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kittygrl00

In Need Of Help

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Hello everyone -

My name is Tania and I am an activities director at an ALF in Florida. I just graduated from college and this is my first 'out of school' job. I never thought that activity planning would be so hard! I am in a situation where the residents are not used to having any activities because the facility has gone through a number of different activity people in the past few months. So, it has been difficult to get them involved. I have been here about three weeks, and a handful of them are starting to get used to the schedule. The main problem I am having is that they don't like to do anything! They like one word game, bingo, trivia, a name that person type game, and entertainers. Unfortunatley I can only afford to have two different entertainers a month. The facility is remodeling, so money will be tight for a little while. I have no idea what to do with the residents.

 

Any suggestions would be greatly apprectiated!

 

Tania

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Florida:

 

How did you end up in this position..... I am 8 months new with the same situation in the retirement home when i started..... time will change and things will change slowly.

 

is a busy job right now, so i'll recall all that it was like for me when i started and give you some info.

 

good luck and hang tight. you got a few things that people like to do already, the next is to find the niche that the rest like to do. Lunch Out to good restaurants of THEIR choice is going to be another great thing to add to it.

 

Good Luck

 

how good are you in decorating... i thinnk it is a waste of time and i suck at it that sthe worst part of my job. on top of a very very busy schedule, i am a one person show that have to lead exercise too, lead spelling bee, plan activities (minimal right now) and mange transportation and do the admin work.

 

hope this helps, but you'll have more information form ME at least

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Guest Guest_robin

hi tania, my name is robin and I am an AD in west palm beach. First of all, what is your census? In the morning my act. asst. have coffee/news, then usually some kind of ROM (range of motion), exercise, goes good with soothing music like waterfalls. Then its almost time for lunch, aide the residents in washing up(infection control ) Then about 2:00, we usually do something like arts & crafts, bingo, manicures(make sure you let them know its free or they won't come). We announce over PA the program a half hour before it begins and 5 minutes before also. Gives residents a chance to get there. Your residents really have to trust you if your going to get them to come out of their rooms, each one needs to feel their special.well, if you need anymore ideas, I am on this site alot and check the message boards often. Good Luck! robin

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Thank you for the suggestions!

 

Robin, we only have about 27 residents right now. When the construction is finished we will house around 80.

 

I ended up in the position just by chance. I came in to fill out an application for an activity assistant and somehow ended up director. I know I need to give it some time, but I am the kind of person that hates doing things so-so. And I feel like that is what I am doing, not by fault of my own, but more due to situation. I guess I just need to keep trying my hardest.

 

I really just need ideas on things to try. I tried arts and crafts, but they all wanted to know what they were supposed to do with the craft after they made it. I guess they didn't see the point. Besides bingo and triva, I reallly don't know what to try.

 

Does anyone have any idea on how I can play Wheel of Fortune without using the board game? None of the residents can see those little letters. I tried writing it on a dry erase, but that didn't seem to be as much fun.

 

Thanks again...I need all the help I can get!

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Guest Guest_fremontca

Took me a good while to establish a steady attendance to my activities including exercise. but once they find out... its in.

 

Wheel of fortune sounds just absolutely fun. but teh visibility is definitely a challenge.

 

i struggle every week trying to think of trivia questions and topics. if you ahve input for fremontca, please do let me know.

 

i ended up in my position cuz there was no ad for a while and at a company function, the retirement division head honcho saw the "real" personality of me hence hired me. I had marketing business as my background and did property management for a few years. so it helps to know about facilities management too i guess.

 

we might all be having fun, but we all might not disclose that we are stuck sometimes. I am stuck most times, but when things are sour, it doesnt take much to have the residents override the disappointment... just say something they like at the end of the conversation, lik... "nice scarf..... you have great tone today....."

 

if you have an in-house hair salon, or if you know who is going to a salon, always mention "Nice job" etc. they like that a lot eventhogh we may not even see it.

 

Anyways, spelling bee is my thing....and entertainment hour, and exercise. try lunch outing to restaurants they like

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Meet with the group ask them what they would like to do after all it is there activity calendar. cooking group, name that tune, exercise, hang man, jack pot, jingo, cards, cardo, trivia and the list goes on.

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I tried hangman and a spelling bee...they weren't fond of either. I thought of name that tune, but I don't know how to actually get it going. Do you just play a song and start and stop it for them?

