In almost every assisted living facility, activity teams are tasked with developing detailed monthly activity calendars tailored to the very needs and preferences of their residents. This might sound easy on paper, but it is a task that comes with challenges.

Note that activity is extremely important for seniors mainly because inactivity can negatively affect a person’s mental and physical well-being. An encompassing assisted living facility activity calendar has a crucial impact on how the facility is being managed and the satisfaction of its residents. When seniors get involved, they will feel as though they are making a positive contribution to the society.

Seniors, most times, feel disheartened by the fact that they depend on others to do certain personal things for them. However, with a detailed activity calendar in place, they will gain back a strong sense of independence, coupled with a self-esteem boost as they prove their competence.

Also, have it in mind that stress levels will decrease as these residents find themselves engaged in activities they love. According to experts, seniors who participate in activities have fewer incidences of generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Additionally, their cognitive abilities will improve as they get involved in organized activities. Residents who are already suffering from cognitive impairment can reap the benefits of organized activities.

Developing a detailed monthly activity calendar also comes with social benefits for residents in an assisted living facility. As a person gets old, it is very common to suffer from loneliness due to the loss of friends or partners. A well organized activity calendar can help residents connect with others immediately within the community.

Steps to Create an Activity Calendar for Assisted Living Facility

You have to understand that seniors who don’t participate in any form of activities are at risk of developing more physical and mental ailments as they age. There are declines in mobility, motor function, and memory. To create an effective activity calendar for your assisted living facility, here are steps to consider;

  1. Evaluate Your Space

Note that the first thing you have to do when looking to create an activity calendar for your assisted living facility is to understand the amount of space you have. The space you have, your climate, and the various incentives your facility offers will influence the possible activities you can include in your calendar.

For instance, is your assisted living facility located in the hot regions of the country where a lot of time is spent outdoors? Or are you in the cold climates where winters are long and snow is steady?

If you are part of a large community, then you have numerous locations to host gatherings, screenings, and activities. But if you work in a smaller community, you might have limited space to create fresh, new experiences for your residents. Other factors to consider include:

  • The number of residents might limit intimate gatherings, but offer a platform for better interactions.
  • If you are in a small community, leverage spaces like the meal room or lobby area for new activities and a change of scenery.
  • If there is a lot of outdoor space, take your activities outside. There is nothing quite as healthier as time spent in the fresh air.
  1. Understand The Needs Of The Residents

Many folks in the activity team of an assisted living facility may not know it but senior living residents participate in many more types of activities than the preconceived Bingo games. The best and ideal calendar for an assisted living facility should have a mix of events that stimulate residents on a mental, intellectual, emotional, and physical level.

Owing to that, thoroughly understanding the needs of your residents is necessary. Do you have residents who need more help boosting their mental capacity? Or do you have some residents limited by physical disabilities? All these should be considered to enable you to tailor your activities and calendar to suit your resident’s needs.

In addition, it is vital you speak and listen to the residents. Ensure to inquire about how they prefer to spend their time. If some prefer to travel, incorporate more travel and global-inspired activities. If you’ve got history lovers and pop-culture experts in your community, then create an activity calendar that inculcates historical movies screenings and pop-culture trivia games.

  1. Know The Goals You Intend To Achieve

After you must have done everything mentioned above and also have adequate information on what your residents want and what your space can afford, it is time to focus on what you want to achieve with the activities you offer. Note that a month-long plan should involve a good mix of activities that stimulate residents in all facets of life. Nonetheless, here are few things your activities should have;

  • Promote self awareness
  • Offer a sense of empowerment
  • Relieve stress, anxiety, and confusion
  • Improve motor and cognitive skills
  • Facilitate communication
  • Encourage social interaction
  1. Create Programs For All Facets Of Life

Organizing your activities for each day of the month will indeed require a great deal of effort and brainstorming. A resident’s day should be filled with multiple events, resulting in over 100 activities a month to plan. However, don’t forget there should be a healthy balance of engagement that stimulates each part of the brain.

Have it in mind that exercise can revitalize residents in the morning or late afternoon, while entertainment and educational activities can institute conversation. Also, make sure to involve the right amount of repetition in your calendar. For instance, you may choose not to run certain activities four times a week. Residents might grow tired of it or crave diversity.

