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The NAAP Page
National Association of Activity Professionals
Founded by Activity Professionals for Activity Professionals...
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NAAP Mission Statement
To provide excellence in support services to activity professionals through education, advocacy,
technical assistance, promotion of standards, fostering of research,
and peer and industry relations.
About NAAP
Founded by Activity Professionals
for Activity Professionals...

NAAP is the only national group that represents
activity professionals in geriatric settings exclusively.
NAAP serves as a catalyst for both professional and
personal growth and has come to be recognized by
government officials as the voice of the activity
profession on national issues concerning long-term
care facilities, retirement living, assisted living, adult
day services, and senior citizen centers. NAAP is
nationwide in scope with a growing membership in
Canada and Bermuda.

The National Association of Activity Professionals
recognizes the following values:

The quality of life of the
client/resident/participant/patient served is the
primary reason for our services.

The strength of NAAP lies in the diversity of its
members.  NAAP recognizes the rich cultural, and
educational backgrounds of its members and values
the variety of resources represented.

The strength of NAAP also lies in the development
and promotion of scientific research which further
defines and supports the activity profession.

NAAP values the development and maintenance of
coalitions with organizations whose mission is similar
to that of NAAP's for the purposes of advocacy,
research, education, and promotion of activity
services and activity professionals.

NAAP values members who become involved at the
state and national level to promote professional
standards as well as encourage employers to
recognize them as professionals.

NAAP affords Activity Professionals across the
country the opportunity to speak with a common

NAAP successfully worked with members of Congress
to secure a change in the nursing home reform title
of the 1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
(OBRA). Through our efforts, it became mandatory
that an activity program, directed by a qualified
professional, be provided in every nursing home that
receives Medicare and/or Medicaid funds.

NAAP was the only professional activity association
to participate in HCFA's workgroups that revised
OBRA's interpretive guidelines now in effect.

NAAP provides assistance at the state level to
promote certification of activity professionals,
working toward uniform professional standards for
activity practice.
The Importance of an Orientation
Program for New Residents
By Myrtle Klauer, ADC, CAP

Facilities have orientation programs for new staff and volunteers to acquaint them with the
physical layout of the facility, key staff members, policies and procedures they must adhere to,
job duties, etc. However, few facilities dedicate time to providing a formal orientation program for
new residents that could benefit from such a program. By having such a program in place, the
facility can ease the resident’s transition to the facility, answer questions about and encourage
participation in facility life, and help develop trusting relationships within the small group of

The admission process should not serve as the resident’s only introduction to their rights and
obligations while living in the facility.  An orientation program consisting of several new residents
can begin to build their first friendships because of the common bond they share. Inviting their
family members to participate adds another dimension -- many have the same questions and
needs as their loved ones.

To be successful, the interdisciplinary team must support the New Resident Orientation
Program and take responsibility for a group on a rotating basis. Since residents are admitted on
a daily basis, new groups must be formed each week.  The quicker a new resident is
incorporated into the group, the easier the transition becomes.

The best way to begin developing a resident orientation program is to involve the residents in the
facility.  Ask for their input about what life was like for them during the first few weeks at the
facility. Determine what common questions and frustrations surface and how best to address
these during the orientation program. Ask the residents for ideas about what they feel are most
important to share with new residents and when. Encourage their involvement in the orientation
program as mentors to the new residents.  Prioritize the dissemination of information and
incorporate it into a four-week program.

Expect to spend at least one hour per week with a small group of new residents. If possible, limit
the group to members from the same floor/unit.  This will help the residents form friendships
within their “living space.” Invite at least one established resident from their floor/unit to serve as
a mentor to the group. Resident participation is an essential part of this program, as he/she can
provide firsthand insights that the staff cannot.

This first session should take place within a few days after admission.  If possible, have the first
meeting in a quiet place on the floor/unit so the residents are in somewhat familiar

Introduce the residents to each other as they begin to gather.  Once all are present, have
everyone introduce him/herself and share one of their favorite things to do, i.e., knitting, going out
to dinner, visiting with grandchildren, etc.

