Activities Director for Assisted Living Facility

A great message came through our site today – from a person wanting to be the activities director for an assisted living facility in Florida.    I wanted to post this message (name taken out, of course) – as she had some great ideas, and a nice list of possible activities that she would coordinate if she were hired –

Here is what she said:

Hello! My name is Amy . I’m a 35 year old wife & mother of 3. I’m
VERY interested in being your activities director. I am a very happy, upbeat person and I have a million ideas for things to do with your residents! I am in a singer in a large wedding/reception band, so I’m throwing parties all the time! Also, I miss visiting the nursing home. I used to go every Thursday until my Grandma passed away. I love cheering the residents up and keeping their minds active.:) I know there are so many residents who don’t get visitors, but I love being the surrogate daughter (and I bring my 3 little girls in to be surrogate grandchildren too…they love it!). Here are some activities I’d like to do:

Entertainment Director Activities

1. International Night (a different country will be featured with facts,
pictures, folklore, personal stories from residents, music and a food to

2. Form Board Game & Book Clubs

3. Soda Night

4. Play with Magic Snow/Make Snowmen for room decorations

5. Iron-On Quilt (I will find a blanket, feature a resident, scan personal photos and pictures of their interests ahead of time on iron-on printer paper, residents will each help iron on pictures and present the quilt as a gift)

6. Birthday Parties (maybe with resident’s favorite movie)

7. Door Decorations Craft Nights for the Seasons

8. Iron-On T-Shirt/Tote Bag Making

9. Old Time Radio Hour

10. Old Movie & Popcorn in the evenings (Netflix Membership?)

11. Paint-by-Number

12. Sing-A-Longs

13. Bingo

14. Reminiscing Game (Group board game that encourages personal story-telling)

15. Cookie Decorating

16. Australian Laboradoodle Visitation (hypoallergenic visitation dogs)

17. Dance Studio Performances (I hope to get several studios to let their students

perform monthly)

18. Piano Studio Perfomances

19. Drama Comedy Short Plays

20. Choir Performances

21. Featured Collectors (Individuals bring their collections to display for the evening, talk about how they acquired their items, answer questions)

22. Penny Poker night

23. Shopping Outings

24. Restaurant Outings

25. Movie Night Out

26. Travel Movie Night

27. Featured Biography

28. Poetry Readings

29. UNO Night

30. wii Bowling Night/Sports (I also own “wii Carnival Games”)

31. Hymn Sing

32. Karaoke Party

33. Corn Hole (I own a set)

34. Postcard Party

35. Nailcare Time

36. Exercise Time

37. Sit & Fit Exercise Time

38. Bible Study

39. Luau Party (beach music, Hawaiian food snacks, Beach Ball toss, watch “Blue Hawaii” with Elvis)

40. Musical Night (feature a musical movie, give history and sing-a-long lyrics, dress like a character, accompanying snacks/props)

41. Story Time

42. Ice Cream Outing

43. Donut Outing

44. Pizza Party

45. Featured Bands & Musicians

46. Park Walk Outing

47. Saturday Night New Movies

48. Farkle Night (dice game)

49. Deal or No Deal

50. Country Line Dancing

51. Guest Historians & Antiques

52. Magazine Catalogue Hour

53. Trivia Time

54. Putt-Putt Outing

55. Giant Crossword

56. Ceramics Painting

57. Church Services

58. Who Am I? (Costumed character comes in and talks about their life)

59. Banana Split Party

60. Elvis Party (Movies, Music, Fried PB&Banana Sandwiches, Elvis Impersonation Contest w Karaoke)

61. Candlelight Dinner with Violinist

62. Rootbeer (and Coke) Floats

63. Cookie Make & Bake

64. S’mores Night

65. Fresh Flower Arranging

66. Outing to St. Petersburg Sunken Gardens

67. This day in history occasional newsletter to residents

67. Outing to free Symphony Concerts

68. Smoothie Night

69. 50s Night (Music, Fad Food & Games)

