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What Is Your Budget

What is your Budget a Month?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your Budget a Month?

    • Budget of zero dollars
      0
    • Budget of 100-300 dollars
      9
    • Budget of 301-500 dollars
      4
    • Budget of 501-700 dollars
      0
    • Budget of 701-900 dollars
      1
    • Budget of 1000 or more dollars
      6


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Hi. This is Z in Savannah, Ga. I work inside a hospital as an Activities Director. I have two units and a total of 33 patients. My pt's don't usually stay long so it's tough sometimes knowing what I need as far as equipment on hand. Actually, I have purchased everything so far. Well now that it is budget time is there anything you would consider a must have for your facility?

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Guest Guest_Kathy

The budget considerations and capital expenses for your particular facility would be as unique as the needs of the facility that I work at. It would be like comparing apples to oranges as the cliche goes.

However, here are a couple suggestions (keeping in mind that in my facility I have to scrounge for everything)

 

Used Med Carts - used for 1-1 activities, decoupaged for particular uses, crafts, reading/puzzles, cooking and video/DVD/CDs/Talking Books

 

A TV/DVD Player on wheels, money to purchase documentaries, educational craft and hobby DVD's, Classic Movies and Music Videos

 

A Portable white Board/chalk Board to use for games and puzzles

 

A Convection Oven on wheels to bake and cook. All the cooking and baking equipment to take to residents rooms and cook with them.

 

these are just a few ideas...including a computer, printer, internet access and Print Shop

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Ditto to what Kathy brought up! I might also consider small cd/tape players to use in individual's rooms as needed. What about internet access for pts? We've got a computer for resident use & it's starting to gain popularity!

 

:lol:

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Please help. We are no longer receiving an activity fund. IS it legal for a Nursing Home owner to not give any money to the activity department? Ocassionally, we get money from the Vendors. But, I have had to cancel most of our food-related programs for this month because we did not receive any money! We owe the residents money from games they have played. We did get a small allowance monthly but never steady and never dependable. I have tried fundraising and we did a chilidog sale and no one wanted to buy the chilidogs because they get a lunch from the kitchen for $1. We broke even! We had a craft fair last year and had a difficult time getting vendors due to it being a nursing home and they felt that their sales would not do well. We've had bake sales and the two front office ladies sit and complain that some of the girls in Activities department didn't bake anything so why should they. I bought things for the girls to bake and they STILL didn't. I cannot TELL them what to do on their own time. I'm pulling my hair out frustrated. I've talked to the administrator and she throws herhands up....she says she has no money for the fund. Any suggestions?

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Don't know what to say about not having a budget...that's horrible...for prizes for games since you know you won't have any money how about coupons to the residents ie: this coupon redeemable for one manicure on any friday of your choice or etc.

 

Doesn't your kitchen help at all...do they supply ice cream, sodas, chips anything that you could use as prizes or for food-related activities.

 

Also it sounds like you guys need some team-building since no one wants to help each other to help the residents.

 

Good luck...if I think of anything else I'll be sure to write again...Heather D.

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THank you for responding....actually, NO the kitchen helps with nothing. They say they cannot afford it with their budget as well. In fact, last Christmas they had a fit because they had to prepare the food items we bought for our Christmas party. I am doing my best to team build but it seems the reason the girls dont bake, they say, is because they dont make enough money to buy for the bake sale. That's why I bought the ingredients for them. Not only that, when we have outings, we are expected to pay our own way. none of my dept. wants to attend because they say they just cannot afford it!

The residents are not coming to many programs b/c there's only so many discussion groups and games they can attend. The department USED to get almost 300.00 and it just kept dwindling. Now, we are down to almost nothing. Our program is really suffering....thanks for your help though.

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Unfortunately it is a fact that when budgets get cut activities is the first to feel the pinch. This is because the majority of long term care companies operate in a medical model; meaning they treat the entire operation as an 'old fashion' 1980s nursing home. The reality is that activities is the most important department. It is our department that makes life worth living and provides a sense of purpose for the residents. The other unfortunate fact is that sometimes the only way we get what we need is AFTER surveyors have pointed out the problems. You may share you concerns with your administrator, corporate offices, etc. and they will only throw their hands up, however when surveyors point out to them that the activity department does not have the necessary supplies to provide an adequate program they may listen. I have been in your shoes; my previous position was with a large long term care chain (maybe even the one you work for), our budget was cut every year. Don't lose faith though, I now work for a nonprofit organization that truly values activities. I have a hard time spending all of my budget and when we go on outings the facility pays for the staff's meals, movie tickets, etc. You could try posting an 'activity department wish list' listing the items you need i.e. craft supplies, bingo prizes, busy box items; I've had good luck with this.