Begin with a short tour of the facility. Include activity areas, the dining area(s), the beauty/barber
shop, administration, garden, snack shop, rehab, etc. Make sure to have enough volunteers on
hand to provide “rides” for the residents and family members needing assistance. Be careful not
to tire the residents and others taking the tour.

When you return, answer any questions about what they saw during the tour.  Provide the activity
calendar and highlight important upcoming activities. Provide a list of hours when the
beauty/barber shop, snack shop, dining room, etc. are open. Explain how the suggestion boxes
work and review their locations.

Invite the officers and staff designee of the Resident and Family Councils to participate in the
second session. Ask a delegate from each to share the importance of participating in these
forums as well as where and when the meetings are held. Provide information about the
regulations governing these entities and the confidential provisions surrounding what is shared
during these meetings. This is also an excellent time to distribute the Residents Rights booklet
and highlight the contents. Answer any questions that arise or make sure to get the answers
before the next meeting.

During the third session introduce the key staff members to the participants.  Schedule a
specific time slot for each key staff person and stress the importance of being on time.  Ask each
person to introduce him/herself and explain what his or her role is within the facility.  Provide the
participants with a list of these key people reporting, where their offices are, and how to get in
touch with them.

The closing session should include required information about abuse and neglect, the care
plan process, resident trust fund information, support groups, making use of rehab services,
right to privacy information, and other important facility specific information. Invite the social
worker, care plan coordinator, privacy officer, etc. to participate in these presentations.

Helpful Hints for a Successful Resident Orientation Program

• Utilize resident and/or outside volunteers to help with session preparation, name tags, lists,
invitations, agenda, protocols, etc.

• Send an invitation reminding the participants of the next meeting date and time. Other residents
or volunteers can do this on the computer.

• Have name tags available for each participant, including the session leader(s).  Make sure all
names are printed in bold lettering to make them easy to read.

• Encourage the participants to write down questions that arise between sessions. Establish a
question and answer period during each session.

• Before the meeting ends, set the date and time for the next meeting.  Put this in writing for each

• Provide simple refreshments after each meeting.  This encourages the residents and families
to socialize with each other and the staff that are present. The leader should make his/herself
available to answer questions during this time and to join in the conversations as

• Have the department heads pass out their business cards as a handy reference for the

• If possible, the participants should sit in a circle. This set up allows everyone can see each
other and encourages comments from all participants.

The time of transition to a nursing home can be a bewildering, confusing, lonely, and even
fearful experience for a new resident. Studies have shown the importance of having a positive
outlook. Each resident’s frame of mind is critical to his or her health and life satisfaction. The
more the staff can help promote self-esteem, self-satisfaction, and a “sense of family” for the
new residents the easier the transition and grieving process will be. A New Resident Orientation
Program is an important step in promoting quality of life for new residents and their families.

The Ten Commandments for New Residents

  1. Look for positive things to celebrate each day.
  2. Focus on making new friends with other residents, volunteers, and
  3. Push aside the “small stuff” and try to make decisions that will help
    reduce conflict.
  4. Remain open to new experiences and activities.
  5. Recognize the limitations of others and accept them.
  6. Create a “circle of friends” whose company you enjoy -- even if it’s
    only during meals or an activity.
  7. Remain active and participate to the best of your ability.
  8. Accept that there may be times when an element of compromise is
    needed and identify these areas.
  9. Speak up for yourself and make your needs and wishes known.
  10. Serve as an ambassador of good will.

There are so many benefits when you belong to
NAAP!  Each member will receive a newsletter
which will give the updated reports on Government
Relations, Special Interests, International Updates,
Professional Development, Nominations, Standards
of Practice, Financial Updates and a Membership
Report. Along with this comes an update from our
President, Diane Mockbee, and our Executive
Director, Charles Taylor.

Members will also receive a discounted rate at the
Annual Conference which is held in March/April of
each year.

Effective JAN 1, 2006 membership dues are:
Active Membership = $75 US dollars
Associate Membership = $65 US dollars
International Membership (outside US) = $65 USD
Student Membership = $55 US dollars
Supportive Membership = $99 US dollars

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