Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is your activity program ready for survey? (part 2)

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Here is a dementia Thanksgiving activity

Diane Mackbee

* Whether there is observation or documentation of specialized programs for bed- or room-bound residents. You must provide for all residents at your facility and not just those who can actually make it to the activity room. Surveyors are focusing more and more on room-bound residents and what you are doing for them. Are you providing sensory enhancement and stimulation? Music and relaxation? Mentally stimulating activities, such as word puzzles, cards, books on tape, videos? How about independent crafts? Pet therapy? Chaplain visits?

* Whether facility staff invites and helps residents to the activities. All staff should constantly encourage, invite, and escort residents who are interested to the activities (and, thanks to the new Interpretive Guidelines, it is the facility's responsibility to escort people to activities and not just activity staff). Those who can come on their own are becoming fewer in number, and those who need encouragement and assistance are on the rise. Of course, people have the right to refuse, but be sure that they are truly refusing.

* Whether staffing levels are sufficient to meet resident needs and interests. The activity department must be staffed appropriately and with enough manpower to provide the types of programs residents need and deserve. You should also develop a volunteer program to supplement the activity staff.

* Whether activity staff are the only ones involved in activities. It is up to every staff member and not just the activity department to help see that residents are getting the assistance they need to become involved in the activity program. An encouraging word from a housekeeper, CNA, or administrator is sometimes all they need to become involved

What are you doing to make sure that your activity program is the best it can be? Are you an advocate for your residents and does your administrator back what you do? If not, you need to sit down and re-evaluate your program and become a stronger voice for each person in your facility. The Activity Professional should be treated as a true professional with the expertise to manage an activity department that meets every resident's needs.

Diane Mockbee, BS, ADC, is certified by the National Certification Council of Activity Professionals and is President of the National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP), with 1,400 members, as well as a member of the Arizona Association of Activity Professionals. She is employed by Palm Valley Rehabilitation and Care Center in Goodyear, Arizona and is the Activity Consultant at Ridgecrest Healthcare Center in Phoenix. For more information, phone (623) 536-9911, ext. 212. To send your comments to the author and editors, e-mail

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