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Guest Guest_Kathy

I would guess if faced with that problem I would stop doing activities that cost anything and turn to the copier and just schedule activities that don't require any items to be purchased.

 

Reading Groups

Go to the Library and borrow supplies

Find "recycle" crafts

Find Scout troops to come in an supply materials

Find school groups to come and do projects (they bring the supplies)

Offer to clean out other Activity Department cupboards

Make a list of supplies I needed and send it to all the churches and community groups I could find in the phone book

Make friends with the local Librarian

 

I have been there and was amazed at the free stuff available. I didn't plan any dinners, food related activities, no big Bingo prizes (just donations), we had a TV and very limited supplies and still had a great time! I just kept remembering that the residents lived through the Depression. It was frustrating, BUT it made me creative and resourceful.

 

If residents wanted a special meal, they paid for it and we enlisted the help of the families.....those events were more meaningful than the ones that the facility did. As for your staff....well perhaps they need to know that they are going to have to be creative and resourceful or they will be going somewhere else. You can do this you already have one resource that I didn't and thats the internet........its full of ideas and FREE stuff........

 

Best of luck

 

 

PS...The facility does get reinbursed for activities as it's a medicaid requirement....

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Guest Tinki

I know of a few facilities that have no budget and they make it work. I personally don't want to be the one to have to make it work. AL are private pay - people are paying good money to put their families in the facilites, I think they should try to provide adequate care. In NF some private some supplemental pay or both- it is still the same case, when would you put your family in that facility if they are not going to meet standards.

 

Karen

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We have a pretty good activity budget...but it is really never enough. I want my residents to have the best of everything. One of the things I have learned is that some of the Hospice groups will donate alot. We have one marketing rep from a Hospice that calls and just askes what I need or what she can do for me. we get bday cakes, ice cream, plastic wear, bingo prizes...whatever. They are trying to get business from you so they are usually ooen to scratching your back so to speak.

 

Also, charitable organizations will donate more than their time. We have a mom and daughter group that spend alot of time here and they have just valled this week to ask what we need. They are donating a tea set for our afternoon teas. They have also donated differnt holiday supplies.

 

And families and a great resource. I do not like to ask too much from the families because they are already paying good money for their loved one to be here but if they ask...well I am not shy. It is not for me, afterall, it is for the residents. I love to get anything for free so I do not hesitate to accept anything. Also, I ask for alot of discounts when I go shopping. I play a guilt card with the merchants.

 

Good luck and have fun.

 

Tiffany

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Guest Guest_Audra

One idea that worked for us, is to write a letter to a business requesting what you are in need of. Hand deliver it and thank them for taking the time to speak with you. I would not down your company when talking with them, but rather, be positive and let them know what great activities you do offer and let them know how receptive the residents are to what is presented. I've spoken with many individuals at different department stores, national chains, and home-owed businesses. (They all are willing to give for the most part). When you speak so highly of programming, they can't help but want to be involved and do what they can to help. Some of the items we have received are: fishing poles and supplies, birthday cake and ice cream for the monthly party (By the way, this became a regular donation from a local grocery store years ago. We've not purchased a b-day cake in years), new craft projects, bedding plants & hanging plants from a local nursery, and the list goes on.

 

One other way to get donations for yor activities department is to advertise in the newspaper. Here in our town, we have a "Neighbor's Page" once a week, and all items on that page are inserted free of charge. Check with your local paper to see if you have some thing of the like. A wish list printed on that page would, more than likely, bring you lots of goodies! (And when it does, be sure to write the giver a thank you note and have it published on that same "Neighbor's Page", better yet, take some pictures and submit a picture along with the thank you. It is good PR for you and the company donating.

 

Just as a side note, when you are out doing and shopping for yourself, if you are anything like many other activities directors, we can not close our minds to our work, we constantly think of things our residents need and would like, so just in talking with others, it can be rather easy to let department managers, businesses owners, etc. know of upcoming special events, and how the residents LOVE IT. You might get a donation out of it, who knows. Often managers will offer to give without you even asking. (This is how I recently acquired the new fishing poles, etc). It works for me!

 

Hope some of these idea are helpful.

 

Audra

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Hi, Everybody! :-)

 

I just want to pass this on to you. The NCCAP conducted a nationwide survey of Activity Professionals regarding their salaries, budgets and staffing. You may find the results at the NCCAP site: http://www.nccap.org/survey/2005_salary_survey/index.shtm

 

Notice the wide variation in wages and budget. This is why, when someone asks what kind of wage they should receive, our answers sound so confusing. Sheesh!!!!! :hammer:

 

Happy AD'ing ;-)

 

Linda Lucas, AD

 

PS: Thanks NCCAP for the data.

