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Appreciating Our Activity Professionals: How They Enhance the Lives of Residents

As this week is Activity Professionals Appreciation week, we want to take a moment to highlight the invaluable work of our amazing activity professionals. Activity Director’s and their assistants play a critical role in the daily life of residents in long-term care facilities. Let’s take a quick look at their roles, how to plan activities for seniors, and how you can get involved!

Role of an Activity Director

An Activity Director's key role is to plan and facilitate activities that enhance the lives of those living in nursing homes and other care centers. These may range from entertaining events, art projects, educational sessions, exercise routines, outings, and more. As part of the job, they must manage the budget and be mindful of the diverse preferences, physical restrictions, and mental health needs of the residents. This requires customizing activities to ensure they are suited to each person, considering someone's mobility or the extra care needed for a person living with dementia.

Our Activity Directors

Misty Mitchell – Edmond Health Care Center (Left)

Bobbi Thomas – Oak Hills Care Center (Right)

In long-term care facilities, it’s common for residents to spend time alone or become inactive for up to 65% of their day. This can lead to circumstances such as strength loss, depression, and insomnia. These results especially impact those who live with dementia; therefore, it is essential for activities teams to ensure that residents socialize and participate in activities to help them maintain their physical function and well-being.

Role of an Activity Assistant/Volunteer

Activity Assistants and volunteers also play an important role in aiding the Director and the residents during an activity. Their main role is to help with the set-up process and to assist residents with participating. For example, in a painting activity, they would help get out the canvases, paints, and brushes, and would assist residents with getting paint on their palette.

Our Activity Assistants

(From left to right)

Kelby Davis – Oak Hills Care Center

Lisa Shanks – Oak Hills Care Center (Left)

Amy Hargiss – Oak Hills Care Center

Chiquita Moses-Johnson – Edmond Health Care Center

How to Plan Activities for Residents

When planning an activity, the Activity Director must consider residents' interests, what they enjoy, what could help them physically or emotionally, and which activities would make them feel included.

They can also help residents carry out their hobbies or provide them with personalized activities that cater to their specific interests. It’s also helpful to learn more about each resident, such as their social past, religious beliefs, their role in the family, and the resident’s current physical or mental condition.

Activity Directors can plan both individual and group activities. Ideally, the activities should meet the needs of the residents and improve their well-being. More specifically, the activities should be meaningful, entertaining, inspiring, compensate for lost abilities, increase life satisfaction, help maintain current skills, and be culturally sensitive.

Furthermore, Activity Directors should provide accommodation for those who are unable to join the others in their activity because of physical limitations.

For example, although outdoor gardening may be a fun group event, it could be challenging for some residents who lack the physical stamina to bend down or pull weeds. However, they could still be included in the activity by engaging in tasks such as raking, seeding, and watering.

Activity Professionals are extremely beneficial in long-term care settings. They can significantly contribute to a better quality of life for the residents by providing them with activities that have mental, physical, and social benefits. That said, we’d like to thank our Activity Professionals for their hard work, dedication, patience, and passion!

Want to volunteer?

We welcome volunteers to help our Activity Directors in our long-term care facilities.

Volunteering is a great way to show your support for the residents and bring joy into their lives! With your help, you can help make even more of a difference. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact our facilities today!

Oak Hills Care Center: (405) 400-2295

Edmond Health Care Center: (405) 341-7715

Are you passionate about enhancing the lives of seniors? So are we.

Our team is made up of creative and innovative people who are passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of our residents. We bring integrity, leadership, ministry, family, and innovation into the world of long-term care. If you feel that you’d be a great fit, we would love to have you join our team!


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