Thank your activities coordinator
I attended a very interesting luncheon today at the Fountains of Washington House. Steve Gurney, of the Guide to Retirement Living Sourcebook, organizes these luncheons quarterly and he covers subjects that are of interest to people in the senior-serving industry. They are actually a huge networking event where we get to eat and learn something. Steve jokes that he could announce the subject is long division and still 100 people would show up. I think he's probably right about that.
Today's luncheon featured a panel of activities coordinators for assisted and continuing care communities. Actually, the term Steve used was "life enrichment activities" and after hearing about the programs these activities coordinators are providing, I have to agree with that term. Things have certainly advanced past bingo, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of activities in senior living communities.
We heard from a resident of the Fountains who explained the activities and classes that are offered there. He told us of his personal experience with a flower arranging class taught by a man who had been educated on the subject in Japan, a garden full of eggplants and colorful peppers he planted near the rehabilitation area of the community and the singing classes he and his wife take. Those were only three of the 33 activities offered.
We also heard from the coordinators about what a huge task they have on miniscule budgets. They are tasked with providing residents with activities that are meaningful, engaging and stimulating--all for about $15.00 a month. They have to provide the activity, the supplies, food, and maybe even gas for the van to transport everyone. I had no idea their budgets were so tight.
Most of the coordinators I know are doing a phenomenal job and I will be sure to seek them out and let them know how much they are appreciated. If you have a loved one in a senior living community, think about giving the activity coordinator a hand. Maybe you can teach a class in something you're good at. Maybe you can just volunteer to help. If not, please let them know they are appreciated.
Toni Reinhart| November 9, 2010; 6:59 AM ET Save & Share:
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