Activities Archives - THE GRAND

Engaging and Entertaining Residents in Long Term Care

Engaging and Entertaining Residents in Long Term Care

Amanda Lilly, Director of Activities
The GRAND of Dublin

Activities in a Nursing home are an important part of a Residents day. We provide entertainment, companionship and kindness. With activities ranging from Bingo to Zumba, we design a day to help enhance the Residents life. Mentally and physically.

Seniors in a nursing facility are at risk for depression. As people age, their health declines. This may add pain or mobility issues for the Resident contributing to depression.  According to, a study found that Residents in a Nursing Home felt healthier, happier and more satisfied with their lives after being empowered to influence their surroundings. This is one of the reasons we hold a monthly Resident Council. This is a formal meeting. The Residents elect a President, we hold minutes and document all wants and needs of the Council. During the meeting Residents discuss what each department does well, and what each department can do to improve. This empowers the Resident to influence their home.

Another way to empower the Resident is to simply ask what we can do to keep them happy and feel fulfilled. We then do all we can to accommodate the request of the Resident. Often times, the request is simple. Pizza for dinner, a specific book, a certain movie played during the matinee in The GRAND of Dublin Theater. We do what we can for them. This is their home and they have a right to feel as such.

All Residents are Different

Each Resident has different likes and dislikes. Some Residents prefer group activities and some prefer 1:1 activities. At The GRAND of Dublin we offer these and more. As each Resident joins our community they are greeted and welcomed and we begin getting to know them. This helps us determine what they may like and what we may need to add to our calendar to help them feel included and encouraged to participate.

Activities engages with the Resident and gets to know them. We get to know them on a personal level and form friendships with them. The Residents know we will listen to them and that we care. Residents often just want to chat. Most have lived a full and long life by the time they choose to retire at The GRAND. They have stories and jokes and memories of the most fascinating of times. We must remember that most of our Residents have lived through The Great Depression, World Wars and The Civil Rights Movement. We have been blessed to hear stories of people who marched with Dr. King, served proudly their country and know how to make a stew using only leftovers.

The Importance of Activities

Activities also develops relationships with the family members of our Residents. This offers familiarity and comfort to our Residents loved ones. Having a relationship with the families of our Residents means the loved ones will often keep us informed of our Residents likes and dislikes. They let us know what games they like, what music they prefer. All things that help us meet the needs of the Resident. This also provides us with a gateway for bonding with the Residents.

Activities also engage and invite the Skilled Nursing Residents. Even though they are here for a short time and tend to be more independent and at times younger, we encourage everyone to participate and have fun while they are with us. We introduce ourselves to each person and get to know them also. We develop a care plan for them that helps them feel less isolated and included.

To sum it up: The Activity Department at The GRAND is honored that we get to engage and entertain the Residents every single day. It is a real privilege to be a part of their lives.

What is an Activity Director and why are activities important in a Nursing Community?

What is an Activity Director and why are activities important in a Nursing Community?

Amanda Lilly
Director of Activities
The GRAND of Dublin

An Activity Director in a Nursing Community plans and oversees the recreational events and programs for the seniors residing in the care community. I create an activity schedule that helps to develop and enhance social skills, promote active lifestyles and encourages a healthier Resident. For example, The GRAND of Dublin has Happy Hour every Friday in our own Digger & Finch Pub. We have a live performer, snack foods and refreshments. The Residents come together and are able to chat with each other while listening to music and snacking. This fun activity focuses on getting the Residents out in the Community and socializing with their neighbors. Another example would be the weekly Chair Zumba classes we have. This again, gets the Resident out in the community with their neighbors and promotes an active and healthier lifestyle for them.

activities GRAND of DublinAccording to, consistently socializing residents help reduce the risk of depression. Depression can be caused by isolation and loneliness. Socialization also reduces the levels of anxiety in seniors. Socialization helps maintain self- esteem and self -worth. I plan a schedule of activities and events designed solely to make our Residents happier and healthier. Physically and mentally. The activities are also designed to allow the Residents to spend time with people similar to them, this gives them companionship and comradery.

