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Getting Staff To Assist Residents To Activities

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I bought a whatzit game and would post one of the cards each week at the nurses station and a copy on all the residents board. The staff and residents had the whole week to look at the card and decide what the saying was. The catch was in order to enter the game to win the prize a resident and staff member had to team up to decifer the message (it was ok & encouraged for a staff member to pick a resident who couldn't help because the prize offered still made staff-resident interaction). When they thought they had the solution they would write it on paper provided at the nurses station and write both their names on the answer. If resident was unable to write it was ok for staff to put their name down. At the end of the week first thing of a morning I would draw a solution until someone had the right answer. I had several prizes according to the level cognitive level of the resident. If the staff entered a bedridden resident to team up with of low cognitive ability for instance the staffs prize would be a bottle of perfumed lotion-the residents prize a bottle of plain lotion and sometime during that day the staff member had to give that resident a lotion rub.Staff & Higher level residents might receive a small knick knack from the dollar store or a bag of candy & pop. If the staff member was on night shift I would leave the prizes at the nurses station and trust staffs honesty that they carried out their interaction. The main thing is to give prizes according to the residents ability and think of ways staff can interact with the resident. Staff and residents loved this game and Mondays staff they would be watching for me to post are next whatzit. If you don't have the funds for a whatzit game you could use trivia questions. Blessings, Mary

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We have a major issue with getting staffs assistance with bringing residents down to activities or back for that matter, we have tried reward programs, incentives etc. No-one wants to help, they don't mind asking for food when we have a food related act. though. Do you all have this same problem?

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That's a HUGE problem!!!!! Not only will they come down to eat the food, but they will complain that we did not take them if they are left on the unit. I don't have any solution. I do know it's easier when the Administrator and the DON are supportive. I will go directly to them when I need help. That's the only way I can get it.

 

Stacy

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Hi Crysty, yes, major problem. My only solution - get pregnant! Yes, you heard me right! I have worked at my facility for almost 4 years, and the biggest response I have ever had getting residents to the dining room is when I was pregnant. I didn't have to lift a finger. The staff overwhelmingly helped me out at every angle! But once I had the baby and came back from maternity leave, it was back to normal!

 

I still bring the majority of my residents to activities, now, 7 months later.

 

When it comes to socials and parties, I tell staff they cannot get any food unless I see that they have brought a resident to the dining room for the party. They respond VERY well to that. At first, they thought I was kidding, but when they found out I was serious, they started bringing in 2 to 3 residents themselves (I'd let them have a little extra food). Even housekeeping assists residents to the dining room when I do this.

 

Rewards really do work. Get "buddy buddy" with key staff members - it might work!

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Guest M SAMOL

REWARDS WORK VERY WELL. LIKE BRING A FRIEND ICE CREAM SOCIAL....STAFF BRINGS RESIDENT AND THE RESIDENT AND STAFF MEMBER GET A FREE ICE CREAM. JUST ONE IDEA THAT WORKS WELL HERE. 8-)

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Hi there! :-D

This is my first visit and I am looking for inspirations and good ideas to help motivate staff to do activities. Our Alzheimers facility is divided into four small neighborhoods with 14 residents in each one. Our caregivers are universal which means they actually do the activities, care, housekeeping, & meds. We have some really great staff and some not so great who will not do the activities or say that the residents don't want to do the activities. I am doing an inservice on activities and could use some input on the importance of Activities for Alzheimer's Residents.

Thanks, Chris Ellington

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I always tell my staff, that even if our residents have a form of dimentia, Activity participation is more important for them, than anyone else. Simply because, getting them involved in activities is a good way to help keep them at the level they are currently at. Just explain to the staff that it does make their jobs easier. Even if for an hour a day, that dementia resident is sitting down involved in some silly activity. At least they are not having to chase them around. And it really can help them stay at the function level they are at and slow down the decline rate. hope this helps

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Hi Chris - I realized your first post about this was over a month ago and the inservice is probably already done - but here's some thoughts none the less.

 

CJackson had the right idea when she said it gets them off the unit (unless activities are done on the unit) and, but it still helps them with their level of functioning.

