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Activities For Blacks


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I received a very disturbing letter this morning from one of our residents. She stated that she will not pay her membership dues to the Residents' Coucil because I do not plan any activities for blacks. She then goes on to say that she doesn't approve of what the money is being spent on.


HOW??? How can bingo and painting be excluding blacks? And any other activity!!!! We are definately a multi-ethnic place--- 75% is Russian, 20% is Asian, and the rest is sprinkled with American born(including blacks), spanish, french, and others. I have talked to her before-- when she asked why we didn't do anything for Martin Luther King Day. I explained that we don't celebrate anything except 4th of July and Holidays in December. I also said that she should come to the Program Meetings where everything is planned and help them decide on what to do( we only have 2 people that come). So instead, she does nothing, then blames me and sends a letter to my administrator.--- Thankfully, My boss is great and is on my side. She thinks I should take her aside and talk to her. How would any of you handle this?

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Guest Guest_Kate

I've has this problem over and over and over. I would make the lady responsible for suggesting an activity for Juneteenth (June 19). Ask her if she would be interested in planning a program for that. (then document that in her chart). Tell her that she can plan anything that she would like, give her a budget and access to any planning tools that she would like. Then check back with her in a week. If she hasn't done anything (and the complaining resident/staff rarely do) give her another week (docuemnt that) and so forth. Meanwhile, plan a simple "Biography" for that day, getting a video from A&E TV on Lincoln. Plan to have a "Biography" program that day. Make sure that she knows that it is planned by giving her a written invitation. When she refuses to attend (and she will) docuemnt that. We go through this on Kwanzaa, MLK Day, Black History Month and Juneteenth. We plan all sorts of programs and the complaining residents refuse to participate. We have staff that complains altough when questioned they don't celebrate at all, and they don't have any ideas on how to.

So we have jumped the hoops, given responsiblity to the complaining resident/staff and documented. As part of our job is to empower residents, this is a great opportunity to encourage residents to start planning their own programs.

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I agree with the guest that replied to your post. Documentation, documentation, documentation! Did I mention how important documentation is? I'm not sure the type of facility you are in, but in LTC, this would be something that the resident would probably tell the state team when they come. That way, you would be able to prove that you have attempted to accomodate and plan activities per this resident's request, and after several attempts to include her, she didn't participate (if this will be the case). Chances are, she probably won't participate. But you are doing a great job by trying to include her in the programming progress. I would just be sure to document every time you have approached her to include her in the planning process and everytime she has declined to participate.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I agree with the rest of my peers. Document, delegate, and Document. I also work in a LTC facility which is very diverse. We celebrate and appreciate everyones religion, culture, ethinic backgrounds etc. I do encourage residents to help plan our activities but I do feel its our responsiblity to provide there needs. As being an African American. AD, its challenging for me to find ethnic activities for my diverse community but I have to research ask questions etc. Oh by the way it would be nice to be refered to as African American , rather that Blacks.



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Guest Guest_guest

I do agree with all that you need to document what you have tryed i have the same problem with some of the residents here. and i ask them to help me plan a special activity and even set up a meeting with them to plan the activity and of sourse they back out, and make up a excuse. also how do you think these residents would feel if we did not celebrate any hoildays as not to offend anyone, or celebrated each hoilday as not to exclude anyone?


Also i have a comment to pickles4u2 I have many "BLACK" friends and they could care less what others refer to them as, they consider them selfs "AMERICANS" not african americans they were born in american not africa so if we refer to all "BLACKS" as "AFRICAN AMERICANS" does that mean we should also refer to other people as "GERMAN AMERICANS", " RUSSIAN AMERICANS", CHINESSES AMERICANS", EUROPEAN AMERICANS" and so on and so forth? This is just my opioun and not meant to offend anyone. When I speak of someone i try to leave there nationallay out of it, if someone asks say there are human, and thats all that matters.

I am sure people who read this will have mixed feelings, so please feel free to e-mail me with your views.


American and Proud of it Tiggerifc_77@yahoo.com

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Tinki

I think assuming that any general activity has an ethnicity to it is silly. As an AD we celebrate all holiday's like Cinco De Mayo and Black History, as well as, Pickle month, Backwards Day and so on! I teach the activity courses and have never heard of an Activity Director only celebrating the December holidays. As AD's were are constanly looking for ANYTHING to celebrate! I celebrate when residents just come to the activities!


I think resident's just forget how hard the AD is trying to make them happy. You schedule and activity that is focused on one resident for a Monday and that Monday the are tired and don't attend. Then you are right back to square one, where they don't think you are meeting their needs.


Documenting is the key, like they say! After the discussion with your adminstrator address the family members and ask them for advice on what could make that resident happy!


I have done a program in the past to help everyone in the facility to see just who is participating. I called it DO YOU PARTICIPATE: I created a chart on a posterboard with the resident's name and put stars down everytime they attended and activity. At the end of the month the resident with the most stars wins a big prize. Try this I got tons of good feedback from residents/families as well as Corporate.


Participation is up the resident! This was a way I could show everyone daily just who was coming to my activities. I could also point out to those who complained that they don't even attend any of the activities, and so why are they upset!


Good Luck

Karen :-D

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