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My name is Nancy and I am from the Finger Lakes region of NY. I work as an Activity Assistant in an Assisted Living Facility that houses 104 residents and we are usually near capacity. I have been at my job for 1 1/2 years and I am currently taking the MEPAP classes. I love my job. I have been offered much better paying positions, but nothing will make me leave what I am doing. I love my job and my residnets.

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Good day one and all,

 

My name is Christine Roberts and I have spent the last 19+ years of my life working in LTC.

 

I have worked with people from 6 - 106. Many of these people have been mentally and physically impaired by a variety of illnesses.

 

My speciality is with the moderate to sever cognitively impaired.

 

I feel and have been told that I am good at my job anfd that it shows when I am working with my clientele.

 

Over the years I have seen many clients come and go and I am greatful to each and everyone of them for that special spot that they touched in my life.

 

I know I have made a difference in their lives as well. If it were not for this knowledge I would have burnt out many years ago.

 

I am excited to be a member of this forum and look forward to sharing ideas and concerns with the other professionals here.

 

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from someone soon.

 

Christine

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:D My name is Susan Bieker. I am the Activity Director and Social Service Designee for the Sheridan County Health Complex in Hoxie, KS. I have been in the field for 27years and I love my job! We have a very active Activity program and our residents are very happy. Just went through our 2009 survey for the year and my 2 departments didn't have any deficiencies! Our LTC only had 4! Would enjoy hearing from any of you!
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:D My name is Susan Bieker. I am the Activity Director and Social Service Designee for the Sheridan County Health Complex in Hoxie, KS. I have been in the field for 27years and I love my job! We have a very active Activity program and our residents are very happy. Just went through our 2009 survey for the year and my 2 departments didn't have any deficiencies! Our LTC only had 4! Would enjoy hearing from any of you!

 

 

Did you go through the new CMS Q.I.S. process? If so how was it?

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:P :D :rolleyes: ;) B) :) :huh: Hi, I'm Shannon and I'm from Ligonier, IN. I work at Avalon Village. My "Job" as Activity Director is more like and extention of my family. At times I have been told they are building a padded room for me in the back. I dance, sing and act crazy all day!!! You never now what I might do next!!!!! We are a 67 bed facility running at a very love census of 40 at the moment. We are in a very small town and as we all know, in a nursing home, people tend to pass away and that is what has happened to us. We are a fairly large company, that is Magnolia Health Systems. We have an excellant Management Team and all are working together for the better of the residents. We are one great big family. We are getting involved in the community. We are getting raised beds for vegetable built for free. The vegetable we raise will go to the Noble County Food Pantry. This will give our residents a chance to feel like they are doing something worthwhile. I am also a CNA and can aid and cook in the kitchen. I do what needs to be done no matter what it is!!!! I am in Management, but that does not mean I am above doing any job. My heart is there for the best life of my residents and I will do what ever it takes to make sure they have person centered care. I also have a great group of 4 regular volunteers that I can always count on. The youngest is 55, 72, 73 and 92. Yes a 92 year old volunteer. They make all the difference in what I can do extra for my residents. I wouldn't do anything else with my life but what I am doing!!!! Oh ya I also have 5 boys, 18 ( a Marine), 14, 12, 10 and 7. My mom lives with us and is my youngest volunteer and my husband is a police officer in Ligonier.
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We have a 14 passenger bus, so we do not need a CDL. I have to orient any person who wishes to be a driver for us. We go out on the bus 2x/week during summer months (here in Minnesota, it's no fun to be out in the winter). 90% of our bus trips are just rides, getting out to see what's going on in the area. (Usually 45 minutes to an hour long ride.) We have many small communities w/in 15 miles of our facility, so we may travel to the local town just to say we went there. We sometimes stop & pick up Dilly Bars at the DQ. We usually don't get off the bus, as it is a lot of work for all involved to load/unload. BUT - we take a shopping trip to a nearby Wal Mart or mall about 1x/ month. We also have a casino in our community, so we go out there for a couple of hours, they also offer a cheap breakfast that we've been getting out there for. The problem is, more & more of my residents are too fragile to be out at the casino or shopping. Up until about a year ago, I had to turn residents away from a trip, cuz we were full, but now, I have to beg & plead to get 8 or 9 residents to go, even for a ride. We do have the capablilities to hold 4 wheelchairs, but again, it's getting to be such a challenge to get residents to go. 2 weeks ago, we post-poned a trip d/t lack of interest. I only had 2 residents that wanted to go! I need to have more than that to go out, especially w/ gas prices the way they are! Those that go, though really enjoy it!

