1 of team, 1 in a millionHaving served as an activity professional within senior living communities (SLC) at all levels of care, I know first hand why this year’s theme of One of the Team – One in a Million is spot on.

Activity Professionals are one of the team.

Activity professionals offer services to all those residing within a SLC. When appropriate and as required, they assess interests and needs of the individuals adding care plan goals or approaches.

They work with all departments to offer the best leisure and social opportunities they can. Often operating on shoestring budgets, they arrange entertainment, social events, crafts, games, outing and more.

Activity professional are one in a million,

Activity professionals have diverse backgrounds. I’ve known some with certification as recreation therapists and music therapist. Others have worked as teachers. Some are CNAs who in addition to their duties for activities continue to serve on the floor providing personal care. They are young, middle ages, and retirement aged.

Activity professionals are truly a diverse group with each person being one in a million.

Appreciate the Activity Professional

In our society, many people spend their adult years working an average of 40-50 hours a week. Children, household duties, commuting take a lot of “free” time. So many have sidelined their hobbies or personal interests. Some people moving into SLC need assistance and guidance to develop or redevelop a “non-work” interest. This is the work of the activity professional.

Loss of health or vision or hearing or ability can all impact earlier interests, Once again, activity professional have a duty to support individuals in adapting to these changes or in finding new outlets for their interest.

Time is a limited commodity. You can take the following steps to show appreciation of the activity professionals you know.

  1. Tell them thank you for specific things they do to make life better within your facility or with a particular resident.
  2. Volunteer to help them in transporting residents to and from events or to assist with an event.
  3. Share your specific talent and ask if they could use this. For example, if you are good at word processing, maybe you could aid in writing the facility newsletter, If you enjoy bingo, you could call bingo.
  4. Share resources to help speed their session planning including Bright Ideas from Music Sparks  (a FREE once a month newsletter with ideas they can use).

Remember, Activity professionals are one of the team and one in a million this week and every week of the year.