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Thanks Linda! Its always interesting to read these types of surveys, I just wish there was more than a 2% response rate. Do you have any inclinations as to why the other 98% of people didn't respond?

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Hi, Kate! :-)

 

I have no idea why the survey response was so small. Here is what NCCAP has to say about their survey:

 

"So what do the results show on an average? The average activity professional works in SNF/LTC in an Urban area and has at least an associates degree, if not a bachelors degree. The average Activity Professional has 11 to 20 years of experience, is nationally certified as an ADC, works 33 to 40+ hours per week and earns $11 to 19.75 an hour. The job title most often used is Activity Director. Your budget is $600/month or less and your staffing ratio is most likely 1 staff member for every 31 to 59 residents.

 

*Again the information provided here was based on the information provided by the 128 certified members that completed the survey. NCCAP is not making any recommendations, endorsements, etc., as to the proper amount, wage, salary an individual should make and/or request. NCCAP recommends that individual activity organizations conduct their own wage surveys to better assist their members on a more local level."

 

 

Perhaps we should conduct our own survey here on the Activity Director Network. Or, I could post a survey on my site or in Activity Director Monthly. What do you think?

 

Best Wishes,

 

Linda Lucas, AD ;-)

 

PS: By the way...I would sure like for those people who have a $10,000 per month budget to tell me how I could get one (even $1,000).

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Guest Debbi

Ha!,Ha! what's a budget? If I want to do anything I have to take it out of my pocket or if I'm lucky we get $50.00 a month

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Guest Tinki

Three people so far have over 1000 dollars - that is crazy. What I could do with that kind of money.

 

Karen

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Is it just me or do our budgets just keep going down. I am the A.D. of a facility with over a 100 residents, and our budget is a measly 2000 a month, any body else wanna comment on their monthly budget woes?

Maybe we could all compare and see what good is, and what bad is.

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Hello,

I don't think $2000 is bad. I have had to run an activities department for much less per month with the same amount of residents. You have to be creative with the money no matter how much you get each month. It's never enough for all we do!!! I do agree with you about budgets going down. You have to love all of the cuts the goverment is doing.

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Guest Kate AA

I would love a budget of $2000!!!! And I have more residents! I guess that I see the budget as a supplement to activities that the residents would like to have. And when you really ask the residents what they want it doesn't cost that much. We use our money as an investment into things that will last and into food! Specials food, foods they can't get from our Food service Dept.

And I believe it's not the government. The best-kept secret in long-term care is that Activities is reimbursed to the facility...if the government requires something, they have to pay for it. So as Activities is required your facility does get money for it. And it hasn't decreased in years.... where does that money go????? Let's start with all the overtime that a certain department gets...ALL that Overtime

So if you don't get the money that is reimbursed to your facility, ask...perhaps you will be surprised!

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Guest Tinki

Please don't forget to vote, I want to submit this statistical poll into the Activity Director's Quarterly!

 

Karen

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Hi, I have to submit a budget for the Activity Dept. I have never had to set one up before. I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions of items that I should have on my budget. Since Admin went this route, my budget will likely be what I am currently getting or less. My concern is that when I hand in my budget proposal, I may overlook an item. Another question is, do any of you budget for books, periodicals specific for the Activity Dept.? thanks, darlenebe

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Guest KathyAA

Here's what we have:

 

Resident Tranportation

Cost of renting vehicles for resident outings

Supplies

Everything we need for activities including subscriptions, craft supplies

Bingo prizes, DVD's, VHS tapes, CD's and Capital expense items

Food and Food Products

Snacks, food for events, special meals including devliery food

Computer Supplies

Ink, paper, new printers

Entertainment

At least four entertainers a month

Continuing Education

Budget for staff to go to conferences

Pastoral Care

Donations made to churches for services

Volunteers

Displays, recognition supplies including postage and cards

Facility Newsletter

Printing, envelopes and postage

 

These are just some of things that fall under the various catagories....

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There is no way to think of everything you will need. Something will always "come up". The best advice I can give you is to sit down with your exec director or whoever knows what goes to whos budget and make sure you do not pay for things that others should be paying for. Examples....business supplies (office supplies, postage, etc) might be handled by an office supplies acct. Snacks and food for socials and happy hours might be handled by the dinning services dept. When I first started I just assumed everything that to do with an activity came from my budget, I was wrong and was spending money that I should not have been spending. Of course every company is different so you should have a sit down with your exec to get an idea of what is what. :-)

 

Tiff

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Guest Tinki

That is a great list

 

Activity Resources - for activity department to buy books, magazines, websites to better the program!

 

Karen

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