Well, one reason is that it is so damn boring. Our goals should inspire us, but how can we come with those goals when the goal setting process itself so boring that it can put us to sleep? After you get over the initial shock, you realize that your life is about to change forever.
Personalized wellness programs Large programs offer fitness assessments, goal plans, and talks about health and nutrition. Tai chi The increasingly popular gentle stretching and range-of-motion routine of tai chi improves balance and relieves stress -- and can be done by participants of almost any level of physical function.
Yoga Classes include ability-tailored "yoga for seniors" taught by trained instructors or therapeutic yoga for those with physical limitations, including wheelchair users. Wii sports such as bowling and Wii dancing Wii interactive computer games can be offered both informally and as organized group tournaments.
Walking clubs Some walk locally in parks or neighborhoods; others travel to malls for indoor walking. Discover New and Unusual Assisted Living Activities Programs Innovators in this field are changing the very idea of residential living by introducing elements not normally found there.
Some sites house resident pets -- from fish in tanks, wandering cats, guinea pigs, and bunnies to miniature ponies -- who mingle with the humans who live there.
Life-story workshops Because creating a lasting legacy is a common goal for older adults, some activities directors team with local experts who help residents preserve their life stories by writing memoirs and creating scrapbooks.
Performance art From flash mobs to karaoke to singing or dancing groups, savvy activities directors with a gift for choreography find ways to involve residents in social trends.
Hobbies Many communities help residents continue their lifelong interests and hobbies. Gardeners can help care for flower or vegetable plots in some assisted living locations. Tinkerers work on repair projects together.
Some communities offer woodworking, quilting, and similar activities. Some programs use iPads as an easier-to-understand alternative to computers. Cooking demonstrations Even those who no longer run their own kitchens often enjoy discovering new cuisine and learning new recipes.
Intergenerational programs Many communities partner with preschools or work with Scout troops, elementary schools, or other organizations to encourage interactions between older adults and kids.
Arts and culture are now considered a mainstay of wellness. Art instruction Sophisticated classes like pottery and oil painting go beyond simple arts and crafts. Seniors Making Art is a Seattle program founded by glass artist Dale Chihuly that brings professional artists to all kinds of settings, including long-term care.
Group cultural outings Community vans and buses enable residents to access a wide range of resources like museums, plays, and musical performances.
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Sometimes these excursions include extras like discounted tickets or special tours with docents. Music therapy programs These bring in trained music therapists to entertain and provide small-group cognitive stimulation, especially to those in memory-care or dementia-care units.
That gives you a sense of what kind of regular and special events are available, and how often. Ask how many activity directors are on staff. The job is like being a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, with charges of different ages, interests, and abilities.
Yet many facilities have just one person managing all this programming. Much depends on the individual, but usually more resources of time and money mean better programming. Find out what men in the facility do; often programs are designed for older women the majority gender to the exclusion of male interests.
Inthe group introduced certification to those who pass a national exam in an effort to raise professionalism among its ranks.The challenge is that most facilities employ just one activities director, who has to consider the interests and abilities of as many as 60 or more individuals -- while operating on a limited budget (typically $10 per resident per month), de Vilmorin says.
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