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Art is Good For The Soul

Planning an art activity often just involves one craft, and then the activity is over.  This is fun and beneficial to residents, but doesn’t give you the added benefit that an art show could.  Art shows are a fun way to help residents interact with one another, make the common areas brighter, and give residents something to look forward to.

Here is how to do it!  Come up with a date on the calendar that allows enough time to have a few scheduled art times, and then about a week for the “judging.” This will be the date that the winners are picked.  The supplies you need will depend on your residents.  Some will be able to paint, some will want to create something, and others will want to color from a coloring book.  This activity allows for many different levels of physical ability to participate together for a common goal.

After you have set your date for the winners to be announced, pick 2 art days that the residents can come down and create their artwork.  This will give everyone a chance, as it allows those that don’t feel like it on one or the other days to participate.  Even those residents that do not want to leave their room can participate with a one on one visit, where you take the supplies to them.

After the residents have completed their artwork, pick a common area to display them.  Make a sign that says “Art Show” to place at the top.  This will be a nice place to people to come see a lot of color, and make a dull area bright!

For the judging, you can either invite “guest judges” or have people in your facility judge the artwork.  Guest judges can be found almost anywhere.  Think about who the residents would like to see; a local weatherman, an author, a local sports hero, a newspaper writer, a local radio host, etc.  You can come up with several categories for the artwork to be judged, such as “Best Coloring Page”, “Best Painting,” “Brightest,” or even have age based categories.  Have judges look at the artwork and pick winners.  The judges can then announce winners.  Prizes can also be something simple, like a frame for their artwork, so that they can put it in their room, or you can call to get things donated.  Many local businesses will be happy to donate anything from slippers, to more art supplies, or even a meal catered from a local restaurant.

This activity will take something that is typically done and make it fun and exciting.  Residents will have something to look forward to, and be proud to have their artwork displayed!

Eye Exams Being Neglected

When scheduling monthly activities, most of us think about what residents need to make their lives better, and more fulfilling. What we often forget is just how many aspects of our residents lives the statement covers. In a recent study that was conducted at the University of Alabama, they found that two thirds of nursing home residents do not get regular eye exams, even though about half of them have eye problems. Think about that! That is a LOT of residents basically being neglected.

Being able to see is one function that helps the elderly be a little more independent in their lives, which in turn gives them a better quality of life.

So- what can you do as an Activities Director to combat this problem? Schedule an eye exam day, or afternoon. Make this a time that each resident can come and speak with an eye doctor. Making this activity come to fruition is quite simple. All it requires is a phone call, and the availability of some extra space! It is that easy! Look up eye doctors in your area. Call one and see if they would be willing to come by for a half day and view different patients. Most doctors will not be able to bring their major equipment with them, but the will still be able to determine in a short sit down meeting if the resident is in need of further assessments in an office visit, or if there is something more simple that can be adjusted or fixed that day. Use this afternoon as a stepping stone to getting them proper eye care. The eye doctor will see their own business will benefit as well, as most elderly patients stick with the same doctor once they have built a good rapport with them. This is a win/win situation for everyone!

3 Websites That You Should Know About

There are so many things you can do to brighten a resident’s day. Here are three easy websites to use to benefit your resident, and make them smile!

3 websites that you should know about, but probably don’t.

Never Too Late

Never Too Late is an organization that serves the elderly, no matter what their situation. They are like the Make a Wish Foundation, but for seniors. They have granted many wishes, both big and small, for people all over the United States. It is as easy as filling out an application for your resident with their wish. The ‘Wishes Granted’ section provides some great ideas for wishes.

Little Brothers

This is a great organization that is dedicated to helping people make contact with others. They have many programs, but their Visiting Volunteer program is great for nursing homes. They try and match people with others that have similar interests. They are located all over the United States.

Write a Senior Citizen

This organization is great for those residents who would like to receive mail! You can pair them up with a pen pal by clicking on their ‘Find a Pen Pal’ section. Their website also has the function to chat with another person in real time, if your facility has access to a computer.

Up And Running

I have started this website to ensure that Activity Directors have a place to come to find information. There are so many ideas for Activity Directors to use in their facilities, but it is often hard to find that information all in one place. This website will be a hub for information regarding this field. Enjoy!