Stacie O.

 

 

Is it corporate that says you need to have more residents? I feel that our programs need to be person centered and if only 2 want to go out then they should be able to. You are promoting personal care for EACH resident. When I only had 5 residents playing Yahtzee with me I was asked by my Administrator how I could call that an activity and my explanation to her was that those 5 residents had a good time and loved Yahtzee so I was doing my job by making sure each resident does what they want to do.

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Hi to all! My name is Linda, I am a CDA. At our 76 bed SNF and 16 bed hospital, I have been the Activity Director for the past 12 years. Prior to that I was the Dietary Manager for 25 years (at this same Nursing Home and Hospital). I live in Custer, South Dakota (known for the "Black Hills and "Mount Rushmore Monument") I am trying to learn all of the aspects of the AD websites and I am seeking to gain more information on doing activities for the "under age 55" population in our long term skilled nursing facility.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

I am an activity director located in Alexandria Va. I work at a 111 bed facility with one assistant on weekdays and one weekend assistant. I love seniors which makes this job so great for me. I love the fact that I could put a smile on their faces. We have a wide range of residents starting as young a 20years old to 104years old. I am always ooking for new ideas for my calendar. Currently we do not have a activity bus of our own so we rent. That is a bummer. I don't mind the paperwork and the meetings but I hate to budget. I want to be able to get them whatever they want! I plan on staying in this field for a long time because it is where my heart is. I love going to work and almost always stay late in the evening. I know I might sound crazy but once you find a job that you like to do....keep it!

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Hi, I'm new on here. I would love to be an activity assistant or director someday. Just seeing if I could get any help. I have a Bachelor's degree with minor in music and psychology. I've studied a lot of music. I'm in the Northwest part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. I would love a job in my area, but I'd be willing to move for the right opportunity.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi, I am new to this site and to this career. I am Chrissy from Columbus, Ohio. I work in a 120 bed facility, which is corporate owned. I was a STNA for 11 years, then I got hurt at the facility and have been on light duty for 2 years as an activity assistant. I recently learned I may not be able to return to STNA work. So I am tring to become an activity director just in case. I know all the paper work and all that I ran the department until they found an AD. However, 70% of my residents are vent, and bed bound. All I hear from all the staff is no one gets enough activities, there is only the AD and Myself in the department, we get 200 dollars a month for all supplies. I have tried all kinds of stuff to raise money. We need a big screen tv in our dayroom, I have tried to get an extra room for a game room we have alot of younger residents now. Corporate and Administration say it's not in the budget. In need of help/ideas, I feel like I am failing my residents!
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My name is Kathy and I also was an activity Assistant, after reading your email I thought that I would let you no that a big screen tv is not out of the question. I was recently promoted to the possion of Director of Recreational Therapy ( Activity Director) and we were so in need of a big screen tv with limited $$$$$$ we begin a chef salad fund raiser for $5.00 the employee and or residents could build a salad, it only took 4 months and we are now watching our movies on a 42 inch flat screen tv. Hope this helps

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Chrissy,

 

Never feel as if you have let your residents down. I will always remember the words of one of my residents when I was feeling the way you do now.