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Guest Guest

If you have afternoon snacks have the ladies help prepare the afternoon snack, have a poker day for the men. Walking club, board games, there is one that the residents loved where I worked it is called penny-ante also chip-in they both have numerous guestions that get the residents talking and reminising and getting to know each other and laughing with each other. How about a garden club, a monthly Mens breakfast, an afternoon tea. they now have magnetic dart boards, bowling, get a golf mat, horseshoes, computer class, use water noodles to hit around a balloon. baloon volleyball. have a poetry hour, music apprectiation hour opera, classic, jazz, country, show toons, big band toons, Have a takeout day and get orders from residents from a take out restaurant and call and have it delivered in. have a candle light dinner once ever 3 months. Monthly birthday party. Depending on how big your fascility is have a new resident social once a month. Have a pizza party. have a daycare bring the children in to visit. buddy up with a gradeschool class in the area to pen pal with. have a pet visit once or twice a month. Have a travel video to a differant destination each month and on that day make it a theme for the day. if it is Italy have Italian music playing in the background for lunch Ask dietary to prepare an italian lunch. you can get travel videos and music from your local library for free. have a photography club. The list goes on and on.

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Tania:

 

AD position is actually pretty tough.... so i will remember what it was like for me with no direction and provide information.

 

name that tune..... find out the singers/artists that they liked and if you dont have too many artists right now, play the song until they remember it, and to kill time, keep playing whole songs and not just partially. each hour should last you 2 to 3 cd's.

 

Would you like to know names that they grew up with?

 

fremont ca

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Guest Pat8231

Hi, Good Luck in your new position Tania! I live in WPB also but am not an AD. All of the places I applied asked if I had my AD certificate. I do not and have decided I do not want to pursue this either. The people have to get use to you and they do not like change. I use to work in an SNF and they felt the same in the beginning but after awhile things worked out. Now I just go visit them because I no longer work there and they all ask me to come back. Try everything you can think of and eventually it all will come together Good Luck, Pat8231

8-)

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Right.... try anything you could think of. if you have one live entertainment a week, throw in 2 once in a full moon. they love music.

 

check check and check....

 

it takes time for them to trust you

they dont like change

and it will take time only to tell if an activity will take off.

 

small bribaries and rewards always helps....

 

for me, even if i have 5 people out of 200 some residents, i will be excited, and i am energetic and it helps to hold the inetereets level and that might build.

 

good luck

 

any new ideas are great.

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With such a small group, try starting a Red Hat group, and a men's discussion group-- call Home Depot or Lowes and have them come and set up a work station for an hour. Call the local fire and police to give safety talks. Take a tour to different musuems, and trips--- Our precinct provides free buses once a month. Wal-mart is very good about giving us donations once a month and we have a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese and lox. Have an art student from a local high school or college come in and give art classes. Call community centers for donations of paint and supplies or free entertainment, and volunteers. Many churches have different musicians---have them come and perform for free. Our Houston Symphony will also play for free during the day. Starting a book club with large print books or audiotapes might also work well for your group. Use the residents to do volunteer work such as help distributing the newsletter, making coffee, or whatever. Then have them join with RSVP---they give a wonderful volunteer banquet. It is nationwide too. If your residents can knit, start a knitting club and make booties and caps for sick and premie babies for the local hospital. The hospital will probably provide the yarn and maybe even the needles. Hope this helps!

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Thank you so much everyone!

 

Part of the difficulty I am having is that my budget is ridiculously low because the facility is renovating. The bus that we currently have, does work, but the owner let the registration expire. So, I am waiting for that to be done. Activities just doesn't seem to be a priority to the owners.

 

Fremontca - If you could post the names of the music artists you have had success with, that would be great. Thank you.

 

I was thinking of starting a soldier writing thing. I don't know how well that will go over though.

 

I keep getting frustrated and then I don't even want to try anything new with them. I know that isn't good and I am trying to get out of that, but it is hard when I get shot down so much.

 

Thank you again everyone! :lol:

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I am training a girl that is in your position. She is just out of school, and her first job. She has great energy. She just made her first calender, and the residents are complaining that they don't like the changes. The problem is, there were no changes made. All she did was add one week of events to "spice" up the calendar. I had to laugh when she told me that b/c before that the residents complained that there was nothing to do.

 

As I told her, hang in there. They usually adjust.

 

Stacy

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Tania:

 

Artists i have had luck with includes the following:

 

Patti Page, Conni Francis, Good Ole Frank Sin., Platters, pretenders, bing crosby, and a lot more I have had this for about 2 fridays to three fridays a month since june. starting to really run low on various artists. go to time life and order some golden oldies. Smoke Gets in your eyes, how much is that doggy. Tony Bennett Irvin Berlin.....

 

(stretisand doesnt go as well for my group... i'll keep updating for you. Spelling bee took a month and a half to take off. but is staying steady. Draw Charade never took off.... walking program indoor and outdoor with in the community does not take off. (Art class is falling out of place)

 

 

I too get frustrated and discouraged sometimes and actually lose my calm. but just wash your face with cold water..... there are other things that one can do with this backfround if they give this up.... I dont know what yet.

