It’s hard to believe Super Bowl Sunday was only last week. Yes, we wanted the 49ers to win and they came so close. And, yes I intended to write this post right after the Super Bowl but work was a little hectic, and too many appointments kept pushing this post to the bottom of my to do list. I’m sure, you all know what this is like.
Well, the photo of cupcakes and the cold beer is more than snacks for the Super Bowl. It shows the effort of my dads’ activity at his assisted living community. No, my dad didn’t make cupcakes…though I would love that. He and a few fellow residents learned how to brew and bottle beer! Yes, you read that right…they had a Brewmaster teach the residents how to brew beer which is a really long process (took about half a day) and then weeks later my dad worked with the sous chef to bottle a case of beer. It was so wonderful to hear about the beer making process and to see my dad so engaged in learning something totally new at 91.
When my husband and I visited the potential Assisted Living communities we asked all the core questions and filled out our spreadsheet…monthly cost, number of residents, is there a doctor on staff, etc. It never dawned on me to ask about activities or meet the Activity Director. It was more important at that time to know the facts and meet the Nursing Director versus the Activity Director.
I now know that the Activity Director has a critical role above and beyond just planning activities. A great Activity Director makes living in the assisted living community fun, somewhere residents want to be, their home. Gail, the Activity Director where my dad lives is caring, hard-working, uplifting and genuine. She knows different residents personalities and makes introductions when new residents move in or when sadly a resident finds themselves without their spouse or friends. She has activities to keep everyone engaged and active. A few weeks ago I heard cheering in the activity room and it was the Wii Bowling teams rooting for their teammates. There are bus trips, bingo, knitting, lunches out, happy hour, beer making, etc.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the Activity Director when evaluating assisted living communities.