 

She said, "if you make one of us smile once a day then you know you have done your job" I vowed to make them laugh many times in a day and I have kept my promise now for nearly 20 years

 

I know sometimes it doesn't feel like a job and other times when you feel everybody is against you and nobody understands. My advice is 'get used to it'. Don't burn yourself out with others thinking. Remember you're there for the residents not the staff, families, or anyone else but them. Put on a happy face and make them smile.

 

Activites don't have to cost a lot of money. Ask your local stores for donations and ask the staff and families, and friends to donate things they want to get rid of and have a garage sale. Ideas are endless.

 

I have ebooks for sale at www.cognitive-therapeutic-programs.com that require the minimum to complete.

 

Residents have often told me 'one mans garbage is another mans gold'. So get to it and staff making money.

 

Good luck and let me know what happens. info@cognitive-therapeutic-programs.com

 

Christine

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My name is Jacqui and I work as an Assistant Activity Director in an Adult Day Health Program in Massachusetts. I have an Associates Degree in Gerontology and I loved all the courses I took. I am looking forward to becoming an Activity Director. I enjoy my job and hope to be working in this field for many years.

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My name is Kayla. I am from southern Ohio and work at a 122 bed facility. I worked as an STNA in the same building for less than a year before becoming the activity director. I love working with the residents, but seem to never have enough time to do all the things they want to do. I hope to learn more every year. I cannot wait to finish the MEPAP classes and become nationally certified. I'm looking forward to learning all kinds of new tips.

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My name is Kayla. I am from southern Ohio and work at a 122 bed facility. I worked as an STNA in the same building for less than a year before becoming the activity director. I love working with the residents, but seem to never have enough time to do all the things they want to do. I hope to learn more every year. I cannot wait to finish the MEPAP classes and become nationally certified. I'm looking forward to learning all kinds of new tips.
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Hello my name is Rosie Torres, I've been working for a long term care facility for 2 years,activity director for 1 year out of those 2 years. There's a memory loss unit in that facility,19 in memory care and 72 in assisted living. I really enjoy working with the residents, at times it can be very stressful, but for the most part it is rewarding.The name of my community is Cambria and is located in El Paso,Texas.

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Hi My name is Dusty Snow and I am a Activities Director at Brentwood Asssited Living ( an Emeritus Community ) in Niles Mi.

I have had this job for almost three years,I was a LPN here before I took the Activities position. it has been a challange to say the least. Although I enjoy everyday, it is nice to read on here that other Activities proffessionals have the same issues I do, ( no respect from c-workers, getting residents to come to activities etc...) .

I guess my biggest issue is getting the MEN to come to things, and doing Marketing...this is a BIG part of my job, as I recently learned the company who took over us ( Emeritus ) excpects Activities to help the marketing department with allot of thier stuff too. Well I know nothing about marketing so it has been a challange, but we are getting there and learning as we go.

I really enjoy this website and hope to learn allot on it.

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Hi My name is Dusty Snow and I am a Activities Director at Brentwood Asssited Living ( an Emeritus Community ) in Niles Mi.

I have had this job for almost three years,I was a LPN here before I took the Activities position. it has been a challange to say the least. Although I enjoy everyday, it is nice to read on here that other Activities proffessionals have the same issues I do, ( no respect from c-workers, getting residents to come to activities etc...) .

I guess my biggest issue is getting the MEN to come to things, and doing Marketing...this is a BIG part of my job, as I recently learned the company who took over us ( Emeritus ) excpects Activities to help the marketing department with allot of thier stuff too. Well I know nothing about marketing so it has been a challange, but we are getting there and learning as we go.

I really enjoy this website and hope to learn allot on it.

 

Hi, I'm a newbie here but I was an activities director for over 30 years at different sized facilities in several different states and working with both private corporations and non-profit places. I've had as many as 10 staff and as few as just me.

About 9 years ago I decided to use my music therapy and professional music background to consulate at facilities in the tri-state area (PA,MD,WVA).