70. Tye-Dye Tshirts

71. Friday Night St. Pete Shuffle Outing (free shuffleboard with live bands)

72. Lite Yoga

73. Jewelry Making (Bracelets & Necklaces)

74. Mad Hatter Tea Party (tea, cookies & read “Alice in Wonderland”)

75. Write & Read (residents write a story and read it to one another)

76. Pen Pals (email pen pals with a new friend in another country)

77. Carnival Games Nite (ring toss, cupcake walk, magnetic fishing, etc)

78. Mardi Gras (make masks, cajun food snacks, beads for everyone, zydeco music!)

79. Fondue Party (Melting Pot Donation)

80. Sharp as a Tack (word & problem solving games)

81. This is Your Life (especially for milestone birthdays)

82. Speak Easy (know the secret password to get into this underground club for a night of jazz, beverage tasting)

83. Suncatchers Craft Time

84. Speech Club Recitations (homeschool speech group will come and do skits,poetry, monologues and maybe even a little persuasive speaking)

85. Drive-In Movie Night (wall-projection movie, if possible, popcorn &

86. Classic Car Cruise-In (host once a year in our parking lot)

87. Car Show Outings (Quaker Steak & other local car shows)

88. Comedy Night (Carol Burnett Show, The Dean Martin Show, etc.)

89. Wheel of Fortune Nite

90. Paladia Concerts

91. Write Letters to Someone Famous

92. Indoor Bowling

93. Giant Tic-Tac-Toe

94. Oreo Checkers

95. Indoor Picnic (sandwiches, potato salad, watermelon & lemonade…on checker table cloth…but no ants)

96. Pizza Making! (make & bake a little pizza how you want it)

97. Playdoh isn’t Just for Kids (squish, roll, make “cookies”)

98. Planes, Trains, Cars & Motorcycles (come look through tons of books
& magazines)

Holiday Activities:

1. New Years Eve Party (watch Times Square ball drop, party blowers, hats, sparkling wine)

2. Tournament of Roses Parade

3. Chinese New Year (Make paper lanterns, a long hallway dragon & “hong baos” – little envelopes with chocolate coins and candy)

4. Valentines for fellow residents & staff

5. Visit from Cupid passing out chocolates

6. St. Patrick’s Day Party (Irish Dancing Performance)

7. April Fools Day Silly Hats

8. Easter Egg Hunt

9. Egg Decorating

10. Visit from the Easter Bunny

11. May Day Baskets to give to someone else

12. Cinco de Mayo fiesta (mariachi music, non-alcoholic margaritas & nacho building)

13. Mother’s Day Tea (tea choices, petit fours, cookies, chick flick)

14. Armed Forces Day (recognize all of our residents who served)

15. Memorial Day (make red, white & blue decorations, hot dog/hamburger

16. Father’s Day (cookout, non-alcoholic beer, watch “The Dirty

17. 4th of July – Go See Fireworks!

18. Labor Day Cookout

19. Grandparent’s Day (arrange for as many grandchildren to call or visit
as possible…at

least get family to email recent photos)

20. Columbus Day (watch “Christopher Columbus: The Discovery,” ship’s biscuit, pickled or salted meat, dried peas, cheese, grape juice, & fish)

21. Jack-o-lanterns out of construction paper & tissue paper

22. Trick-or-Treating & Costumes

23. Veteran’s Day (recognize all veterans, funny war stories coffee time
& music)

24. Thanksgiving (make cornucopias, watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” real Thanksgiving Day food to try)

25. Decorate Christmas Trees for facility

26. Make Stockings for everyone’s Door

27. Ornament Painting

28. Christmas Cookie Decorating

29. Staff pick a Resident Secret Santa

30. Christmas Party with Visit from Santa & Open Presents

31. Gasparilla Pirate Party (maybe an outing to the daytime children’s parade?, eyepatches for everyone, watch a pirate movie and make staff walk the plank)

32. Superbowl Party

33. Veteran’s Day Elementary Student Interviews

34. Christmas Popcorn & Cranberry Strings

35. Sweeheart Stories! (come tell us a story about your sweetheart! a first date? something funny that happened? a dance?)


*Post All Sports Game Schedules and their airing information

*You may occasionally see some bubbles in the air! 🙂

*Oldies Music playing in the hallways

*Call Magician, Hula Dancer, Belly Dancer, Instrumentalists, Reenactment Groups, and all sorts of professional entertainers to donate a show

*Office fishbowl & ant farm (which may occasionally go for a walk)

I’m very frugal and I know where every craft & party supply store is in
all of Tampa Bay! We can do all these things cheaply, but still have a lot of
fun! I know that after cleanliness and attentive staff, prospective residents
& their families will look at the calendar to see what’s going on. I’ll
keep it full of fun and different things to do! These wonderful people have
been extraordinary mothers and fathers, served to protect our freedom, lived
through 6 wars and have a lifetime of jobs and experiences behind each face
(be it grouchy or happy). They deserve so much from us, but the least we can
do is fill each of their days with us with happy thoughts and love.

