senior crossword puzzle

Effective Senior Living Calendars: Part One

Putting our seniors first!

Create effective senior living calendars with the Golden Rule of calendar planning.

Getting to Know Your Residents

Engaging senior living calendars are personalized and fresh.

At Activity Connection, we believe in making senior living calendars that reflect the interests and abilities of the members of your community. To achieve this, it’s essential to get to know your residents and understand what they would love to do. In this first installment of “Creating an Effective Calendar,” we’ll show you a few ways to learn more about your senior living community members:

Step 1: Review Life Stories and Activity Assessments

Start by understanding the unique backgrounds and preferences of your residents. Review their life stories and activity assessments to uncover their passions, hobbies, and past experiences because this valuable information will guide you in crafting activities that truly resonate with them.

Step 2: Engage in One-to-One Conversations

During one-to-one activities, take the opportunity to chat with your residents about their interests and desires. Observe their rooms for clues like reading materials, knitting supplies, or puzzle books. In addition, pay attention to what they watch on TV, and listen closely for insights into their preferences.

The Golden Rule of calendar planning is the calendar should be person-centered, reflecting the interests and abilities of the members of your senior living community.

During one-to-one activities, ask them about their interests and if there is anything they ever wanted to do.

If the one-to-one activity takes place in their room, pay attention to their pictures, what they are watching on TV, or what music they are listening to. Do you see reading materials, knitting materials, or puzzle books?

You can learn a lot about a resident by paying attention to their surroundings.

Step 3: Consult Family Members

Reach out to family members to gain additional insights into your residents’ preferences because they know them best. Family members can provide valuable information and suggestions that will help you plan meaningful activities.

Step 4: Create a Monthly Activity Committee

Empower your residents by setting up a Monthly Activity Committee. Encourage open discussions about the previous month’s programs and then gather feedback. Engage them in the planning process by presenting new ideas and activities for the upcoming month.

Step 5: Activity Suggestion Box

Make it easy for your senior living community members to share their activity ideas by setting up an Activity Suggestion Box. Encourage them to drop in their suggestions because this makes them feel heard and valued.

Step 6: Conduct an Activity Interest Survey

Send out a detailed activity interest survey to your residents, so they can help with their calendars. Provide a list of various activities and then ask them to circle the ones they find appealing. The survey will help you tailor the calendar to their specific interests.

Become a NCCAP Certified Person-Centered Care Community™

Transform the lives of seniors in your community with help from our friends at NCCAP! Empower all employees with knowledge and skills, fostering a person-centered care culture.

Learn More About NCCAP Person-Centered Care Community™ Certification

Create Vibrant Calendars Tailored to Residents

Your word processor is not a calendar designer.  We’ve engineered Calendar Builder to simplify calendar creation (and printing) for activity professionals in senior living settings because your work is challenging enough.

Learn More About Calendar Builder

Continue reading for more insights to help you create effective calendars for senior living. In part two, we uncover strategies to take those personalized calendar dreams from ideas to reality within the unique challenges and constraints of your senior living community.