What’s on the Calendar at an Assisted Living Community?

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When you think about the activities calendar at an assisted living community, there are a few standards that probably come to mind: Bingo, board games, chair yoga.

What about indoor volleyball, hot apple cider socials, “Manicures & Music,” Sunsets & Spirits,” comedy night, and pumpkin picking? These are just a few of the hundreds of events on the October activities calendar at The Ivy at Ellington.

They’re not just random activities chosen by the Activities Director, either. Rather, Lorelei Dubowski spends countless hours getting to know her residents’ passions and interests so she can match the assisted living community’s activities and programs to what the residents want.

Leisure Activity Interests

It starts with a simple conversation. Within the first 24 hours of a new resident moving in, Dubowski goes to their apartment and introduces herself. She presents them with a welcome gift and goes over the current activities calendar. Then she’ll casually go through a Leisure Activity Interest Form.

By filling out the form, Dubowski gets to know her residents, learning what social, physical, intellectual, solitary, creative, and outdoor activities they enjoyed in the past and/or enjoy now. They also chat about volunteer work, religious affiliations, military service, and work.

Dubowski also does a follow-up interview one month later to learn even more. Questions typically include:

  • What is your favorite music or song?
  • What is your favorite day or holiday?
  • What is your favorite TV show?
  • Do you like animals?
  • What is your favorite food and drink?
  • What is your favorite movie and book?
  • What is your favorite scent?

“Within the first month, I get to know them, and I write down certain things about them,” Dubowski says. “Although I use the interest form and the one-month interview form, I mostly get to know them through conversations. For instance, someone who just moved in likes Rummikub. So, within the next week, I’m going to find time to bring it to her room and get to know her as a person.”

No Two Calendars Look the Same

For Dubowski, it’s important to sit down with residents and really listen to them about what their passions and interests are “because everyone is different,” she says.

“What one person may like to do, someone else may hate. I want to know what people want to see on the calendar here, and if someone doesn’t agree with that, I’ll make sure to throw in some things they like.”

The only thing Dubowski knows will always be on the calendar is some form of exercise — staying physically active is critical for seniors health and wellness — but even that changes daily. One day it’s “Light & Lively Stretch.” The other it’s chair tai chi. There’s walking club, exercises specifically for residents with arthritis, and even tap dancing.

There are always outings a few times a week. In September, the residents explored Johnny Appleseed farm stand in Ellington, Connecticut, where they picked up a beautiful bushel of apples for cooking. They also visited Brignole Vineyard in East Granby to enjoy the fresh air on their patio overlooking the vineyard while tasting some of their wonderful wines. Connecticut Day at the Big E was another fantastic trip filled with fair food, baby animals, giant Clydesdales, and entertainment.

Once it gets cold outside, Dubowski plans to take the residents to a new casino in Springfield and host a meetup with residents from the Arbors at Chicopee and Arbors at Westfield communities.

One Big, Happy Ivy Family

Family and friends are always welcome, Dubowski says. Every month, she sends the monthly calendar and the newsletter to families so they can plan ahead. Last month, The Ivy at Ellington concluded National Assisted Living Week celebrations with a family picnic.

“Family events like this, as well as our weekly socials, allow our residents and their families to come together with staff and their families to get to know each other and spend time as one big, happy Ivy family,” Dubowski wrote in the October 2018 newsletter.

“Here at The Ivy, family always comes first. As a family-owned company, we truly value family bonds. We welcome every new resident, staff member, and their family members with open arms.”

Want to see the calendar and newsletter for yourself? Here’s a look back at the August 2018 calendar and newsletter.

See what a happy client had to say about our Dracut location on Google:

My grandfather recently moved into The Arbors and our family couldn’t be happier! From the first phone call to move in, our family was treated with love, compassion and understanding. It was a difficult decision but the Arbors team made it easier. Our grandfather left the home he has lived in for 50+ years and was uncertain about the transition. He has made friends, has more of a social life than me and raves about the food! We couldn’t be happier.
Sam B.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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