Skip to main content

Monthly Newsletters

Another month is almost gone. They come and go so quickly when you are an activities director. (and yes, I know, it is because I'm getting older too) When planning activities for the residents in my continuing care retirement community, sometimes it is hard for me to remember what month I'm in, let alone what day it is. But I do know when it is my deadline for my monthly newsletter!
I thought that I'd share what is in my newsletter and the process that I use to create it. First, I am the editor of the newsletter. I oversee the content and the quality of the stories. Since our newsletter is used for marketing as well as for our residents, the content is very important. I try to use other communication tools to share operating news that is not "newsletter worthy." Articles in the newsletter are informative and interesting and usually share news about the two best features in our community (in my opinion) which are, our residents and our activities.

So what's in my newsletter? First, the standards are a list of people celebrating birthdays in the month (unless the opt out of being on the list), a list of movies for the month, and an article from our Chaplain. Then I have a resident who interviews the new resident who move in, and another who writes about the resident's comings and goings (ie. trip they took, guests they had, etc.) Residents love to see their name in print, so make sure to put it in bold. Our fitness instructor writes two articles, one is about fitness and the elderly and the other is about a resident who is active in fitness. I am also able to use an article from our company's dietician. Then there are articles from different community committees including our library. I like to create my own "filler" which is small "special copy boxes" that highlight special events coming up. And last, but not least is a listing of the activities for the month. I separate them into three categories. The first is the weekly entertainment, then the special events, and the last is the educational opportunities.

Now that you know what is in it, let me tell you how I get it done each month. First, each contributor is asked to turn their articles into me by the 15th of the month before the issue comes out. I type them if necessary, edit them, and get them ready to send to the printer. I make sure there are enough articles so that I don't have to have "filler" articles. After it comes back from the printer, it is ready to be proof read. I do the first draft by myself. I look for grammar, punctuation and layout mistakes. When I get the second draft, I proof read it and also send it to two other residents who proof read for me. (They always find something different than I do and from one another.)

I do all my article submissions and updates through the fax machine. I could also send them by email, but there is no cost savings for me at my printers, so I still do it the "old" way for now. Check with your printer to see if there is a difference in cost for you.

I really enjoy creating the monthly newsletter and am really happy when the final deadline for it has past.... then I have a few weeks to get geared up for the next issue (and do the rest of my job).

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…

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…