A Sample Monthly Activity Calendar for Assisted Living Facility

Graceland Assisted Living Facility Calendar for September

01 September
  • Crafts: Candle Holders
  • Baking Club: Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Smiley Face Art
  • Bird Drawing Class Social
02 September
  • Baseball Word Search
  • Is Big Brother Real?
  • Flower Bracelets
  • What Am I Making? Social
03 September
  • Nature Centrepieces
  • Origami Swans
  • Watercolour Cactus Paintings
  • Little Black Cats Social
04 September
  • Name the Sport
  • Colonial America
  • Button and Cup Toys
  • I.Y. Ice Cream Pie Social
05 September
  • Ever Played Sholf (Shuffleboard + Golf)?
  • Famous Fashions of the 1950s
  • Flower Bracelets
  • What Am I Making? Social
06 September
  • How Many Coins Can You Spin?
  • Name That Director/Actor
  • Piggy Banks
  • Seated Golf Social
07 September
  • Elvis Bingo
  • Name That Singer!
  • Elvis Karaoke Session
  • Guess the Fruit Tart Social
08 September
  • Crafts: Splatter Paint Art
  • Peanut Wreaths
  • Oldest, Middle, or Youngest?
  • Playing Records Social
09 September
  • Do You Know Your European Cities?
  • Soda, Pop, or Coke?
  • World News
  • Watching TV on My Phone Social
10 September
  • Summer Tie-Dye
  • Watercolour Hearts
  • California Dreamin’ Paint-by-Numbers
  • Finding My Match Social
11 September
  • Crafts: Couture Jewellery
  • What Are They Doing?
  • Paper Plane Target Practice
  • Ogden Nash Tribute Social
12 September
  • Find the Lawyers
  • Blind Drawing
  • Country Music Songs
  • Guess the Pie by Taste Social
13 September
  • Rose Bookmarks
  • Lincoln, the Orator
  • Senior Uno Tournament
  • What Does This Poem Mean? Social
14 September
  • Crafts: Seashell Summer Angels
  • Valuable Majors
  • Songs of WWII
  • Banana Split Party Social
15 September
  • Baking Club: Sponge Cupcakes
  • Old Hollywood Fun Facts
  • Basketball Cup and Ball Game
  • Cupcake Decorating Contest Social
16 September
  • The Wheelchair Games
  • Hawaiian Pictionary
  • Slapjack Tables
  • Lemonade War Social
17 September
  • Art Sticks
  • What Do You Remember the Wizard of Oz?
  • Twig Houses
  • Library Bingo Social
18 September
  • Crafts: Jewellery Boxes
  • Baking Club: Cookie Fries
  • Retro Beach Photos
  • Candy Bar Pups Social
19 September
  • Bible Devotion Club
  • Match the TV Stars
  • Kennedy, LBJ, or Nixon?
  • Blindfold Kool-Aid Tasting Social
20 September
  • Golf Ball Decor
  • Target Practice
  • White House Staffers
  • Can You Match the Wine to the Bottle? Social
21 September
  • Crafts: Lemon Print Envelopes
  • Tower of Cards
  • Fun Facts About Pluto
  • Waffle Cone Social
22 September
  • Mix and Match Baby Faces
  • Who Was Chester Arthur?
  • Name That Country Singer
  • Foreman Grill S’mores Social
23 September
  • Most Hated Professions
  • Name the Golfer
  • Fashion Rules for Royalty
  • You Be the Judge Social
24 September
  • Crafts: Grape Balloon Dogs
  • Baking Club: Nutella Lava Cookies
  • Emotions Charades
  • If You Had to Retire in… Social
25 September
  • Name the Show
  • Colouring Page Bows
  • Aussie Party Game
  • Ice Cream Eating Contest Social
26 September
  • Writing in Cursive
  • Newspaper Hunt
  • Find Someone Who…
  • Potato Salad Taste Test Social
27 September
  • Issues Women Face at Work
  • Is It a Sport or Not?
  • Basketball Cup and Ball Game
  • Cupcake Decorating Contest Social
28 September
  • Crafts: Mini Dream Catchers
  • Which State is Famous for…?
  • Name The Hollywood Landmark
  • Astrology Mixology Social
29 September
  • Should Voting Be Mandatory?
  • Laundry Basketball
  • Biker Slang
  • Beer Tasting Social
30 September
  • Frisbee Bowling
  • Picnic Games
  • Wine & Cheese Social
  • Backyard Nightcap

Conclusion

A good number of independent senior living communities and assisted living communities work hard at helping to create friendly environments where seniors can remain active and have a fulfilling social life. However, note that not all senior activity calendars have to focus on fun and games. Seminars are very popular and can help seniors make informed decisions about their health.

Joy Nwokoro