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#1 RebeccaM

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 01:58 PM

Hi Everyone! I have been referencing this site for awhile and have now become a member.

I am an AD in Toronto, Canada and want to revamp our volunteer program to make it a fully incorporated part of our residence. I am hoping you could help me brainstorm in creating some important roles for volunteers to play here.

One idea I have to give you an example, is for volunteers to act as "welcome ambassadors" to new residents. It is a way of giving new residents added support in getting to know people, the activities, and to feel more at home.

Any idea would be great - can be completely different to the one I just listed.

Thanks in advance for your help :-)
Rebecca

#2 Guest_Emily_*

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 04:00 PM

Rebecca-
I also have trouble with our volunteer group, but right now we are meeting 1-2 times per month. We have written letters to a school class and put together candy bags for the extended care wing at our building. I would like to involve the community more, but it's really hard. Another idea I have heard it to start a knitting club and knit baby sweaters for the local hospital. A cute name is the
"knit-wits". Hope some of these ideas help!

#3 StacieO

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 06:44 AM

Emily:
I LOVE the "knit-wits" idea! I just wish I enough residents still able to knit (only 1 or 2 right now). But, we have quilting group at our facility.... I have a couple of volunteers who will put small quilts together (lap robes, crib quilts, etc) & then they come every other couple of months & we tie the quilts. I only have a couple of residents that can actually help tie them, but we have a bunch that will sit & watch & visit & drink coffee (just like quilting days at church). We give many of our crib sized quilts to our hospital (attached to us) & to our ambulance. It's great PR, when we present the quilt, we take a picture w/ the residents & volunteers who worked on it. Many super relationships have been formed through this & it's very minimal work for me & my staff, as all we do is get the residents & the coffee there, & my volunteers do the rest. We also make baby quilts for staff who have babies, & it's really a treasured gift.

#4 ElleNOLA

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:21 AM

Hi,
We usually get a lot of highschool volunteers this time of year. i like to have them push a cart with popcorn and coke, or coffee room to room and do 1:1. I find the residents and volunteers get a lot out of it. hope this idea helps.

Elle

#5 kristas_mom3

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 09:30 PM

Hi Everyone!

Recently, a Medical School telephoned me and said they wanted to "get involved" in the Nursing Home. Boy, did we put them to work!
So far, they have given support groups to our families (Taking Care of Your Heart...during February...and Coping with Depression During the Holidays during November...they also have their own group for Minorities....and a group of Spanish speaking students are now meeting with our Spanish speaking residents on Mondays to do a Spanish Club...Everyone loves it!

We also get kids coming in from the high schools too. I like to have them play cards with residents that enjoy cards but have no one to play with. Also, we have a travelling cart...Books to take and trade...Coffee, cookies, stationary, cards and other small items. Volunteers go door to door inviting residents to browse...and chat if they like.

Hope this helps.

#6 Guest_Tinki_*

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 10:08 PM

What about having the volunteers work as the sunshine committee to visit, send cards and banners from the residents for ailing residents in the hospital. The best way is to have the volunteers create clubs to head on a monthly bases, big projects like a facility cookbook, or staff motiviation projects.

#7 Diana

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 12:04 PM

Hey, also, what sort of preparation do you guys do with your new volunteers to prepare them to be a successful volunteer?

I put them through a sort of orientation, but it doesn't always ensure they will stay. I've realized mostly it is their own determination to be a volunteer that determines their length of servitude.

Any suggestions?

#8 Kate

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 02:45 PM

One of our many activity books is called Remembering Yesterday: Entertainment . It’s a 24-page book filled with ready-to-use reminiscence stories about the good ol’ days of entertainment. Since it contains ready-to-use stories, complete with handy discussion questions, summaries and quizzes it can be used by most anyone in remiscence situations, including both professionals and volunteers. The stories are on a wide variety of topics, sure to be of interest to elders. They include such things as: watching the Grand Ole Opry, Square Dancing, the USO, the Rockettes, Traveling Medicine Shows, and more.


Hope this helps!
Kate

#9 LaineyBeth

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 10:19 AM

Diana--

I agree that a volunteer's own drive is a big determinant. Wasn't it Dr. Charles Swindoll who said its all about attitude. However I have found the other factors that impact volunteers include: level of staff support, finding the right activity for the right volunteer, and sometimes just plain luck.

