Skip to main content

More Movies

Seems like we have been taking our residents to the movie theater more lately because of the great selection of movies that are available. They've enjoyed The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Queen, The King's Speech, and more in the theater. As activities director's this sounds like an easy outing to plan, but it usually is not. We like to plan programs in advance and put them onto our calendars with a specific date and time..... and they should be accurate, of course. But with most theaters, they do not announce their show times until the middle of the week for the upcoming week. Because of this, most of the announcements that I put out to sell a moving outing are an addition to the calendar, promoted usually with "time to be announced," and then followed up by phone calls to those signed up to tell them the correct bus departure time. It is more work than the average outing.
As an activities director, you can tell by the previews when something looks good for your resident population. You don't have to wait until it comes out on DVD to show it, just know that it is alright to have an addition to the calendar that does not have all the facts, because that is the nature of this kind of outing. It has taken me awhile to understand that I don't have to control every activity 4 weeks ahead of time in order to be successful.
Speaking about DVDs, I have been using DVDs that residents have loaned me for my Monday Matinee shows. They have been  The Great Courses series. These are educational in nature, with a professor speaking to us as if we are in the class room. Based upon the subject matter, they have been well attended. Subjects have included art historyAmerican history, World historymusic appreciation, etc.. The value of borrowing from residents is two-fold. First, if they own it, means that they are interested in the subject and most likely other residents will be too. I find this helpful because what interests me usually does not interest them because of our age difference.  And secondly, the series are expensive to buy. Saving money is always a plus in a non-profit organization looking to provide the most for less!
I do use Netflix to select my movies for the Friday night movie series. These movies are the types of movies you watch for entertainment, as apposed to the educational ones mentioned above. When searching for movies, I did find a whole lot more educational DVDs that I will be able to use on Mondays. In the upcoming year, I will be adding biographies and documentaries to the schedule. It will take a little bit more research and time on my part to put together a "series" that has a complete theme, but I think it will be nice for a change of pace. I don't know about you, but I rather see a "movie" and learn something than to sit in a room and be taught by a professor lecturing. Different people, different styles of learning, so.... it is time to mix it up.  
Can you add something new to your calendar this year? Can you acknowledge that as an activity director that you don't have to have all the details on your calendar at the beginning of the month to have a successful program? I know that you CAN!
Interested in reading more about movies in retirement communities? Here are other posts I've written:

Here is a link to find movies @Amazon that we've enjoyed 
I found a good and legal website to watch classic movies and documentaries on your computer, IPad, Iphone or Android device. Check out This would be great to have on a community Ipad that you can take from room to room for those needing that service 

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Veterans Day Service

In our retirement community, Veterans Day is a very special event. This holiday honors the living veterans who served and are serving our great country. In our independent living community, we have Veterans from WWII, the Koren War and Vietnam War. Veterans Day is always celebrated on November 11 at 11:00 a.m.  (I think really it is suppose to be 11:11 am, but that might look funny on your calendar.)
Our program usually involves a few key elements. The first is that we ask the men in the community to make sure that we have the service stats so that we can announce their branch and length of service. This information may be printed on the day's program, used as part of a slide show or shared by the speaker leading the program.  We like to give our veterans a chance to stand out on this day. We ask them to gather together and proceed into the auditorium to sit in a reserved section for them. Sometimes I order a boutonniere or corsage for them to wear into the service, or give them a…

Not-So-Newlywed Game

One of the fun evenings in our community is when I host the Not-so-Newlywed Game. I’ve done this a few times and the residents really enjoy getting to know some of our couples better. It is not a program that I do every year. I like to mix it in to the calendar so that it stays fresh. I also have it based on when there are enough fun and interesting couples to participate. It is very important that those who are participating are quick witted, up-beat people, who the community knows and likes. The residents remember the real Newlywed Game with Bob Eubanks, so I make sure to speak to the couples independently and assure them that the questions will not be anything inappropriate. I explain to them that I do realize that unlike a cruise ship, that I know that they have to see the people in the audience for the rest of their lives and that I would not embarrass them.

I find that having four or five couples is perfect in order to make the program move along and stay within the one hour ti…