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Showing posts from April, 2012

New Orleans Jazz Night

Mardi Gras is a certain time of the year each year, so if you have smart residents, which I'm sure that you do, if you hold a Mardi Gras theme party on any other date, you would be wrong. So, with that in mind, I decided to have a New Orleans Jazz Night instead.

For decorations, I used some of the items from my Mardi Gras collection, but nothing that said Mardi Gras on it. I had a cool back drop that showed a scene of New Orleans buildings in the evenings with lamps on. I used this along one of the main walls in my lobby. I really wanted to focus on the Jazz side of this theme event, so I found a few nice pieces at Home Goods, such as a brass horn that I used as part of a center piece. I also used black balloons with musical notes on it around the lobby. And of course, you must have Jazz music playing throughout the evening. For me, I used CDs and played them during the "happy hour" reception that took place prior to the residents special dinner in the Dining Room. We h…

Heaven on Earth Volunteer Party

What do you get for volunteers who are seniors that you want to thank for working in your retirement community each year? How do you thank them?
This year, I selected a gift that was small, but meaningful and I built my theme around it.  I bought an angel pin that says volunteer on it. They each came in their own individual box, and I wrapped them with white paper, with a silver ribbon on them. The gifts were laid on a bed of clouds on the gift table. I created the table by using Christmas lights and the same cotton that I use at Christmas for my snow scenes. It looked a bit "flat" so I added large glass vases with white candy in them to give the table a bit of height and clout.  In the dining room where we served the lunch and had the program, I used white balloons in clusters of three, throughout the room to make it feel like clouds.  On the tables, I bought white artificial flowers and created a bud vase with a silver halo coming out of each one. The music was..... harp …

Concert Series

Organization is the key to your success when it comes to the job of being an activities director in a retirement community. One of the first things that I did when I came to my job was to set myself up with a system that works best for me. Today I will share one part of it... which is processing the residents request for season tickets to community concert series.
At my community we go to approximately 6 different shows. These include the ballet, philharmonic, a few different drama series, a pops concert series and a musical series. Since our company has had accounts with these organizations for 20+ years, we have managed to get some prime seats within our group's allotment. This is a nice perk for the residents.

The way I work this element of my job is to first set myself up with a plastic folder with pockets on the inside for each series. I specifically said a plastic folder so that it will last you a long time. Mine are black, but you can get them in any color(s) you want. I tu…

Havana Night's Theme Party

I'm getting excited about my up coming Havana Nights theme party that I have planned for my retirement community. We are luck to be in South Florida, but I think that no matter where you live, you can enjoy this theme in your retirement community.
Some of my inspirations for decorations are:

Carmen Miranda Cuban music  -  MaracasFedoras or Panama HatPalm TreesCuban FlagCigar boxes used to hold snacks, flowers, utensils or as a center pieceBurlap Bags of coffee beansTropical flowers - bird of paradise, etcLarge cigar made by rolling brown paper and putting a gold seal on it in the centerBright tropical colorsCigar rolling demonstration. Please click on the link for my store where you can find other items similar to those listed above.

In my community, we like to have a reception before dinner that fits with the theme. It is a time where residents eat appetizers that are appropriate to the event and have a chance to see each other dressed for the special event. A lot of pictures are…

College Campus and CCRCs

As baby boomers begin to enter retirement, they are requesting more educational activities from their CCRC's activities directors then ever before. Their educational requests span the gamete of  taking classes on college campus, having guest speakers from the college at the retirement community, to taking on-line courses at home. There are many benefits for the residents to be involved in continuing education. Some of the benefits are:
Keeps their minds sharpImproves memoryDevelops Self-confidenceGives them a feeling of accomplishmentOpportunity to meet new people with like interestsProvides the resident with something new to speak about In my retirement community, we are very lucky to have 3 college campuses within a 5 mile radius. We schedule outings to the colleges for musical presentations, lectures and courses. I've gotten to know the contact person for the departments of interest and stay in touch with them by e-mail as often as needed. The residents are also a great res…