Most of my volunteers come when I cannot be here--nights and weekends, and if the staff here doesn't help me by helping the volunteers, things go crazy. I had one pet therapy volunteer have to go to another facility because a staff member would go so far as to ask residents not to come out and see her and the dog. Also, if you have the volunteer doing something they don't enjoy, they won't be motivated to stay. Taking time with them in the beginning to figure out their interests helps me there. Also, my ability to connect with them seems to make a difference.

So, although I agree that attitude is the number one determinant of how good a volunteer will be, I think there are other factors as well!

--LB

#10 Guest_Maura_*

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 02:24 PM

My nursing staff eats volunteers for snacks and then turns around and says that we don't do our job because we don't get enough volunteers! What a circle! They (nursing) tells them that they smell, that they shouldn't visit certain people and that they shouldn't do a lot of things that they do. We have to be here and the volunteers have to stay with activities for at least 90 days before their "FBI background' checks come back (thats after they are finger printed) and they need PPD's...........I am wondering if it is truley worth all of this!

#11 Pennie

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 09:50 AM

Hi,
I tried to set-up orientation day/time for volunteers and found this did not work. I now only use it for the high school kids or groups like that. For the rest of them I have made a volunteer packet up. It has the dos and donts for volunteers, res. rights, volunteer rights, privacy sheet, a minor sheet for parents, a list of possible things for them to do etc.. I ask them to take it home read it over and bring back all of the papers that need a sign to me. Besides this one of my staff or myself always take the time to sit with them when they come in. Get to know them a little find out what their interest are and offer suggestions from there. They get a tour of the facility as well. I have a book that they sign in and out of.
I try not to have them start with out of of us there to help them get started.
The staff vary on attitudes towards the vol. I ask the vol. to please let me know if they have a problem with anything or anyone (this includes staff and res) The problem is addressed ASAP. If it involves a staff person I speak with them directl, if it cont's. to be a problem or I get high volume of complaints about 1 person I then go to their supervisor. This usually nips the problem in the bud. I do inservices on what the volunteers mean to the staff as well as to the res. Lucky I have always had strong support from all of the administrators over the years.
Act. for vol. can be unlimited. If you have someone who does not want to be hands on in the facility for whatever reason have things they can do at home and bring in to drop off. Like have them make the signs for your monthly board, make up the Bday banners, special crafts projects, make mobils, lots of things like this.
A good thing to have is a person that is a vol. that has his/her own desk that keeps track of all the vol. They can file the applications on them, set up their duties, calendars, greet them, help out w/ any questions etc. they also send out Bday cards, get well cards, new grandbaby, just a simple thank you card for no reason, and any other type cards that we know is a big event in that vol. life.
Vol. can hold group act. for you: bible study, bingo, sewing, craft, poetry reading, book clubs, music classes etc.. They also can form a club for res. as well as others from the community like the red hat society, a collectors clubs (for anything that a group collects). Hope this helps there is so much thaey can do and really benefits help everyone. try to get the other staff members to understand this. Ask that the other dept. heads help encourage this and pass it on to their staff. P

#12 AggieTiff

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 02:06 PM

We have a very strong volunteer program, company wide. I have found that the best luck I have had is with National Volunteer Organizations, like the Junior Leage, National Charity League, Boys Club, college organizations, and the like....and also high school kids who need the hours for college apps and other requirements. The highschool kids like to wait until the last minute but I try to always have something for them to do...I just make sure I know their deadlines so I can know they MIGHT be stopping by.

With the National Volunteer Organizations like the Junior Leage and such, you might not have the same individual volunteer for a long period of time (but usually you do)however you will have a commited group that will provide individuals....if that makes sense.

I have volunteers that have really taken "ownership" of an activity. For example, one lady comes every week to do nail care. Another will come every Friday and have a craft club. We have a commited groups and individuals that do a tea party one saturday a month, 2 big bingo nights a month, bible studies every week, pie tasting once a month, gospel hour once a week. We just got a commitment to be a chosen philanthrapy for the Young Mens Service Leage Chapter in our area and they are doing a lot on Saturdays (when I am not here) and Wednesdays (when I take another group on outings). They will host our Ice Cream Socials on Wednedays, Snack Shack Socials on Saturdays, and do misc activities throughout the day. They are also helping me start a Men's Club.

