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Showing posts from September, 2011

Fancy China Party

Break out the good china! At my retirement community there are homes that are beautifully decorated by residents who have a great deal of class and style. As a home owner, I know the pride a person feels about their home and the items in it, and as the activities director, I try to find ways for residents to share their interests with the community.
I've had a few different programs that offer this experience. One of my favorites to host is a Fancy China Party. You can call it by another name, but here is what it is all about. I put out an invitation to the community inviting the residents to attend a tea party style lunch in our private dining room. I asked the residents to bring a set of their fancy china to set on the table in advance. Each person is given time in advance to set their place at the table. The culinary department completes the tables with the standard items that each table will need.

At the lunch, each person takes time to explain the history of their place setti…

Gift Cards as Prizes

What do you get for residents living in independent living retirement communities as a prize when they have everything that they need already? Gift cards! How many times have you heard that the residents are trying to get rid of stuff in their homes at this stage in their lives? I hear it a lot, and I hate to wast money on silly stuff, so I find that gift cards have been a great prize to award when I need a prize. Yes, I could give (and do sometimes) food items, but that is tricky with special diets.
I like to give away a few different kinds of gift cards. The first is more like a gift certificate instead of a card. This is a personalized certificate that I make in my office and can be applied towards the price of a fee for service activity in our community. I've made them for my activities department as well as the housekeeping and culinary departments. They are redeemable with the department heads of the various departments.

The other type of gift card is the store bought vari…

Webcam 101 for Seniors....

Teacher's Luncheon

Hosting a Teacher's appreciation luncheon for retired educators in your retirement community at the beginning of the school year is a great activity to offer which brings together residents with similar backgrounds. I host this particular luncheon every couple of years, and it is always a success. I invite the retired educators from my community to bring along a memento from their days at work and share it with the group. I hold this lunch in our private dining room because it fits about 40 people nicely, and due to time constraints, I find this is as big of a groups as I’d like to have.
I used apples as my theme for the afternoon. For decorations, I use a few paper products that can be found at most party supply stores and then made my own center pieces. For the center pieces, I kept it simple. I used glass vases and added an assortment of apples, a wooden ruler and some pencils to it. I also made name tags with a themed border around the edge for all those who attended. The menu…

Cancer Walk with Residents

Last year a few employees from the communities that I work with decided to walk in the local breast cancer walk. It was a terrific experience and though I walked in walks before, I found myself feeling closer to the women I've worked with because of the time we spent on the walk away from work, getting to know one another, and the reason why we walked! I realized that this was a community event that some of the residents in our CCRC communities would like to be involved with also. I encouraged our Fitness Director to take the lead in this year's event and she did. We are now a team and will be walking again this year with employees and residents. We will even have the company bus for our group to arrive in style! I am really looking forward to this year's event!
Here is the link for our team. We are the ACTS Pacesetters. If you are interested in joining us great! If you can donate to the team, wonderful. If this gives you an idea to get your residents involved in a commun…

Brain Fitness Training for Seniors

Here is an interesting article about a study that was done at UCLA about brain fitness training for seniors. It is very interesting. The program ran for 6 weeks (2x/wk)  and included one-hour education sessions included content on how memory works; quick strategies for remembering names, faces and numbers; and training on basic memory tools such as linking ideas and creating visual images. They found that it helped improve the resident's ability to recognize and recall words, benefiting their verbal learning and retention.  Check it out at the link above and then see if you can work in any programs that could provide such an opportunity for your residents! I also found a memory fitness book that might be helpful. Also, please check out my store's memory enhancement section for more items that would be beneficial to the resident's mind.

Tablet using Seniors

Check out this article about seniors using iPads and other tablets.

Also take a look at an early posting about the subject on my blog called iPads and Seniors

And, if you are not sure what a tablet is, where to look to find one to buy, etc, click here for a link for iPads.