October Fest Activities and Events for Residents

Activities are a vital part of the services adult residential care facilities offer their residents. Daily activities – events, games, or projects – help stimulate resident’s minds and improve their overall quality of life. The best adult residential care facilities take the time to research ideas and schedule daily activity options for their residents. One of the biggest struggles activity directors face is generating new and engaging ideas from month to month.
What to look for
Don’t limit your activity options to arts and crafts (even though they are usually a big hit!). It is important that you offer a wide range of activity options from month to month. Choose some new options from this popular list:
Field trips
Family events
Movie night
Live entertainment
Discussion groups
Religious services
What works best in your adult residential care facility depends on the overall makeup of your residents and their abilities.
October Ideas
October is a great month for activities for your residents. Here are 10 October-themed activities and events to put smiles on your resident’s faces.
Make Cookies. October 1st is National Homemade Cookies Day. Invite residents to sign up for an afternoon of cookie making. End the day with a festive cookie exchange for all residents to participate in.
Visit a farm. October 2nd is World Day for Farmed Animals. Take your residents on a field trip to a local farm to see, play, and interact with the farm animals. The time connecting and care for these animals helps improve their overall spirit and boosts morale.
Visit a pumpkin patch. Pumpkin patches are highly popular in the month of October. These are great trips to invite resident’s families to participate in as well. Let each resident pick out a pumpkin for their room or other main areas in the facility. Decorations help residents feel at home and keep traditions going.
Decorate cakes. October 15th is National Cake Decorating Day. Host a cake decorating contest for your artsy residents. Invite all residents to participate by voting on the most creative cake and sampling the final creations.
Make leaf art. October is the perfect month to collect falling leaves and creating art. The vibrant fall leaf colors give residents a number of options and choices. Their final creations make great decorations for your main living areas or doors to their rooms.
Watch Halloween movies. Halloween is the most popular Holiday in October. Schedule a movie night to watch Halloween themed movies like Hocus Pocus or for the scary movie fans – Halloween.
Invite local singing or theater group. There are plenty of local school groups that put on plays or concerts in the fall/winter. Invite them to come in and provide live entertainment to your residents.
Go to a local football game. High school football games are back in action. Take a group of football fans to the local high school game to cheer on the home team.
Host a costume party. Invite resident’s families in for a costume party. Hold contests for best dressed and ask families to bring a covered dish to share with others.
Hand out candy. Have residents hand out candy on trick-or-treat night in your neighborhood. They will love seeing all of the kids dressed in costume!
Activity programs are important for your resident’s quality of life. Be creative from month to month to keep their continued interest and participation.

Staff policies and procedures for wandering residents

Assisted living facilities need to create a happy friendly atmosphere and environment for the residents that live there long term. Not doing so can create wandering behaviors in residents, which can lead to injury or worse death. Having a system in place to help keep track of wandering behavior in residents can also help prevent them from wandering off into a potentially dangerous situation.

Recognizing the Signs of Wandering Behavior

There are many signs that can help the staff in your assisted living facility recognize the signs of wandering behavior in the residents they care for on a regular basis. Those signs are:
•Residents, speaking about being unhappy and wanting to leave the facility.
•Signs of anxiety, depression and panic attacks.
•Residents suffering from forms of dementia.
•Signs of agitation or boredom in residents.
•Residents grabbing their coat, hat, mittens or trying to put on their shoes as if they were leaving.
•Residents speaking about going to visit a love one or friend who does not exist or lives too far away to visit.
•Residents heading for doors or trying to escape through windows.

What should a staff member do if they suspect a resident could wander off?

Staff members should always speak with the resident trying to leave and ask why they want to leave. Staff members should also make other staff members aware of the resident that could become a potential risk for wandering off at some point. Staff members should also do everything they can to help calm the resident down and make them feel comfortable and at home. Maybe even spending time with the resident or asking family member or close friends to spend time with them can help ease the residents mind and heart again so wandering does not become a thought. It is also essential for assisted living facilities to provide some form of entertainment so residents can interact with other residents in the facility so loneliness does not become a cause of why a resident wants to leave and wander off.

End Thoughts to Keep in Mind

When residents in an assisted living facility feel happy and comfortable as if they were in their own family home, the behavior of wanting to wander off is less likely to occur. It even helps keep your facility running smoothly and safely for staff members and residents living there for short-term or for long-term care.

Holiday Decorating with Assisted Living Home Residents

Do Clear the Path!

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia already experience problems with balance. These changes in gait already present an increased fall risk. So as you decorate, be sure to keep the pathways clear to minimize risk.

Don’t Over-Stimulate!

Those residents living with Dementia or Alzheimer’s can easily be agitated by too much noise or overstimulation. Make sure to have a quiet area set up for those residents to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed and increasing a risk of wandering or other risky behaviors.

Do Avoid Animated Décor!

Although festive and fun for most of us, a person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia may find the flashing lights, movement, and sound of animated decorations disorienting or even frightening. It is best to avoid these types of decorations or at least limit them to areas that your residents do not access.

Don’t Decorate with Faux Food!

Ornaments that look like sugary fruit or gingerbread men may confuse an Alzheimer’s resident and create a risk for choking or poisoning. Avoid any decorations that look good enough to eat because they just might try.

Do Offer Empathy!

The holidays may be a difficult time for those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s as they deal with the confusion and disorientation. Some residents may have a difficult time with any decorations and may require some special consideration. You may need to take some decorations down if they are too much for your residents, or not decorate at all, if it creates an issue. What is most important is the health and well-being of your residents, and your empathy will go a long way in helping them through the season.

Problems and Solutions in Your Assisted Living Facility

Every assisted living facility has its share of problems. Some of the worst of these are abuse, neglect and isolation. When you can solve these problems, your assisted living facility will have a far better risk profile and will operate more cost effectively. More importantly, your residents will be happier.

Keeping Abuse From Happening

Abuse is an issue that you can stop immediately, and you should stop it from the beginning. For starters, always thoroughly check the backgrounds of anyone you are considering hiring. During the interview process, it can be useful to ask if they have a family history of abusive behavior directed toward them or their siblings. By only hiring people who are caring and who deal with conflict and stress in a constructive and positive manner, your assisted living facility will have to deal with a tiny fraction of the issues that can come up if you only “react” to existing abuse. Establishing a well-known zero tolerance policy with a financial reward for turning in anyone who is abusing residents can be a powerful motivator for bringing about change.

Continuing Engagement Between Residents and Staff

Engagement needs to be a constant. When engagement stops, neglect is the result and the residents suffer. Making use of common areas so that one orderly can keep track of several residents at once is one step you can take to ensure pleasant engagement. Another way you can keep engagement as the rule instead of the exception is to make regular rounds a standard part of everyone’s day. There needs to be no such thing as “it’s not their job” with your staff — everyone is there to ensure reasonable comfort and care for the residents at all times.

Making Isolation a Non-issue

Isolation can be especially tricky for people of advanced years or with infirmities, as a general lack of mobility can hinder even the most sociable person to the point of having very little contact with anyone. You can use group activities such as performances, game nights and movies to keep your residents engaged with one another. You can also invite community groups and young people who are interested in community service to your assisted living facility to hang out with your residents and keep things fresh.

Your goals obviously include having the lowest risk profile possible. Never forget this is always about making sure your residents are well cared for.