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Movies in your community

One of the hardest things to find is a good movie to show in your retirement community. It is like trying to find the perfect receipe for meatloaf. Everyone has their own opinion on what is best. I have been told by residents that they want more current releases to be shown, but nothing with bad words or situations that will make them feel uncomfortable. Then I have residents who want more classics, or musicals, or award winning films.  So now, I try to stick with the formula and it seems to work for me. I show one current release, one classic, one musical and one that is a movie that is of interest, but not in one of those categories. I do not see all the movies usually, so I rely on resident recommendations, requests, and on the Internet to read the reviews. Some of the sites that use to find reviews are Blockbuster, the Internet Movie Data BaseRotten Tomatoes and a new one that I just found called Movie-ozone.  I share the movies details, including it's ratings with the community in the monthly newsletter so that they have the information they need to attend the movie or not.  If you are not a computer person and rather have something in your hands to work from, I've used  Leonard Maltin's 2011 Movie Guide and found it helpful in the past. Please take a look at the Activities Director's Store. I have found some terrific musicals on DVD that residents will love. They are worth the price of having them in your private collection since you can no longer find them in the local video stores.

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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…

Play Music More Often

"Music is the soundtrack of your life," said Dick Clark. When you hear a song, if you are like me, it takes you back to that time in your life when you heard the song for the first time or to the occasion where you heard it. That is powerful. Can you imagine the music that our residents have heard in their lifetime? Just like the world in general, they have experienced so much and it is nice when we, as activities professionals, can take them back to the happier days, with the soundtracks from their lives.
So, the question I pose to you today is how do you find and present music to your residents? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is by way of hired professional performers. That is a given in our jobs, so in this post, I'd like to focus on a few other ways that you can bring music to your residents that they will recognize and enjoy, along with theme music for your special events.

Pandora, Amazon, (search MP3 Download then search free songs) and YouTube are pla…