Proving the Quality of Resident Engagement
For too many years, recreationists have simply relied on tabulating the frequency of resident participation in programs to validate success. In other words, the more often a resident attended programs, the better.
Unfortunately such a measure doesn’t represent the quality of engagement, particularly if the resident sleeps through the program, or is distracted and disruptive. So while being there (attendance) is one measure of resident engagement, it is not a stand-alone measure of the quality of the resident’s engagement.
There are two fundamental (and relatively easy) ways to validate the quality of resident participation in recreation programs.
(1) Variety of engagements: Review the resident’s participation based on the variety of different domains. For example, if you are using the typical five domain classification system (physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual), and recognizing that people have needs in all five domains, you might set a benchmark of participation in at least three different domains as a measure of quality of engagement.
(2) Score based on achievement of expected outcomes: By setting expected outcomes relative to the primary domain of the program, you can then evaluate how well the person has done. In ActivityPro we use a three point scale, with “3” representing a high level of success, “2” for moderate, and “1” for limited success. It is crucial that the expected outcomes are set in advance, and that the person scoring is measuring success based upon those outcomes. Over time if a resident has an average score of 2.33 or above, we consider this to be a good measure of success.
Validating the quality of resident engagement is important, especially as recreationists must increasingly prove the worth and value of our efforts and programs. Without such validation, recreation will increasingly be questioned to justify the impact of programs on resident well-being.
While carrying out such measures is possible using a manual documentation process, using ActivityPro certainly streamlines the entire process, provides quality documentation reports, and saves time for your most important outcome – more time for staff to interact with residents!