 

I had a horrible aide one time (thank goodness we fired him) that kept say "how do you KNOW that is what they want to do? how do you KNOW that is the music they like? how do you KNOW they like that?" he was unbearable! he wouldn't take the residents to activities and he would turn hiphop music on for demented residents on THE RESIDENT'S RADIO simply because I couldn't "prove to him" that that wasn't what they wanted to listen to. We proved it eventually by letting him go!

 

One thing I like to do is involve the aides in a group social with the residents, but only allow them to have refreshements IF they bring a resident.

 

Another extreme you can try with teaching/inservicing staff on the need for activities is put them through a sensory/sensitivity training. Give them glasses with vasiline on them and tell them that they can't take it off because their hands don't work (put big gloves on their hands). Tell one of them they have hemiparesis and put an arm in a sling and weigh down the same leg. Put them in wheelchairs and tell them they can't move from there during the inservice, not even to go to the bathroom. Etc, you get the point. the need for attention and activities becomes obvious when you are put in the situation and can relate to it.

 

HOpe this helps!

 

Good luck!

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I am currently working in an Adult Day Center and I find myself constantly reminding my staff that has been there for at least a year that it is time for a daily activity like exercise. I have to verbaly prompt them everytime!

 

I was wondering how you work with your staff. The schedule I make is broken down into activities that usually last 30 minutes. They see the schedule but insist on waiting until I say "okay time for ballon ball" then I get it started and let them take over, but sometimes they just quit before the activity is suppose to be over.

 

I think I just need new staff. My staff is only 4 including me. How can I get them motivated to enjoy their job a little more?

 

I have asked them for ideas- like if they want to lead a particular act and they just say whatever you want us to do. Then I tell them and they don't want to do it.

 

I need help!

lydia jane

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I tried to be nice to them but then I got nasty. But, I am a supervisor. If you are not in a place of authority, you will have a difficult time.

 

Also, after I was abrupt with them, I recognized that they did put the effort into getting the residents to the activity and thier involvement. That works pretty well.

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Hi, Lydia Jane! :-)

 

Several years ago I worked in an Adult Day Care as the Activity Director. You might try appointing one staff member as the Activity Director and hold her/him accountable for conducting consistent, timely and meaningful activities. Be sure to create a job description and a means of employee evaluation. Your roll is to train, support, evaluate and discipline...but don't micromanage. If that person doesn't work out...replace them with someone who will (in other words advertise for a new Activity person).

 

Just a suggestion.

 

Best wishes,

 

Linda ;-)

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After many years of experience I live by the motto... "Hire Tough, Manage Easy". If you need to give your staff ANY prompts to start doing their job then it is time to start the progressive discipline process. I manage a staff of 21 on a large senior living campus (condos-apartments, Assisted Living, Alzheimer's Unit and a 117 bed SNF), if I notice my staff are not 'pulling their fair share' I start by doing some 1:1 coaching to identify if they do not understand expectations, need additional training etc. After this has taken place I observe for improvement, if none is noted I begin 'writing them up'. After the first write up I make sure the staff person understands what needs to change, that I am available to assist (but not hand hold) and that further poor job performance will result in progressive discipline. Hate to say it but my experience has been that these folks end up quitting or being let go. As my Administrator says, you are only as good as your worse, slowest, least productive staff person! Good luck!

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Guest benita

:-) HI MY NAME IS BENITA

I HAVE BEEN A ACTIVITY DIRECTOR FOR 3 YRS. I WANT TO KNOW IS THERE ANTONE THAT CAN GIVE ME IDEAS ON HOW CAN I GET THE STAFF INVOLVE IN ACTIVITY AND HELP GET RESIDENT INVOLVE IN ACTIVITY ALSO. PLEASE HELP ME WITH IDEAS

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Hi Benita,

I used to have a really hard time getting staff involved in anything to do with

activities.The director before me had fostered a real us vs. them mentality and it took a long time to overcome. We try to get staff involved in fun things like the Senior Olympics and staff talent shows. When we have cooking activities the residents pass out what they have made to techs and nurses and we keep coffee in our office for them to have during break. There are still some who just don't understand the importance of activities but most of the staff have really come

around and enjoy participating. The change in attitude feeds into your residents and increases resident participation. Hope this helps! :-)

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Getting help transfering the residents to an activity in our facility in the evenings is a concern of mine because most of them want to take a nap or the nurse wants them to be put to bed because she thinks they get to tired. Any suggestions?

