Resident Experience

5 Ways to Save Time as an Activity Director

July 19, 2021

Activity directors are some of the hardest working people in senior living. Every day, they bring their dedication and creativity to the task of promoting wellness in their communities. They design their recreation programs with activities that meet a range of human needs to ensure their residents enjoy a high quality of life.

But when you’re juggling multiple roles and stacks of paperwork on top of delivering quality resident experiences, it can feel like there’s just not enough time to do it all. To help, we’ve come up with a list of 5 ways activity directors can save time — and we’ve kept it short to fit your busy schedule.

  1. Follow a Daily Holiday Calendar

Constantly coming up with new and exciting activities is no easy task. But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. Instead, save yourself time and stress by putting a fun twist on a tried-and-true activity.

Here’s where a daily holiday calendar can help. With holidays that are funny, insightful, or downright bizarre happening every day, you can make your activities more interesting by fitting them to the day’s theme. For example, if your residents can’t get enough hallway mini putt, switch it up with a space-themed course for Moon Day

Plus, with these calendars, there’s always an excuse to celebrate. So, if someone asks why you’re throwing a watermelon-themed social, just tell them it’s because July is National Watermelon Month, of course!

Image via Pinterest

  1. Join Facebook Groups

Activity directors across the world are forming communities online through Facebook groups. These groups are a place to share activity calendars, ideas, resources, and more. Joining one can be like gaining hundreds of new coworkers to help you brainstorm!

Whether you need inspiration or just want to vent to people who understand what you’re going through, these groups have your back. Here are a few of our favourites:

To keep these groups for activity professionals only, you’ll need to send a request to join.

  1. Ask for Volunteers

A common mistake made by caregivers is not asking for help when they need it. Feeling unsupported can leave you at greater risk for job dissatisfaction and burnout. If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do, reach out! Having an extra set of hands can save you a lot of time and stress.

Turn to your community and ask for volunteers who can provide entertainment, help run activities, make donations, and more. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help! 

Consider starting a summer youth volunteer group. Not only will this get your residents involved in their community, but intergenerational activities are shown to benefit both youth and older adults. You can also ask your residents to volunteer to lead programs and activities they’re interested in. This is a great way to engage your residents and foster vocational wellness. Invite them to share their talents, skills, and abilities with others!

Image via Pinterest

  1. Find Ideas on Pinterest

Pinterest offers another way to join the online community of activity professionals and get ideas from other creative people. Search for ideas like “Senior activities” or “Craft activities.” Browse through the results to find resources and tutorials that you can use in your senior living communities. You can make boards to easily organize the ideas you save. In just a few clicks, you can build up a database of activity ideas to use in the future. With inspiration on hand for holidays, birthdays, and last-minute activities, planning your next activity calendar will be a breeze!

Here’s a board of senior craft ideas like the cactus rock garden below to get you started!

Image via Pinterest

  1. Use Welbi to Make Daily Tasks Quick and Easy

Lastly, save time by getting the right tools to make you efficient in your daily tasks. Remember that stack of paperwork? With recreation software like Welbi, you can eliminate up to 40% of your administrative tasks so you can spend more time with your residents. 

Welbi provides digital tools that free you from paperwork and speed up your daily operations. Our calendar tool makes planning, designing, and printing your calendar simple every time. With our all-in-one attendance feature, you can easily track resident levels of engagement. You can get inspiration quickly from our database of one-on-one and group activities that you can filter by level of care and dimension of wellness. With all these powerful planning tools at your fingertips, you can build your recreation program faster than ever.

Welbi also gives you the insights you need to optimize your programming. There’s nothing worse than spending your time and resources on activities that no one attends. Welbi helps you understand which of your programs are working and why, so you always know how to best spend your time. The platform can even recommend activities your residents will want to attend based on this data. Learn how to record and analyze insights with our free eBook The Business of Wellness for Senior Communities.

We hope these tips will help you save time when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Welbi is here to support you and your community on your journey to bring wellness to your residents. Subscribe to Welbi’s newsletter for more Activity Professional content or book a demo to learn more about how Welbi can help you streamline your administrative processes.

Katie Stewart

Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.

Holly Mathias

Holly is a member of Welbi’s Marketing team! She has a background in communications and marketing, and is a compassionate individual who loves team work, story telling, and wellness.

Wendy Riopelle

Wendy is a student in the Honours BA in English program at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.

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