I will admit that we would not have the volunteer program that we have if it was not for these national groups. We do have many individual volunteers, and I am very thankful for them, but we get the required hours from the groups and it is less stressfull KNOWING they will be here each week / month. Also, with these National Organizations, we get quiet a bit of things donated...which saves on the Activity Departments Budget. The National Charity League donated and helped to host our annual Easter Egg Hunt, for example. We get volunteers and donations from the Hospice Providers, as well.

We have a Volunteer Orientation about every 3 months or whenever we get a big National Organization's commitment. The orientation consists of a tour, rules, and the like. We have our Alzhiemers Care specialist discuss her area and they watch a few videos about the disease. We have lessons on Communicating with Dementia and other related things. We go over the calendar and discuss opportunities and the activity program. This is usually an all day orientation and when it is complete the Volunteer is issued a Certificate of Completion and a Thank you gift.

I am still a bit new to this company but I am very excited and serious about our volunteer program. I have always been an active volunteer, myself, with differnt National Womens Groups and my Sorrority while in school. As a matter of fact...it was with my own volunteer activitites that lead me to this profession. While my grandmother was in Assisted Living, following a stroke, there was NOTHING going on ... I do not even know if they had an Activity Director ... When I came home from school durring the summer and on weekends, I would plan things for her and her friends to do...then more people came....we had a great time.

Good luck and have fun....

Tiff

#13 RebeccaM

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 09:23 AM

Tiff, your orientation and training model for volunteers sounds excellent.

I especially like the idea of providing a certificate/gift upon completion of the extensive training.

If you are having a hard time retaining volunteers I think it is a good idea to ask each volunteer for their reasons for leaving. This way, we can have feedback to know if they weren't happy at the facility, and if there is something more we can be doing.

I also work with college students that work here on placements and I have signed something called a 'learning contract' with them. This outlines expectations we have, as well as expectations the student has. It is great to have something on paper as a reference to make sure we are living up to our roles, and vice versa.

I am considering drawing up a similar form for all volunteers as well.
I'll let you know how that plays out.

Have a great rest of the day to all:)

#14 Diana

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 05:38 PM

What forms do you guys use to keep track of your volunteers and how/where do you keep sign in sheets specifically for volunteers - individually or generally? does anyone have any that they'd like to share?
my email address is

djcast@activitydirector.com

We had some young volunteers over the summer and wanted a better format for keeping track of these things!

Thanks for your help in advance!

#15 Kepu

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 07:52 PM

Hi!
I keep my Volunteer sign in book right out in the front lobby. All the Volunteers are instructed to sign in to the building upon arrival- and sign out when they leave. That way if someone calls for them or if there is an emergency- we can always go to the book and see if they are in the building.
I keep a file on each Volunteer....usually an interest survey....what they would like to do for us....when they would be available, etc. Also keep their TB shot records, and an emergency contact sheet in there too!
Hope this helps?!

#16 Hope

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 04:52 PM

It has been less than a week since Katrina, and a dollar per gallon price increase. I have already had 1 volunteer cancel-6 kids, 1 van and needs to conserve gas money; 2 bands have asked for gas money-One just asked if I could reschedule time to also go the same day to the other home in town-no problem! and if I could give a little, not even every month (he's a monthly band), and I did give him 20 and he was very thankful and gracious and reminded me they are NOT asking for that each month. The other, also a monthly, with members from 3 counties, stated the other home will pay 60 for their 6 members, and asked me for 50. Both bands are great, our people love them, and we know that many will come for good music and little else, especially if they can no longer comprehend and enjoy Bingo! I agreed for this month, but said I must talk to ED for future. She said I would need to make adjustments, but did allow that the budget might go over because of this. Yet, if one gets it, they will all hear about it, and I could see the possibility of not having any music at all whatsoever, if I cannot offer them something. We're already planning a craft sale -though only 2 people are actually making anything in crafts, the rest like to watch me make it for them- but that was already planned to purchase in-room stim items. We don't have an accessible van and have to rent transportation-I'm sure that $8 per person will raise as well-there go outings. But, do I love my job? Absolutely, each smile is worth all the deadlines, budgets, pushy people I encounter daily, and if all I can do is sit and talk to people, I think (some of them) will be just as happy, maybe more (but I'm sure I won't keep my job long if it comes to that!) Anyone else seeing this effect yet? What do you think you will do about it?

