5 New Year’s Resolutions for Activity Directors!

Many people do their best to make New Year’s resolutions that will help improve their life. Well why not take a step further and make resolutions for your job that will help improve your resident’s lives as well?

The concept of making New Year’s resolutions for your activity department will not only help tackle little challenges in your job, but it will also offer benefits to your resident, and possibly even your staff. We all know that happy residents help make for happier staff, but the question is, how do we challenge ourselves in 2013 to make our residents happier?

We can start by focusing on our current activity challenges. Maybe there is an issue with limited budgets, or struggles with providing programs for men, lower functioning residents, or maybe you are struggling with finding more volunteers? Whatever the challenges may be, January is the time to make some revisions and tackle some issues to make your Activity Department the best that you can!!

Take a look at some of these resolutions that could help you enhance your Activity Department!!

1. Provide more Resident led programs:

  •  Have a resident teach your other residents a hobby such as knitting, sewing, a board game, or cards games, and then host the program weekly.
  • Suggest a high functioning resident give a lecture or discussion on a topic of interest.
  • Allow a resident to have a sense of ownership over a program of interest (possibly Bingo), and allow them to prepare and run the program.
  • Encourage social residents to tell other residents of the beginning time of programs, and encourage them to attend.

2. Stretch Activity Budget further by being more resourceful:

  • Host an outing in the spring with you residents to go Yard Sailing for supplies.
  • Do a bake sale, or craft show with your residents to help raise money for the budget.
  • Always accept donations. If you don’t have a need or use for them, try pawning the items for more money to apply to your budget.
  • Be resourceful and creative to find new ways to use supplies you already have.

3. Recruit more volunteers:

  • Contact local churches or organizations to recruit volunteers.
  • Market the offering of Community Service Hours to local high schools.
  • Encourage “Adopt a Grandparent” type programs to local groups (girl scouts, boy scouts, day-cares, Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations)
  • Ask family members to host programs of interest (EX: a discussion about a recent vacation)

4. Provide more programs focused around men:

  • Take trips with the men to local kids football or baseball games.
  • Have weekly “Men’s Sports Trivia” or “Poker” competitions.
  • Have a men’s breakfast or lunch with topics of choice and preference.
  • Host a Men’s movie night that show old westerns or movies of choice.
  • Create a “Men at Work” program that allows your men to build or work on something. Offer modeling, or tinkering type programs.

5. Offer more sensory style programs for Lower Functioning residents:

  • Play sounds of Nature Noises.
  • Offer Hand and/or foot massages
  • Rub lotion on your resident’s hands, feet or legs.
  • Play soothing, relaxing videos in a dim lit room to offer a sense of relaxation.
  • Have an Aroma Fan blowing scents in the room of your activity program.
  • Offer light sensory programs, with different colored lights