I’d love to come in and talk to you more about this position. Please give me
a call or email me back.

************************end of her message****************

That’s a great list of activities!  Needless to say – we hope she gets an interview!

17 thoughts on “Activities Director for Assisted Living Facility

  1. Conejo Valley Hospice

    Holy Cow!! What a great list of activities. I’m going to print a copy of this and bring it in for my grandfathers activity director. Plenty of things to choose from and many are inexpensive!
    Thank you for this. Can you post a pdf, or word file for future use?

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  3. Todd Barker

    What an awesome list! I really like #5, 16, 17 and 98. At our we have a big bubba barbeque and frequently hold outdoor events featuring our delicious recipes. Also, think about a car talk evening for guys and gals in your assisted living center – they can reminisce about their favorite cars and where they went and who they went with in those cars. I truly believe a good assisted living activity director can make all the difference in whether residents are happy or not.

  4. admin Post author

    Todd, great comments – I love your big bubba barbecue idea, and the car talk – I mean, most guys can talk about cars, and have a lot of fun with it. Thanks for your comments!

  5. JoAnn Jordan

    Great list! And a lot of them could be intergenerational in nature, volunteer led, used to support marketing efforts…After years of working in senior living communities, I know how thinking in a creative way (like Amy did) is important but you also need to look at other ways to include the programming in meeting other facility needs, and to be on the radar of other staff.

    I hope Amy was hired some place. Looks like she has great skills and a desires to make a difference.

  6. admin Post author

    JoAnn – love your comment – thank you! I can imagine how hard it might be to come up with an activities schedule that is creative, and that pleases everyone. Probably a very under-appreciated, yet so important position at any facility. Thanks again for your comment!

  7. David Post author

    Carmen, I wish I knew – this was a few years ago, so I don’t have the person’s name any more, unfortunately…

  8. Linda Montgomery

    These are all great activity ideas! Did this person get hired? If not, she should have. Thank you for sharing these ideas. This is a great way for activity professionals to expand their creativity and come up with new ideas by learning and networking with other activity professionals.

  9. David Post author

    Linda, thanks so much for your comment – I have no idea if they got hired or not, but the list was outstanding. Still is. Activities are at the core of a facility’s ability to provide happiness, engagement and stimulation, and I am so glad that the list seems to have been helpful. I appreciate your comment Linda. Take Care!

  10. Natalie

    This list is awesome!! I am an Activities Coordinator and this just helped decide what I am doing for my ladies on Mother’s Day. Thanks so much for posting this.

  11. Tonae

    this is some good Ideas for lots of activities professionals. I’m the Recreation Director where I work and I have definitely stole some ideas from this 🙂

  12. Natalie

    David, sorry it took so long for me to respond. I just came across your post again as I was searching for some ideas for our Family Picnic in June and I seen your comment. I work for Hope Landing Adult Living Community in Charlotte, MI. I did print the list off and have incorporated several of the ideas here. Lots of good ideas! Thanks again for posting.

  13. David Post author

    Hi Natalie, thanks for your reply. That list has been very helpful to a lot of people. Glad it gave you some ideas. Wishing you a wonderful picnic!

  14. Sandee

    If this woman got hired, I hope she has staff/reliable volunteers to assist. I’m an A.D. in an assisted living facility with no activity aides, zero help from other staff and it’s impossible to get volunteers. I’m at my wits end trying to come up with new activities for over 70 residents including a memory care unit! I am however, going to use the listed ideas and hopefully be able to save my job since my administrator thinks I’m not doing enough. Oh, did I mention that I’m also responsible for marketing outside of the facility? If this woman reads this post, my job will probably be available if she’s interested. Thank you for the post.

  15. David Post author

    I hear it all the time- staff who are underpaid, overstretched and overworked, with bosses who expect miracles from them in an already challenging environment. I hope the ideas help, and I hope you get some help and relief.