Just a quick glance at the topics/concerns really brings back memories:

Nothing has changed.

So, suggestions for the 1-1 visits.

 

Do check if there is a certified pet visiting group in your area. Pets and owners go through training and as long as you check for allergies, pets can make wonderful 1-1 visitors

Check your local girl scout/boy scout troops for merit badge requirements.. There are activities both 1-1 and group oriented that can mesh with scouts and residents. use your imagination! If you can get a hold of their handbooks, check out the various areas.

 

Marketing

Difficult, indeed. I've worked at several facilites that also required this.

Make sure your newsletter is clever, eye catching and comes out regularly. Check the various special events calendars that are out there and then see if you can match up with local groups. By including the community at your facility, you're more likely to get local papers out

Check the background/life of your residents. Does someone have an interesting story?

Invite family members in for fun activities:

Grandma's Attic where families shared memorabilia of residents is fun.

Host those yard sales and tie them in with fund raisers for your local volunteer fire dept.

Check the library message boards to see if there are any interesting local groups looking for meeting places.

Have fun!

Deena

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What is your name? Fiona

 

What is your occupation? Activities Co-ordinator

 

•What are you listening to right now? My husband is watching a rally car program

 

• What was the last thing you ate? Apple

 

•Do you wish on stars? No but I pray a lot!

 

•If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Red

 

•How is the weather right now? Clear and Sunny evening.

 

•Last person you spoke to on the phone? My Mum

 

•Favorite drink? Tea

 

•Favorite sport(s) to watch? Athletics and Gymnastics

 

•Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes, blonde and red chestnut

 

•Do you wear contacts or glasses? Glasses, varifocals...getting old. Well 45 next birthday, which happens to be on your independance day, July 4th.

 

•Pets? We had a West Highland Terrier called Benny.

 

•Favorite month? I like all the spring/summer months but hate the humidity here in the UK.

 

•Favorite food? My Mums Roast Potatoes, Lemon Merange Pie, Apple Pie and Chicken.

 

•What was the last movie you watched? I watched a lovely weepy on sky about a week ago called P.S....I Love You.

 

•Favorite day of the year? Every day is a blessing.

 

•Fall or Spring? Spring...new life and new beginnings.

 

•When was the last time you cried? Friday, had to say good-bye to residents and colleagues at my old home starting my new post tomorrow, Monday...same company but I have been redeployed...other home closing.

 

•What did you do last night? Wrote an email to a new friend on a crafting site who was also an Activities Co-ordinator and I watched a little bit of telly.

 

•What inspires you? I need to think about that one.

 

•What are you afraid of? heights

 

•Favorite car? Not bothered

 

•Favorite dog breed? West Highland Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

 

•How many years at your current job? 5 years

 

•How many states have you lived in? I have lived in Dartford, Petts Wood and Orpington which are all in the county of Kent, UK.

 

•How many cities/towns have you lived in? refer to above

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi I'm Tracy and brand spankin new to being an Activities Director. My title is Life Enrichment Coordinator (which I think is a great title) at a 33 apartment assisted living facility. I absolutely love it. But I need some seasoned people who know some tricks of the trade to help me out so I'm glad to find you all!

 

I'm in Ponca City, OK and have lived in several states and several cities b/c my husband is a minister.

 

Tracy

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I have been an AD for about 6 months in FL. I am enjoying very much! We have about 100 independent residents. It is with a very large corporation I am very lucky to have such great bosses and residents! Budget isn't to bad either!

 

So far very little to no paper work is needed! However after reading everything here am thinking I had better start to cover my ____. Any input on that?

 

I had to get my CDL. Wasn't as bad of a test as I had thought it would be. Today is my first longer outing (1 hour drive one way) - we are expecting some big thunderstorm so am hoping it stays away until after we get back! (If anyone needs help on the test let me know can let you know how it went for me.)

 

Not having to be certified here I am wondering if I would get that much out of the additional training. I know I am lucky also to be paid what I am currently also.

