7 Steps to Cover Activity Calendar Basics

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7 Steps to Cover Activity Calendar Basics

Posted on January 24, 2013

With January quickly coming to a close, many Nursing communities are preparing for their annual state survey. To make sure your Activity Programs are covering the needs of your residents, review these basic programs to consider when creating your monthly calendar. Find brief descriptions of why these programs are important to your residents, along with steps you can take to make sure they are covered on your calendar.

Remember, the bigger the variety of programs you can provide, the broader the range of individuals you can serve!!


Intergenerational and Age Appropriate Programs

Accomplishing the breakdown of barriers that naturally cause age segregation can be done by providing programs to assist generations in better understanding one another. In doing so, one generation can form connections and enhance intergenerational relationships by using strengths from one generation to assist the other. Be aware that surveyors wants to ensure that appropriate programs are being provided for all ages in your community. Try making sure your younger residents have specific programs to suit their needs!

Step 1: Focus some programs on younger generation residents and touch on activities that would affect milestones in their history. Hold a 55 and under program weekly and ask their input for activities through a scheduled meeting.


One on One Room Visits

Residents who prefer to stay in their rooms should have just as much variety and range of options as the more active residents within your community. Residents who prefer to stay in their rooms, or who are bed bound are at higher risk for suffering from depression and feelings of being isolated. Be sure to cater to their activity and social needs by providing one on one room visits, according to their specific, individualized needs.

Step 2: Have volunteers assist in 1:1 room visits, and set aside some time weekly on your calendars to show surveyors that your resident’s needs are being provided.


Programs for Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Memory Care

Residents in retirement communities who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia are at higher risk for being under stimulated due to their inability to initiate leisure activities or to sustain them once they are started. This is why it is so important for the programming staff to offer opportunities to keep their residents engaged.

Step 3: Keeping residents with dementia, Alzheimer’s and Memory care involved and engaged in programs can also assist in correcting some behavioral issues and can help cut back on the use of antipsychotics. Try to alter programs to suit their needs and get them involved.


Exercise and Physical Programs

Poor muscle tone, decreased strength, loss of bone mass and flexibility are all side effects of failing to exercise regularly. Exercising can increase strength in core muscles and assist in maintaining balance when done on a regular basis. Balance and mobility exercises are essential in the daily routines of older adults. Exercise is also key when it comes to fall prevention in the elderly.

Step 4: Hosting regular exercise programs will assist your residents in maintaining their strength, assist in preventing falls, and it can also assist in avoiding wandering residents.


Spiritual Programs

Research shows that more than 90% of elderly in the U.S. consider themselves to be religious and approximately 5% consider themselves to be spiritual. With these statistics the need to provide programs that cater to both the religious and spiritual needs of the elderly should be considered a top priority.

Step 5: Inter-religious and Inter-spiritual programs are not only a way of providing your residents with their spiritual needs, but some can also cater to their social, physical, emotional and mental needs as well. Having them on your calendar will cover multiple needs.


Social Programs

Recent research shows that seniors who are socially engaged are more likely to lead healthier lives and live longer when compared to seniors that feel isolated or ones that lack companionship. The study conducted has been one of the largest ever to focus and emphasize loneliness as a separate condition than general depression.

Step 6: Social programs not only assist in eliminating feelings of depression and loneliness, but they also offer a sense of community and help encourage relationships. Social programs can be broken into specific gender groups, age groups, cognition levels, and numerous other degrees to assure you reach the social needs of all the residents in your community.


Programs for Low Functioning Residents

Sensory processing refers to how the brain registers, interprets and uses information from the sensory system. Sensory programs involve stimulation through sight, sound, touch, smell, and body awareness. Sensory input is necessary in order for our brain to maintain and to continue functioning properly.

Step 7: Sensory programs are not only important in maintaining proper brain function, but they can also be used to subdue behavioral issues by allowing comforting memories to resurface through sensory reminiscing. Reminiscing programs are extremely important in fostering to feelings of loneliness and offer a sense of belonging.