The value of what you do ….
by M. Celeste Chase, ACC, CDP
Activity Directors Network
Today’s activity professionals is tasked with undertaking the ability of building a program framework that offers emotional support and cognitive stimulation to an elderly population that may include those individuals that are op-positional, uncommunicative and in overall poor health. Not an easy do . . . .
The foundation of the activity professionals’ program development for senior care facilities must incorporate several layers of pursuits that speak to a diverse range of elderly population. The program must appeal to those that remain present in time and able to gravitate towards independent leisure interests to those that are “in their own world” and challenge the activity professional to elicit a response.
The “body of knowledge” study topics for these healthcare professionals are in-depth. Curriculum is comprehensive and includes but is not limited to regulations, management/personnel, legal and ethical issues to human development, spirituality, biology, sociology and psychology of the aging and the education links the undeniable connection between clinical and emotional management to improve well being. Published studies continue to substantiate that better emotional health significantly contributes to internal positivity and thus, improves the individuals overall health.
The combination of characteristic qualities and educational knowledge are essential ingredients to the success of the activity professional. These professionals effectively devise daily affirmation programs that acknowledge the individuals’ history, family, contributions, and activities of preference for a wide range of ages, needs, interests and cultural diversity and value each individual’s life story.
Ultimately healthcare professionals often have great responsibility placed upon their shoulders and the Activity Professional takes this in their stride, never underestimating the importance of the work they do. The measure of value cannot be measured through statistics – but there is no greater reward than the measure of value, gratitude and thankfulness that comes from the families and loved ones served by the Activity Professional.
“Activity professionals actively seek to discover diversified ways to create and offer programs that support the unique individuality of our elderly population and the days past in a celebratory way.”