#17 StacieO

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 10:09 AM

I am very fortunate that my admin. has not asked me or directed me to cut out trips & entertainment. I will be budgeting accordingly this fall.

What we are working on now w/ our residents is donations for the victims. We have 4 quilts that they will finish tying next week, discarded clothing (from residents & staff), & we are working on a little fund raiser for a monitary donation. Our residents are really heart-broken when they hear about not only the devistation, but also the looting.

Stacie

#18 Hope

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 07:58 PM

I'd love to have Residents who are interested in making things for others! Bless their hearts!

#19 eflagg

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 12:31 AM

I am an activity director in the state of Michigan and with the cuts that the Governor has made with Medicaid and Medicare; I am forced to look at the staff with in my department and how to use them more effective. What I have come up with is the need of a good Volunteer Program so that I can free up my staff to do other things such as paper work! What could I do to get a good program started so that I can use volunteers to do some of the work that my staff is being buried in? HELP

#20 Ella

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 03:01 AM

I am also in Michigan and have been hit hard by the cuts! I am a CTRS and 1 1/2 staff for a 91 bed facility. Getting volunteers in our area is tough (small tourist town). Do you send family council minutes out to all families of your residents? If so you could ask for volunteers through that mailing. Ask local churches to put an ad in their church newsletters. Sometimes high schools have work experience programs for students, check with them. All of these have helped me some, hope it helps you!

#21 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:36 PM

I am also in Michigan and work at an Adult Day Care. We rely as much as possible on volunteers. About 2 years ago I did put together a "Volunteer Training Program." If this would help at all, please feel free to contact me.

Isis411@chartermi.net

#22 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 03:27 PM

iris 411 im very interested in your volunteer training program. may i ask excactly what you ?i can be contacted angelbabe1954@aol.com thank-you ellen

#23 jody

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 11:31 PM

Can I please get the volunteer program too!! I am in desperate need of volunteers here in WA State. Thanks Jody email samsoncoy@msn.com

#24 JeannettaTHE

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 04:18 PM

I am from a rural town in Texas, I currently have 35-40 volunteers. I have family members that volunteer on regularbasis. Our school system offers community service credits to its students for volunteering. These students are a great asset to our prgm. I send a monthly newsletter to our family members. I have found that most the time just asking for help from family members ususally is successful. A local college offers a gas reimbersment prgm for seniors who volunteer. I have several from this program.

Consider checking with church groups, clubs, and various organizations. Most perform community service for regconition prgms. Depending on the activity and the level of your residents, some of them may help with the tidious little things that take extra time, like passing out mail, reading to others, etc.

I count my volunteer activities as a scheduled activity, this frees my staff to do paperwork and prepare fot the next activity or day.

I have myself & 2 others in my dept. We have 3 halls (130) residents. I assign a hall to each of us, that person is responsible for getting thier residents to & from activities, as well as documenting. Then we rotate monthly. THis keeps everyone familiar with all residents and we arent crossing each other 50 times getting residents to the activity. We take our daily documantation sheets to the activity with us (such as devotion, musicals Etc) and document while the activity is in process. This takes care of the activity, residents and documentation all at once.

If I can help or yu have questions, email me justokfine2000@yahoo.com

#25 JeannettaTHE

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 05:12 PM

I am from a rural town in Texas, I currently have 35-40 volunteers. I have family members that volunteer on regularbasis. Our school system offers community service credits to its students for volunteering. These students are a great asset to our prgm. I send a monthly newsletter to our family members. I have found that most the time just asking for help from family members ususally is successful. A local college offers a gas reimbersment prgm for seniors who volunteer. I have several from this program.

Consider checking with church groups, clubs, and various organizations. Most perform community service for regconition prgms. Depending on the activity and the level of your residents, some of them may help with the tidious little things that take extra time, like passing out mail, reading to others, etc.

I count my volunteer activities as a scheduled activity, this frees my staff to do paperwork and prepare fot the next activity or day.

I have myself & 2 others in my dept. We have 3 halls (130) residents. I assign a hall to each of us, that person is responsible for getting thier residents to & from activities, as well as documenting. Then we rotate monthly. THis keeps everyone familiar with all residents and we arent crossing each other 50 times getting residents to the activity. We take our daily documantation sheets to the activity with us (such as devotion, musicals Etc) and document while the activity is in process. This takes care of the activity, residents and documentation all at once.

If I can help or yu have questions, email me justokfine2000@yahoo.com