mini golf tournament and I had many residents participate. I used pipes as barriers and set up tape squares for holes on the patio. gave a prize for top male res and top female resident. Served Sand Traps - celery with PB and a graham cracker crumble.

Wed, had a Wish Upon a star party to celebrate acts of kindness. We served Grasshopper cookies as Jiminy cricket said to wish upon a star...

Thursday, we did Shooting star bingo with special prizes for staff and residents....2 times morn and afternoon.

Friday we are doing academy awards with catagories that the res and staff voted for(such as Cutest Hair, shoulder to cry on, Friendliest person, Should be a movie star) I'm wearing my Suit and MCing the awards. Each winner gets a prize and a certificate.

We had a hallway decorating contest and the residents voted on who they liked the best, announcing tomorrow. Only problem is that my department did win, and semi-worried about what others will say.....Oh, well, if anyone wants to check, I got the votes still :hammer:

So, it's been a good week but looking forward to getting done and back to normal...

hope it's going well for all of you....

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Guest tigger

Hello, sounds like most of you all had a good week. I tried so hard to make all the staff happy but there are always some that just think that everything I do is dumb. Some of the staff had a really fun time but there is no pleasing some. With everything that the AD has to do to get ready for the week,just wanted to know if any of the AD`s got a thank you for the things they did? My administrator is sending me out to dinner. That made me feel so good. :lol:

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WOW! Three cheers for your admin! Our social worker brought up to Council yesterday all the planning/prep that went into NH Week & our Council thanked the Activity Department... but other than that, we got/get no thanks for any other areas. I always send out thank you's, especially depts. that go way above & beyond their regular duties (DIETARY & HOUSEKEEPING, just to name a few).

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  • 10 months later...

Just taking over as the Activity Director and looks like I have one of the biggest challenges in front of me to come up with some great ideas for National Nursing Home Week. I was wondering if you all would like to share any ideas you might have this year?



All out of ideas Suzie

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Guest conjuna

We are using the theme and doing a theme day each day of the week revoling around "Legends in our own time" The first day we are doing a baseball theme everyone will dress up like baseball players. We will be having triva in the morning and in the afternoon we will have games where each department is against each other. One of the days everyone will dress like their favorite film legend and we will have talent show at end of day. Haven't worked out the rest will keep you updated.

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