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

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 www.actretirement.org, 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.

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