National Activity Professionals Week

CSNHC Celebrates Outstanding Activities Department

National Activity Professionals Week, recognized January 22-28, is a time to show gratitude for those who work to engage, entertain, and enhance the lives of residents in their care.

Activity Directors play an important role in shaping residents’ day-to-day experiences. To better understand what it means to truly enrich lives as an activity professional, we spoke with Rae’la Allen, Activity Director at The Atrium of Bellmead. With Rae’la’s help, we gained insights into her role and the importance of activities in creating a vibrant and fulfilling environment for residents.

Our Activity Professionals

In the words of Rae’la, the planning process for resident activities involves a careful evaluation of residents’ preferences and needs. “I customize activities to ensure the most enjoyable experiences,” she explains. Using a mix of personal creativity, online resources, and other helpful materials, Activity Directors craft unique experiences that cater to the diverse interests of residents.

For instance, if a resident worked with their hands, they may be interested in activities like gardening and painting. If they played an instrument, they may enjoy playing the facility’s piano or watching musical guests who volunteer.

Through evaluating, they also recognize the importance of inclusivity in planning activities. Addressing the varied physical and mental limitations of residents, they work to make sure each resident, regardless of abilities, can actively participate.
Rae’la shared that one of the main goals of activities is to give residents shared experiences and help to provide them with a sense of belonging. She strives to bring her building and the community together. One way she does this is by collaborating with other departments to maximize the benefits of the activity.

At the Atrium of Bellmead, Rae’la shared that through collaboration, during what they call “Functional Fun Fridays,” they work together with the Therapy Department “to create large group events that both enrich the residents’ lives and provide therapeutic services and enhanced evaluation.” With the help of their Therapy Team as well as the CNA’s, they are able to get more residents involved.

Whether it be incorporating exercise into activities, coming up with fun games, or taking residents to local community events, compassion and creativity are what drive our Activity Professionals. Rae’la recalled her favorite memories being those where she dressed up to surprise her residents, wearing things like a chicken, cow, or reindeer costume.

“The huge smiles that come across residents’ faces and the laughter all down the hallway just from me being dressed up, has got to be one of the most satisfying sounds!”

Rae'la Allen

Activity Director, The Atrium of Bellmead

Activity Professionals Week is a special time dedicated to recognizing the invaluable contributions of individuals like Rae’la, who bring joy and enrichment to the lives of residents in our buildings. To our incredible Activity Department, thank you for all you do.

To read more about how activities enrich the lives of our residents, read our latest resource article here.

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