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4 Pictures 1 Word Game for the Big Screen

Many of you who have played 4 Pictures 1 Word, know that this brain game is available as an app for your computer, tablet or phone for free. That is great, bu it does not allow a team to play and is not audience friendly if you wanted to present it at your retirement community (or other social gathering). 
After some time and effort, I made a 4 Pictures and 1 Word game  slide show that you can use in your community. I did use the app for suggestions and the Internet for the pictures. I am glad to share this with you so that you will not have to spend the hours that I did in creating this game. If you get the urge to make one also, please come back to this blog page and share it.  I played this last week with a group of about 25 independent living residents.We did not get through all of the slides due to time constraints..... but I was glad I did not run out of slides in my hour that I had their attention. I will be playing this with them again... and would love to have other slides t…
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Brain Games

Recently we hosted our senior Olympics program. This year we added a new event called Brain Games. I found a really good link for brain games that you should look at to understand the definition.
After looking at that link and reading through some other online material, I realized that there is a difference between training your brain and brain games. Be mindful (pun intended) that you are not qualified to train resident's brains unless you have gone to training for it. We, as activities professionals however, are very capable of playing brain games with those who are interested in our communities.
Recently, I introduced Scattergories, Apples to Apples,Wii Jeopardy,Wii Wheel of Fortune and a Name that Tune type of game.  They are fun games that required your brain, so I thought that they were Brain Games. This last game, Name that Tune, I created on my own since I could not find anything that would have been appropriate for this generation to identify with. I downloaded music from t…

Marching into Fun

Can you believe it is March already? 2016 is well under way. The question for you today is, "how have you improved the offerings that you present to your community?" I believe that if you are not changing it up, or adding more to the calendar of events, that you are not as successful in your job as you can be - or should be for that matter. 
Being in the field of providing recreational programs is an opportunity to enhance residents' lives. If you are not doing that, it is not fair to those who you serve. There are plenty of resources available to you so that you can be awesome at your job. Today, I will share a few new ideas that I brought to my community this year. 
Wii Jeopardy and Wii Wheel of Fortune-  I have people who are active Wii bowlers in the community, and I have residents who leave evening programs in order to get home to see Wheel of Fortune and/or Jeopardy on television. So, I found the Wii games on Amazon, and ordered them. I planned th…

Loving my Job

It is the month of love and today I ask you, do you love your job like you use to? After being in the field of recreation with seniors for almost 30 years, I can still say yes. But, let's be truthful, I won't say that I would say yes every day of the year.
Here are some of the reasons that I still love my job. I hope that by sharing these with you that you will take the time to consider your situation and find that you have similar reasons to be glad you are an activities director.
The appreciation of the residentsThe diversity of the day's tasksThe experiences I've had that I might not have had otherwiseTravelingRestaurantsCultural experiencesReasons to dress up, get in costumesetcLearning life lesson from worldly residentsDoes and don'ts for a good marriageHow to treat your elderly parentsHow to be a classy womanThe value of faithStrength in difficult timesetc.Professional growing opportunities through a great companyThe opportunity to bring happiness to the res…

Do's For Your Dance

During December my community hosts its annual holiday gala dance. It is a semi-formal event with high-end appetizers and a first-class dinner. Every year we try to raise the bar on this special night. After working with my company for the past 18 years, it is a challenge to keep it fresh and exciting, but the evening always seems to be very well received.
With those years of experience come a few lessons that I have learned. You may not host a gala dance, but I think you will still find these points helpful in your job as activities director.

Promote the date of your event well in advance so that residents have time to plan their evening (outfit, guests, table seating arrangements)Book a special musical talent for this night. This should not be someone your community uses on a regular basis. At the same time, you should develop a good working relationship with the performers so that in case they must cancel on you at the last minute, they will work hard to find …

Key Ingredients for Successful Holidays

Take time before the full craziness of the holiday schedule begins to get yourself prepared
Have a plan for the next few months, but be flexible enough to change them
Adjust your attitude from overwhelmed to “I can do this,” and see the opportunities for enhancing  your resident’s lives

Scared to Say Yes?

October can be scary! Not because of the ghosts and goblins that might be coming to your community to trick or treat, but because of requests from your residents who live there, when they ask you to try something out of your comfort zone. (And yes, this can happen any time of the year!)
A resident recently came to me to ask if I'd organize an outing to a local Oktoberfest. I shared my concerns for the group's safety on this trip because of the footing at the fairgrounds, the rowdiness of the crowd, and the ability to track down missing residents if they do not return to the bus at the scheduled time. My "final" decision was, no, I would not be organizing the trip for her.

After a few days, the resident came back to me and said that she would do all the research about the trip for me and bring it to me for another look. In addition to all her research, I also knew well enough that she was talking the trip up to her friends in the community so that the trip would be s…