 

 

When i read about the new girl being trained and how the residents went up in arms when there were changes int he calendars i just had to laugh and almost started to get sad...cuz i go through that every month change or not, there is "Nothing too do" or is "It used to be done this way" or this would interfere with their long time historic traditional activity.....

 

how do you guys look beyond that and still have fun....

 

i'lve got an inhouse casino night happening in october, and a luau in 21st of sept and i am so overwhlemd about how to do it i keep running my fingers on my hair and cant get started..... i SUCK I SUCK I SUCK at the whole idea of getting things prepared and decorating..... it wastes so much time and is so busy through out the day to be not doing the stuff and be decorating...... i cant get stressed, i have a dot medical a week after the hawaiian crap. (oops, sorry, it jsut felt good to say)

 

then around that day is going to be time to start the dag gahn october calendar already.

 

HELP... I NEED TO TONE DOWN

 

If any help can be offered, it would be great......... how do you tune things out....

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Guest Guest_Yandz66

;-) Kittygirl it is soooooo understandable what you are going through.

The elderly frown on obvious change. Let them warm up to you on their terms, slowly enhance the current activities 'till you have managed to stick some more in between. Right after one game throw in a bonus hangman, or a bonus Name that tune. USE bucks! That will help alot. (Fake money) and at the end of the month with donated items have a gift shop. Soon they will warm up to you and find that there are activities other than the current one's that they could like.

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Guest Guest_Kate

WOW..how sad! I was doing good today till I read this! Don't we all make more work for ourselves than we need to????? Did the residents ask for a Hawaiian Party????? I would go Back to Basics.........Ask the residents what do they want and if the reply is BINGO 5 days a week well so be it! Whatever happened to Crafts Class, Gardening, Cooking Class, Book Clubs, Collectors Club, Fall/Spring Cleaning, Crossword Puzzle groups, Community Service programs or the real deal on just plain Coffee Hour with Current Events and conversation????? We are all trying to outdo ourselves and end up Burning out like a Roman Candle.....I say #1 Ask the residents #2 Keep it Simple #3 Don't do Themes until your ready #4 Read the newspaper and #5 Go to your Library!

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Guest irenehannan@hotmail.com

Hi Tania. I am an activity worker with the elderly in a residential home and have found music a great help. I have introduced a sing-a-long evening along with refreshments eg. cakes or homemade bread and jam with tea on a china tea service goes down really well with the residents. Another idea that goes down well is the Royal family.I am at present making a scrap book with residents who choose the pictures they like that I/we have cut out from bookd bought cheaply from second-hand shops.

Hope this is of help to you and good luck!!

Irene

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Ladies....are we all just sressed out totally or what??? I am reading this stuff and yes, OMG, I feel the same way. Never enough time, brain dead, hours too long, trying to new and fresh and creative month after month! Can it REALLY be time to plan that October calendar...or get it printed?? But I think I am luck because my residents are all so appreciative. They thank me my assistant profusely for what we do. They worry about our health and our hours. THEY tell us that we have worked enough...go home! I am 4 months into my AD position and took at least 3 months for them to accept me. It's all coming together now...they hated my new ideas at first! They are AL and very independent. It's hard to find things to make them want to come to activities when they still drive and can go wherever. But they are coming around now and try to help US as much as they can! We had a great activity today! You write a letter to someone as if you are a new resident but leave out nouns, adjectives, names of foods, etc. Have the residents fill in the blanks only by asking for a noun, a verb, etc. You fill in the blanks, the residents have NO IDEA what they are doing until the end when you read back the letter! It is hilarious! My residents laughed so hard they nearly fell out of their chairs. And you know, that makes all the rest of the stuff worthwhile. You get those smiles, those hugs and thank you's and you are hooked. No matter that I got off at 5:00 and have been doing work at home tonight ever since. We all get frustrated by we are doing so much good! Don't lose sight of that! Just hang in there and it will all come together! Laree )This is THE best site!)

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Hmmm, I love everyone's ideas! everyone is so creative!

 

Since you've been there three weeks, probably four by now, and so few residents...I would definetly take this opportunity to get to know each of them one on one! that way you'll get to know them individually, but they will also get to know you. When the facility has an opportunity to finish construction, then they will be the ones encouraging the new reisdents to attned activities, because they've gotten to know you. That might make your job a little easier!

 

Also, have you noticed anyresidents who have gained any friendshsips with any other residents? Even two or three of them? That might be a good start as well. Work with the "groups" that have formed themselves already.

 

I sounds like you're in the beginning of a fun adventure!

 

Good Luck!

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