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What kind of techniques do your guys use to get your residents to activities! We all use food and drinks to help attendance any other ideas?

 

Karen

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Food and drinks are a great way to get residents to activities -- my Halloween party had more residents come than any other activity I've done! Even with this being the case, one of the different ways I get my residents to come to activities is by listening to their input. They love to tell me what kinds of things they would like to do. That way, when I schedule those activities, I make sure the residents that requested them know when they are scheduled for and they are more likely to attend. I use Resident's Council as a time for me to find out what is working and what is not working. I also make sure I announce my activities at least ten minutes before they are scheduled to start because one of the things I have come to notice is that my residents don't always remember when the activities are, even when I have a calendar posted in their rooms. I also take the time to talk to my residents and tell them about the day's activities and let them know that I'd love for them to attend. My attendance at activities has gradually been increasing since I started in my current position two weeks ago.

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I agree 100% that free food is the best way to get residents to attend, my problem lies with the Residents' Council who are the one's who purchase the food. They hate buying food for any activity. It is an ongoing issue between the management and the Residents' Council.

 

With that being said, I have had to find other ways to get them involved.

One, translate everything in their language (requires me to translate in at least 3 languages for the newlsetter, Meetings, signs and posters)

Two: do lots of surveys,

Three: have program meetings where the residents come to and decide what to do.

Four: Ask the residents to volunteer

Five: Have quality entertainment or activity-- not just basic run of the mill --- plus , it must be very low cost or free.

Six: Give enough advance notice--- About a month in my case that is featured in the newsletter. Then the day or two before, post signs at the elevators reminding them. On the day of event: posting a new sign on the elevators.

 

It is a lot of work, but we have a very active group of people --about 370. This is independent Living too.

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for people with short-term memory loss:

 

* music/ pets/ children: anything involving these elements attracts attention!

 

* ROUTINE!!! people's bodies get used to a routine even when their minds can't always retain all the information. Set up a quality program on certain days and stick to it.

 

* Minimise disturbances and distractions: this was a discussion topic last week so I've been paying attention and yes, the past few days, it's hard for someone who has confusion to be fully engaged with something then have an unnecessary interruption spoil their absorption. The more interruptions I would say the less participation in general, people avoid sources of frustration, the activity leader can help by keeping everyone focussed during unavoidable disturbances. But a lot of people are going to just wander away once their concentration is broken a few times, it makes people irritable, so it is worth addressing in a unit, and as someone else said- now draws the attention of inspections.

 

*An open mind! For example- I've given performances where the residents are literally sitting in a traffic flow of people passing through, just because the chairs got set up there; when I suggest moving forward to maximise ability to pay attention and be fully involved most people are receptive and see it works better but I have encountered a few people who say 'we always do it this way' and- that's the problem!! An open mind is the best tool to keep things fresh.

 

* Activity scheduling: work out what works best, like one lady has me do a lively music group then immediately after a man comes to do Tai Chi, the people are alert and positive and she says they get much more out of it than if she put it alone or against something else.

 

* Re Food: I wouldn't serve food during an engagement activity unless it's part of the activity. If you paid someone to come in and engage your residents why waste the time on all the interruptions food serving brings, just serve it immediately after!

 

~Tracy Pace

 

The Music Lady

 

832 671 1167

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What kind of techniques do your guys use to get your residents to activities! We all use food and drinks to help attendance any other ideas?

 

Karen

Our biggest turn out is money bingo or men's and lady's cards when money is involved. We also do a pennies auction. The residents are given 25 pennies and they can bid on the auction item. They have a great time , some of the items are gags and some are very nice things. Helene

Edited by ramzy

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Anything free gets residents involved in the activities, like you said food and drinks. Another great way is prizes. We have played this one game called the horse races and the residents bet on a horse. If that horse wins the race, you win a prize and at the end they get to pick it out. The residents love it.

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we also use food and drinks also golden dollars every time a resident comes to a activity they get 1 golden dollar (paper dollar) and at the end of the month they can come cash their dollars in at a little "store" where they can purchase body washes ,shampoos, snacks, and other things you can purchase at the dollar tree our residents really enjoy it and at the same time it helps get them into activities

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our residents love music, singing and dancing...all we have to do is start a CD and they are ready to participate. Many of them have taken the time to teach the associates the dance steps from their youth. The best fun is when we play New York New York and all of the ladies (residents and associates) form a line (or a circle) and do our best imitation of the Rockettes. Then the associates will do the Chicken Dance,which always provides the residents with lots of great entertainment.

 

We are getting ready, in about 2 weeks, to have our "So you think you can dance" fundraiser for Alzheimers. Residents and associates register to dance, and the winner will be determined by "monetary votes" from the audience.

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The best technique for me to get our residents to come to activities is to be very enthusiastic about the activity myself. I try to get them involved before the activity even begins. I try to spend alot of time getting to know each of them as well and this seems to help.

 

Joelle

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sometimes if the residents help run the event it helps. we have residents that help with horserace set-up, they help clean tables after coffee socials. i try to see if they will at least watch the activity.

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I work at a small facility, and I have found that often times if I go slowly and forge a trusting relationship with a reluctant resident, I can say "I think you would enjoy this activity. I will check in with you to see if you want to stay in 10 minutes, and if you are not happy I will bring you back to your room." I make sure to follow through (Come hell or high water!) and 9 times out of 10 the resident will stay

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Besides having a great attitude and being energetic about the program, we offer "Fiddler's Notes" (as my facility has the name Fiddler's in it). They look like a dollar bill and are worth 25 cents each. Residents win these as prizes for horse racing, Jeopardy, etc. About quarterly, the Activity Department opens up a store with snacks, donated "like new" items, personal care items, etc. for the residents to buy with the notes. We definitely had an increase in participation once these notes were implemented.

 

We also play 50 cent Bingo: 50 cents for regular bingo and $1.00 for cover all. For Bingo we do use real money!

Edited by jlemke

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Food always works!  I go table-to-table at lunch time and talk-up an activity that I think they would enjoy.  I usually carry a flyer with me.  I am usually out and about in the dining room anyway helping to take orders and deliver food.  I also have a couple residents that are good at telling other people for me (free advertisement!)

Edited by brandiedwards

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Food and drinks work great, I work at a small also facility also, and sometimes I have will talk to the resident for a few minutes about activities and encourage them to participate.

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