How to Market Your Activity Program to Your Residents
There are many ways to market your activities to your residents. Here are just twelve:
- Plan as far ahead as possible so that you can include all of your activities in your monthly activity calendar. Further, make sure that all of your residents receive your monthly calendar. You may even want to enlarge it on your copy machine so that residents can easily read what is going on.
- Use "dailies" to list what is going on for the day. A daily is simply a list of the day's activities. Post this list everyday in a well-traveled location of your facility for residents to read.
- Use your monthly Resident council meetings as a time to get residents involved in activity planning. Have residents offer suggestions for activities. It is helpful to have the residents feel as though they are a part of the process. Also, use this time to notify residents of upcoming activities.
- Use flyers to promote and advertise your events. Post the ads in elevators, near the front lobby, and anywhere else you think is appropriate. One trick to use with flyers is to post them on Fridays for the upcoming week. By doing so, family members who come by to visit over the weekend will notice the upcoming events and try to persuade their loved ones to attend.
- Try to have a weekly theme and tie your main activities of the week to that theme. For example, have a "Spy Week" and plan activities that correlate, like "Sherlock Holmes Social" in which you serve tea and crumpets (biscuits). You can also have a Whodunit? activity or Murder Mystery activity that week in which residents have to guess who the killer is. Further, if there is a spy museum or landmark close by, plan an outing! Soon, you will notice residents looking forward to the next themed event for the week.
- Have a Trip Forum each month, in which you explain all the outings for the upcoming month. At the forum, have the residents sign up for the trips that interest them. During this time, you may notice that more residents will sign up, especially if they notice that their friends are signing up as well.
- Keep your big monthly events on the same day each month. For example, have your Resident Council meeting always on the first Friday of the month, or your monthly birthday party always on the last Thursday of the month.
- Be sure to send monthly calendars to family and friends of residents. Family members who see the activity calendar may help remind or persuade their loved ones to attend certain activities. If possible, you may want to post the monthly calendar on your facility's website.
- Post a daily (daily list of activities) in your nurse's station. The nurses can remind residents of upcoming activities when they are helping them with their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) like brushing their teeth or combing their hair.
- Place a "table reminder" (a slip of paper with the name of the activity and the time and location) at each of the dining room tables at breakfast or lunchtime. Do this to market and remind your residents of your "big event" activity of the day.
- Do something different to one of the common areas where the activity will take place. For instance, in your main common area or Activity Room, set up a bunch of balloons or move the couch to the side. When the residents see the change, they will start a "buzz" around your facility as they ask one another what is going on. If they do ask you, be sure to invite them to come back at the appropriate time to find out what all the fuss is about.
- You can also market your program whenever you walk down the hallway. Remind residents of what is on tap for the afternoon as you pass by them in the hallway.