I love when a resident comes to me and says that they want to provide a program to those they live within our retirement community. The positives usually outweigh the negatives in these kind of programs. I have residents in my CCRC who have presented the following:
· "Getting to Know" you shows with fellow residents. Here they interview a resident and develop a program to showcase their story so that it fits into an one hour format on our stage
· Recognize that it is a special day or month in the year and host a program to recognize it. For example, September was National Sewing Month, and there was a gathering to discuss the resident's past and present successes and also determine if there is an interest for future gatherings.
· Host a poetry reading program that features a resident presenting his or her favorites
· Arts and Crafts programs including a beginners painting class where the resident in charge provided all the supplies to the group
· Host a Tea Party. This is something that I usually do once or twice a year, so I invited the resident to co-host with me. I ran it as I usually do (sign up, and charge the residents afterwards) and she provided the program that was a lesson on tea, which added a nice touch
There are many more that I could share with you, but I will stop here because the fact is that what might work for me, might not work for you. It all depends on who is living in your community and who wants to share their time and talents.
What I’ve learned about having a very successful resident driven program is I can run a better overall activities program if I do not try to control every part of it. What a great feeling it is to see, that with my support behind the scenes, including proper advertising for the resident generated program, that my community gets to have another quality program. I like when programs are "win-win" programs. This concept is more than that because the resident who gives the community the program wins, those who attend it are winners and I am a winner too because it has enhanced my activities calendar. Get to know your residents and don't be afraid to ask them to provide a program for you. If you get a "no," at least the resident knows that you value them and that is a just another plus.