At The GRAND of Dublin we like to stay busy. The Resident favorite is Bingo. For every game won, the winner receives one BINGO BUCK. They can save the BINGO BUCK or spend it in our BINGO STORE. Playing Bingo takes concentration. Concentration promotes listening and helps maintain short term memory.

A favorite for our Memory Care Friends is noodle ball. This is simply short pool noodles and balloons. The Residents pass the balloon using the pool noodle. This fun game keeps the Residents active and helps with balance and coordination.

Arts and Crafts is always a winner for us. Varying from canvas painting to paper machete projects. We have built birdhouses and painted pumpkins. Creating art stimulates the brain, gives a sense of competence and greater self -esteem.

Every week our Memory Care unit has Music Therapy. We also have live music two to three times a week. We play games like name that tune or finish the lyric. We have sing-a-longs also. Music makes people think, feel and act a certain way. Music activates the section of the brain responsible for memory retention. Memory retention is vital for seniors.

My department also helps the Residents stay connected with their family members that live away from them. We offer Facetime and Zoom calls. We also develop relationships with the Residents. We know their likes and dislikes. We encourage them to participate. Most importantly, we listen to them.

Activities facilitates voting for the Residents. Voting is such a privilege and no one understands that better than seniors.

The goal of my department is to enrich the lives of the Residents. We aim to entertain them while also improving their well -being. This is an important role in their lives. At The GRAND of Dublin, we developed the entire place to promote a sense of community. While strolling along our Main Street, the Resident can have a coffee or snack at The Cool Beans Café. Catch a movie in The GRAND Theater. Have an ice cream at What’s the Scoop Ice Cream Parlor. Get your hair done at the Queens Gate Salon. Attend Church in The GRAND Chapel. We even have neighborhoods with their own dining rooms.  The GRAND strives to maintain a facility that helps the Residents not just live happily, but THRIVE TOGETHER.

December 2018 Activity Calendars

December 2018 Activity Calendars

Skilled Nursing Activity Calendar

Grand of Dublin December 2018 Activity Calendar





















Assisted Living Calendar

GRAND of Dublin December 2018 Assisted Living Activity Calendar





















Memory Care Activity Calendar 

GRAND of Dublin December 2018 Memory Care Activity Calendar


Main Street: Created for Life and Designed for Living

Sara Katula
Activities Director
The GRAND of Dublin

Main Street: Created for Life and Designed for Living

Main Street at The GRAND offers many attractions that we are able to incorporate with our daily activities including our This and That Sundries gift shop, Main Street Chapel, seasonal courtyards, Digger and Finch Pub, What’s The Scoop? Ice cream parlor, activity center, and The GRAND Theater.  When you first enter Main Street you will see our Cool Beans Café.  It is open daily offering everything from a cup of coffee, deli sandwiches, daily soup specials, snacks, variety of drinks and a community newspaper is available to catch up on the daily news. Across from the Café is our This and That Sundries gift shop.  Our gift shop offers anything from daily necessities, seasonal décor, Ohio State gear to flower arrangements or trinkets.  Open daily for our residents and guest to shop at their convenience.

The next two attractions along Main Street are our chapel and the GRAND Theater.  The Main Street Chapel is designed for multi-denominational services to be held throughout the week with support from our local churches.  We have various church events throughout the week including memorial services, private ceremonies, or wedding renewals. Hospice companies may also use our chapel for coping, support and counseling.  The GRAND Theater plays daily movies posted outside the theater from 10am to 11pm. Our movie selection changes monthly playing both current and classic movies. Sporting events are shown in our theater especially the World Series, Super Bowl, and Ohio State Football.

Main StreetA few of our residents favorite attraction includes our What’s The Scoop? Ice cream parlor and Digger and Finch Pub. Our ice cream parlor is open Wednesdays and Saturdays at 3:00pm to satisfy any sweet tooth.  Many residents enjoy their ice cream in our seasonal courtyard that is decorated for harvest days, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Families or guests may also use our ice cream parlor for hosting birthday parties, social events, and special occasions. The Digger and Finch Pub are open on Thursday evenings for Bingo night and Fridays at 3:00pm for Happy Hour. During Happy hour you can enjoy entertainment and appetizers along with your drink of choice.

