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Activity Director Problems

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Hey everyone! My name is Amy Helgeson and I am a recent high school graduate from a high school in Minnesota. I have had a soft spot for seniors ever since I was a young girl, and this year I really found my purpose in creating something to benefit their lives. For the past year I have been working on a startup that helps seniors cognitive development through creative brain exercises and classes based around entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking. I am completely new to this space, and I want to learn more about the pain points you as Activity Directors have. I want to know the best way to accommodate both ADs and senior citizens to make both of your lives better. If you are willing I’d love to hear your responses and thoughts on this industry.


How many people do you have on staff to plan activities? Is it just you or do you have assistants?


What are some problem areas you have related to activities?


What would make your life easier when it comes to senior activities? What do you wish you had?


How often, if ever, do you hire outside help? (This could be in the form of hiring musicians, teachers, Bingo Callers, etc.)


Is there anything I should know about this space or how to get involved with ADs? Any information or insights you have would be helpful :)


Thanks! I am excited to pursue a career in an area that helps this amazing demographic of people.


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Hi Amy! I'm not an AD yet, studying to be one in my "second career"... In our facility, the AD does the planning but has monthly team meetings with the assistants to get feedback. We usually have 3 assistants at all times to help with activities. We bring in various exercise teachers and musicians and have volunteers such as pet therapy. We bring these people in about four times a month. So far the only difficulty I've seen is that just as in a classroom, we have various levels. We have some that need so much 1:1 assistance and then some that are getting bored waiting on the next step. Or they finish rather quickly and then ask, "Is that all?"


Good luck in your studies and on your project. And congrats on finding your life purpose early in life!! :) :) 

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I have only been in this position a few months. I am the only person in Activities currently 83 residents. Coming up with ideas, sometimes is tough. Paperwork is one of the biggest problems. It would make my life easier if someone else would do the paperwork, then I could do what I really enjoy. Which is spending time with the residents. I wish I had a room that could be used to relax. ex Aromatherapy, soft lighting, soothing sounds and some sensory items to use. I get hired musicians every month. I will tell you it's not easy but it is worth it. Everyday I can say I made a difference. The residents are the reason I do this, it's for them not me. Good luck and I wish you well.

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