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The staff where I work are hot and cold, if they think the activity is cool, they bring them, if not they say "you don't want to do that do you" One trick that works is to email the families the calendar. They tell the nursing staff to take there family member to programs. I also try to get the staff involved in planning the programs. for example they choose the menu for red hat luncheon, now I have 95% participation at the luncheons. What I need help with now is weekend activities, it's only me for activity staff. Does anyone have ideas for staff ran programs?

 

Thanks,

Kori

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Hello,

 

I guess im pretty lucky in this area. My staff are extremely wonderful. They love to help out, but I was told that before I came, it was not like that. They didnt help with anything. I would recommend getting to know your staff a little better. Seem a bit interested in who they are. It opens up a beautiful relationship and when someone likes you, they are more apt to helping you. We had a luau not to long ago and had a best dressed contest awarding the top three dressed giftcards. We had the whole staff dresses to impress and they had every single resident 114, dressed in grass skirts and bras, over their clothes of course. We even talked all the department heads and administrator into doing karaoke together. The residents loved watching the head honchos making fools of themselves :0)

Hope this helps

cassey

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Yes! I too have trouble getting staff to assist with getting residents to activities and have tried different things including the "rewards" as you guys have suggested. They all seem to work for about a day or two and then fail. There always seem to be one or two bad apples in the bunch that appear to set it up to fail even if they are ones that are rewarded. Also I have had staff who will walk from one end of the building allllllllll the way over to the activity room to get a cookie during the morning coffee social and will not bring a resident with her! When I ask her about it she just walks away from me. I have even gotten so bold as to say"If you are going to walk all the way over here to eat the residents cookies, why don't you bring a resident over for the activity"? She stampers with her words to come up with an excuse as to why she is in the activity room even after I have followed her from the far unit! No matter how hard we try, we are not going to change some of these people! Even with the sweet cookies! :rolleyes:

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you could make a list of suggestions for the staff meeting eg 'bring a resident with you if you come to get a snack'

and religiously implement a reward system for the staff who follow through. You'll need to be vigilent noticing all the little things people do, compliment them, make sure they know you see what they do and you appreciate it.

 

You'll need the support of your leadership team, mentoring these things in reviews and training etc.

 

Having worked at many many facilities across greater Houston in the past 5 years there must be people who don't really understand what the activities program are for or how they should be run as a therepeutic environment!

 

I've led music groups in dining halls where the staff are loudly taking coffee breaks or setting tables, worked underneath loud-speaker systems constantly calling out messages to the unit, had every unnecessary interruption or disturbance you can imagine, vacuuming, maintenance, socialising staff, people on cell phones, staff constantly walking in front of the seniors who are watching me instead of going round behind the group etc.

 

This is bad practice especially for working with people with short-term memory problems or hearing impairment, but I see that inspections now note & mark down these things more and more so maybe there will be big changes in the future.

 

Until then- good luck!

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The staff where I work are hot and cold, if they think the activity is cool, they bring them, if not they say "you don't want to do that do you" One trick that works is to email the families the calendar. They tell the nursing staff to take there family member to programs. I also try to get the staff involved in planning the programs. for example they choose the menu for red hat luncheon, now I have 95% participation at the luncheons. What I need help with now is weekend activities, it's only me for activity staff. Does anyone have ideas for staff ran programs?

 

Thanks,

Kori

 

Somethng I've done at my facility that seems to work well is each quarter (every three months), I dedicate a week to staff ran programs. I create a sign up sheet with available dates and times and I post it by the time clock (or accessible area). Staff members of all departments are allowed to sign up to run an activity program with the residents for the designated time frame. The appealing thing is, they can choose to do whatever they want (with approval of course). Some staff members who feel they do not have some sort of talent simply choose to call off bingo numbers or lead a horseracing activity. It seems to be working so far. It's worth a shot. I hope this helps.

 

Thanks,

 

Joe

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