Creating Excitement and Memories in Challenging Times

As the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading across North America it’s becoming more of a priority to protect our vulnerable residents that live in elder care homes. Most homes have implemented strict no visitor, lockdown policies to keep residents safe and healthy. Part of this new normal is the implementation of social distancing measures which includes […]

Activity Suggestions and Best Practices for Limiting Exposure

Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak, we wanted to share some suggestions and best practices for limiting exposure to your residents. We know that large group gatherings are unacceptable during these times of a major outbreak, this is the ideal time to switch to unit-based (or Home Area) programs. And of course, since you probably have […]

National Fun Day

January 28th is National Fun Day at Work. Our clients know all about creating fun in the workplace as they tirelessly create fun and rewarding activities and engagement for their clients, patients, and residents. Today may be a good day to engage all the other employees at the organization to get involved in the fun! […]

Scoring with ActivityPro: Understanding the Quality of Your Resident’s Engagement

At ActivityPro, we care deeply about giving you the ability to accurately track the quality of resident engagement in your programs. This is why we use the 3,2,1 scoring system rather than assigning residents as “Active/Passive” or “Present/Absent”. By giving residents a number score, you can do so much more with the data than simply […]

For Older Adults, Sense of Control Tied to Feeling Younger

A study published in the Journals of Gerontology: Series B found older adults feel younger when they feel that they have more control over their daily lives, reports ScienceDaily. The researchers recruited 116 older adults and 107 younger adults to fill out a daily survey for eight consecutive days, to evaluate their daily stresses, physical […]

The Benefits and Balance of Tracking Self Directed Activities

As a recreationist, you are committed to providing a wide range of programs that are relevant to your residents’ needs and interests. At the same time, many of your clients also engage in other leisure time pursuits that are not on your calendar (we call them self directed activities) – and that is fantastic. Some […]

Sharing Your Knowledge with Administrators and Other Staff

As recreationists, we need and want to share information about our residents, programs and department with others. While we know what is important to us, what we think is important, or great, may not always be the best message to send to others. Let’s take a look at effective “messaging” with two different groups – […]

Residents At Risk Report: Not Just for Finding Risky Residents

ActivityPro users know that the Resident at Risk (RAR) report, located front and center on the dashboard, is one of the most helpful tools available to the department. You are able to set resident engagement benchmarks so that you are constantly and automatically aware of participation rates and the quality of resident engagement. You can […]

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. […]

Setting the Right Benchmarks for Your Home

While most of us try to do our best every day, as human beings we are also subject to periodic “slippage.” For example, has anyone else out there made a commitment to lose weight and exercise more…but have let that one slip away? I don’t think I am alone on that one! One of the […]

Modifying Programs: Staying Focused on the Primary Domain

When residents are experiencing limited success in a program, it is our job to modify our approach, and perhaps the program, to meet them where they are (see the previous post called “Person-Centered Programming – Meeting Residents Where They Are”). We do this to ensure the residents are having a positive, rewarding, and successful program […]

Person-Centered Programming – Meeting Residents Where They Are

As recreation specialists, we know that it is our responsibility to provide programs that residents want and need. However, there are times when we find a resident is not suited to a particular program – they are unable to do what is is being asked (it may be because it is an unfamiliar task, or […]

Managing the Insertion of Residents Not Suited to Programs

You have created your new program, carefully selecting the appropriate expected outcomes relative to the abilities of the residents you have invited to the activity. You are vigorous in your efforts to ensure that you are “meeting the residents where they are” relative to matching residents to programs in which they have the ability to […]

Managing the Removal of Residents From Programs by Others

How many times have you started a program, only to have a front line staff person come in part way through the activity to take the resident for a bath, or a family member to take them for a ride. While the intent may be positive, the impact for the resident, other participants and you […]

What Are Your Expected Outcomes?

When creating an new program, you are likely expected to create a program profile, or description. Usually this includes core details, such as program Goals, Procedures (how to run the program) and Requirements (needed equipment, supplies, staff, volunteers, contacts, etc.). When creating your programs with ActivityPro, or even on paper, the identification of Expected Outcomes […]

6 Secrets to Get Families Involved with Your Programming

Involving families in certain types of programs for residents, and in certain circumstances, should be seen as a positive approach to programming. Rather than voicing concern that you are not providing enough programming, when families become involved, they know that their loved-one is engaged, and they see first hand how well you are doing your […]

Finding and Engaging the Non-Engagers

Every home has residents we call “reluctant” engagers – people who make the decision they do not want to be involved in programming. They obviously present a special challenge to the recreation staff, because we want everyone to be involved! As recreationists, we must accept two import facts: Residents have the right to choose, and […]

Enlist other staff to help track resident engagement

We know how busy the workday is for recreation staff. You get into work, turn on your computer, have a sip of your morning coffee and then a co-worker comes by to say hello… Next thing you know you’re five minutes away from starting the Chair Exercise program! You spend 15 minutes portering the residents […]

True Recreation Stories: Tips For Your Next Department Review

The other week I received a support call from Julia* who had started working in her new role as Activities Director a few months ago. Prior to her placement at this particular home Julia hadn’t used ActivityPro before, but the staff at the new home had fully embraced the program and Julia fell in love […]

Be the “Star” at Family Care Conferences

Resident care conferences with families represent a fantastic opportunity for you to really show how great your home and Recreation Department are doing in terms of meeting the needs and responding to the interests of the resident. When families attend the “annual” multidisciplinary care conference, the other department may primarily focus on information and data […]