At the end of Main Street there is our activity center that is designed for many of our traditional activities provided by our activity staff. We offer a variety of activities that will accommodate all of our guests to keep them busy and social.  Our activity staff passes out a daily activity schedule along with a monthly calendar posted in all the rooms to invite all residents, family, and guests. Main Street offers many activities and events for our residents and families to enjoy during their stay at The GRAND of Dublin Senior living community.

Volunteer Life

By Sara Katula
Activities Director
The GRAND of Dublin

Volunteer Life at The Grand of Dublin

A volunteer is a vital part of the senior living community and have many advantages not only for the residents but for the volunteers themselves. Volunteering your time, talent, and skills can provide meaningful activities and programs for residents.

Volunteer JoeAt the Grand of Dublin, our volunteer coordinator sets up volunteers with activities and tasks that are beneficial to the volunteer and resident. The residents receive extra one on one attention as volunteers visit with them and do different activities. Volunteers can help with a wide array of activities including bingo, ice cream socials, crafts, meals, and musical performances. Religious services are very important to the majority of our residents. Columbus Vineyard Church volunteers their time and provides a non-denominational service once a month; St. Peter’s Catholic Church comes in monthly for Mass and Communion, and a Worship Praise Group that comes in monthly to perform on Main Street so all residents, staff, and visitors can either join a long or just listen. One of our dedicated volunteers, Joe Hudak who comes in at least once a week helps serve at our ice cream social every Wednesday and performs gospel Hymns in the chapel on Thursdays.

We have a variety of different volunteer programs offered including our Dublin Power plus program and our junior volunteer program. Our junior volunteer program consists of volunteers from Dublin and Olentangy City schools, and Bishop Watterson Catholic Schools. Our goal is to help encourage these junior volunteers to make this a long term commitment after their school program is completed.

Last year, The Grand of Dublin had over 1,000 events or activities ran by volunteers. Most of our residents develop relationships with these volunteers and look forward to their visits. Volunteering at senior living communities helps improve the life of residents, add to job experiences, and build friendships. If you are interested in volunteering at The Grand of Dublin please contact Tarah Boyer at

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How Daily Activities Enrich the Life of Residents


by Sara Katula
Activities Director

The GRAND of Dublin

Daily Activities Enrich the Life of Residents

Activities Grand of DublinEngaging residents in daily activities beyond routine primary care is an important indicator of quality of life in nursing homes. Having “choice of activities” and “activities that amount to something” is important for improving a sense of independence and positive self-image in nursing home residents. Activities can provide a sense of purpose when residents produce something.  Use skills from former careers, or giving a feeling that they make a contribution to something that is important.  Activities Enrich the Life of Residents.

When they first move into a nursing home most residents feel that they have no one to talk. Group activities allow residents to socialize with other residents and staff members creating a sense of friendship, and community.


Activities Grand of DublinThe variety of programs available in any nursing home depends on the health and interests of the residents. The range of daily activities should meet the needs of all residents. Residents express positive affects much more during times of activity then when they are not involved.  Having an ongoing activity program that accommodates resident’s interests will enhance their well-being, and quality of life. A person’s quality of life is influenced by a number of factors. Providing social and mental stimulating activities in a nursing home can increase quality of life. Activities are important because the majority of nursing home residents no longer work. Residents no longer cook their own meals, clean, or complete chores they used to do on a daily basis. The planning and implementation of activities comes from requests by residents, families, staff, and volunteers.

At The GRAND of Dublin

Examples of activities offered at The Grand of Dublin include:

  • Monthly birthday parties
  • Celebrations of various holidays
  • Musical events
  • Games
  • Outdoor activities
  • Trips
  • Religious services
  • Coffee or cocktail hours
  • Art, and crafts

Overall, activities provide nursing home residents with structure, foster socialization with peers, and give purpose to their lives. If you are interested in volunteering with our Activities Department, please contact us at 614-389-0822.