 

This site has been a great help so far!

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  • 2 weeks later...
;) Hello! My name is Sandy Lee. I worked at the Emeritus at The Palisades in El Paso, Texas. I've been there for a year. I started out as a RA first for only six weeks. Its a retirement and assisted living community. I love my job. The residents makes my work very easy.
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Hi, I am new to this site and to this career. I am Chrissy from Columbus, Ohio. I work in a 120 bed facility, which is corporate owned. I was a STNA for 11 years, then I got hurt at the facility and have been on light duty for 2 years as an activity assistant. I recently learned I may not be able to return to STNA work. So I am tring to become an activity director just in case. I know all the paper work and all that I ran the department until they found an AD. However, 70% of my residents are vent, and bed bound. All I hear from all the staff is no one gets enough activities, there is only the AD and Myself in the department, we get 200 dollars a month for all supplies. I have tried all kinds of stuff to raise money. We need a big screen tv in our dayroom, I have tried to get an extra room for a game room we have alot of younger residents now. Corporate and Administration say it's not in the budget. In need of help/ideas, I feel like I am failing my residents!

 

 

Hi Chrissy, I am doing my fieldwork (for the MEPAP course) at a 125 bed nursing home. Last week i sat in with the activity director and a group of residents that are on a committee that try and raise money for nursing home. This small group (8-10 residents) have come up with a bunch of ideas and they have raised enough money to buy all sorts of nice things for the facility - a big screen tv, Wii game, some patio furniture as well as some smaller things like a popcorn machine (which they make popcorn and sell it to the staff for $1.00). This facility has even a less budget then you do. But the activity director said that because this group are "residents" and they come up with the ideas its easier to raise the money. They do a lot of fund raising not only inside the facility for the other residents and their families, but also open to the public. This month they are hosting a car show in the parking lot - they will be having hot dogs and pop (donated by Mcdonalds), a bake sale, a 50/50 raffle and older music. Hopefully this will help.

 

Sue

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Hi, I'm Dani (Danielle) and I'm the Activities Coordinator at our local rural hospital in ND. I'm in charge of getting the Activities program established for Swing Bed and Extended Swing Bed patients, I currently have 5 extended swingbedders and typically 1-4 in regular swing bed so we are definately small but I want to make sure my patients needs are met and they make my day!! I'm 4 months new to the entire profession but can see myself staying put as I absolutely love it!!! I've already posted a question on here and have read many ideas before deciding to become a member myself.

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  • both post support for the NAAPCC Credentialing Center
     
    Comments From Students
     
     Thank you for correcting the information that was released. I recently took the test for certification with NAAPCC and it was a very comprehensive and thorough test. It was not a simple easy test to get you certified. You had to know the information in order to complete and pass. I would recommend this avenue to anyone especially if finances are a struggle for MEPAP I & II. I did purchase the book for long-term care seventh edition and without that I would have struggled.
    Connie Gangwish, AP-BC Colorado
    reprinted with permission

    To: Activity Directors Network
    Celeste is awesome!! Anytime i have a question she gets right back with me and she is very informative. At first I didn't know if i was going to like the new course just for the fact my MEPAP course was the own pace and I work Full time plus have 3 kids. But i am loving it! It is very structured and with due dates I feel like i am holding myself more accountable for completed assignments sooner than later. It has actually been a beneficial change for me.. Thanks so much!!!
    L Williams reprinted with permission

    To: Activity Directors Network
    Good Evening I wanted to let you know that I had completed mepap 1 and had only a couple weeks left of mepap 2 so I had looked at path 2 and have taken the activities test and passed so just sending in the application. I wanted to thank you for giving all your time to us even while Kathy was ill. It didn't go unnoticed, you was a great support and helpful at ideas or even different ways of changing thoughts to positive while feeling defeated. Thank You Stacey Passa AP-BC
    reprinted with permission
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