Activity In-services for Non-activity Staff
With the changes in our industry and regulations, it is even more
important to become a leader in our communities. One way to do
this is to share your expertise and knowledge with others. We can
do this by offering to in-service all staff on how to do small group and
one-on-one programs. Here are a few in-services that will get you started.
Why I do It
This program is designed to remind staff why they chose their profession and why
they continue to do what they do. It’s a good place to start.
o Colored Paper, cut length ways, in half
o Colored Markers
o Guided Imagery Prayer (This is the one we use, it can be modified to fit your home
and your residents)
THE HANDS OF JESUS
I’m going to ask you to close your eyes now for a few minutes, and to rest your hands in
your lap with your palms up… Tune in to your breathing and relax your tension points…
In the darkness and quietness of your mind, become aware of the air at your fingertips,
between your fingers, on the palms of your hands… Experience the fullness, strength
and maturity of your hands… Think about your hands. Think of the most unforgettable
hands they have known—the hands of your father, your mother… Think of the hands of
a newborn baby, of the incredible beauty, perfection, delicacy in the hands of a child…
Once upon a time, your hands were the same size… just as delicate. Now remember
the oldest hands that have rested in yours. Think of the hands of a favorite resident…
Someday, your hands will be like theirs… just as delicate.
Think of all that your hands have done and the many activities they have mastered—the
things they have made…
Our hands are not just for ourselves, but also for others. Think how often your hands
were given in help for another… Remember all the kinds of work they have done,
Remember all the tears they have wiped away—and the healing they have fostered...
Think how often they have been folded in prayer … Think how our fathers and mothers
taught us the great symbolic language of our hands—the sign of the cross, the pat on
the back during a hug, the handshake, and the wave of the hand in a friendly “hello” or
There is a mystery, which we discover in the hands of the one we love. And there are
the hands of a doctor, a nurse, an artist, a conductor, a minister—hands that we can
Now, with your eyes still closed, slowly raise your right hand and gently place it over
your heart… Press more firmly until your hand picks up the beat of your own heart—
Press even more firmly for a moment, then release your hand, and slowly lower it back
to your lap very carefully, as if it were carrying your heart. FOR IT DOES… When you
extend your hand to another, it is not just bones and skin—it is your heart. A
handshake, you now know, is the real heart transplant.
Think now of all the hands which have left their imprint on you… Fingerprints and
handprints are the heart prints that can never be erased. The hand has its own
memory… Think of all the places that carry handprints. They are indelible and will last
Now, without opening your eyes, extend your hands on either side and find the hand of
the person next to you. Do not simply hold it, but convey a message of peace,
friendship, and genuine concern… Let your hand speak to it and let it listen to the
other. Express your gratitude for this hand stretched to you in the darkness, and then
bring your hand back to your lap. Experience the presence of that other hand lingering
upon yours… The afterglow will fade, but the print is there forever…
Whose hand was that? It could be any hand—it could have been the very hand of the
Creator, FOR IT WAS! For, on earth, HE has no other hands but ours. I invite you to
see yourselves as our co-ministers, to see your hands as God’s hands.
Start with the group standing in a circle
After the Prayer have tables available
Leading the Program
Have participants stand in a circle
Read the Prayer
Discuss how people react to the participants when they tell others they work in a
Give them examples of Positive responses and Negative comments……
Hand each person three colored strips and a marker
Have them think of three residents, and why they enjoy working with them
o Example: I do it for Hazel because I love to see her smile…
Talk Behind Their Back
Every department depends on the other and there are many ways we can help
each other. This in-service can help them realize how important each department is to
the other, and how simple communication can lead to teamwork.
As participants come in, tape, staple or pin a piece of paper to their backs.
Hand out pencils (they won’t soak through the paper onto the participants’
When everyone is settled, have the participants get up and instruct them to choose
someone and write a POSITIVE statement about that person and what they do that
impacts the writer. Continue until they have written on all the participants’ backs.
Discuss how it felt to read the positive comments…
Explain how negative comments spread and inhibit working together.
Discuss how each department can help or hinder the care given to residents
Have participants offer ideas about things THEY can do to help another
Direct-Care Staff Activity Ideas
Staff can, and do, many “activities” with the residents while helping them with ADL’s
This in-service gives examples of things they can do while assisting with each daily
task. It can be done in a formal classroom or at shift change near the nurses’ station.
Some of these were adapted from “The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care” by
David Troxel and Virginia Bell.
Music: play enjoyable music and sing songs about food: *Food Glorious Food
*Animal Crackers *Bread and Butter
o Reminisce about Food Commercials, slogans and songs: Green Giant, Tony the
Tiger, Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven
Sensory: Discuss the color, texture, smell and taste of the food
Ask if they would like to say a prayer before the meal.
Conversation: share common food preferences, ask about favorite recipes,
Songs: Alice Blue Gown, Button up Your Overcoat, Blue Suede Shoes.
Reminisce about styles & fads
Start an old saying and have the residents finish the saying. Clothes make the
man, a stitch in time saves nine, …
Sensory: rub the resident’s back while helping them with a shirt or blouse, give
them a foot rub while putting on socks and shoes
Ask questions about their favorite color to wear, what style they like best, do they
Refer to this time as “Freshening up” or “Washing Up” (keep it light)
Music: Play soft music or sing silly bath songs: Singing In the Bathtub, Wash That
Man Right Out of My Hair
Reminisce about old sayings: clean as a whistle, cleanliness is next to godliness
Sensory: use scented soaps and lotions, warmed towels.
Ask if they ever went to a barber for a shave.
Sing the song “Shave and a Haircut Two Bits”
Reminisce about old sayings “close shave” Burma shave signs,
Sensory: warm water, towel, smelly lotion or after shave
Don’t forget to than. and praise the staff for doing these type of things.
Remember, for the most part, this is still new to them. Here are some ideas to say
o Kudos candy bar for everyone who clocks in on time
o Air Head (for not being an Air head and remembering their name tag)
o Thank You Cards mailed to their home makes a big impression
o Surprise shifts with a lunch or breakfast
o Send birthday and anniversary cards to their homes. Add a Lottery ticket
If you would like more information or have a question you can contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help.
|National Association of Activity Professionals
Founded by Activity Professionals for Activity Professionals...
Join Today! You can download and mail in this application with your payment
Join our Activity Director
board and network with
across the country. This
is a free service.
|SHOPPING & MORE
At Resident Shopping &
More you will find
clothing and more for
your residents. Also, you
will find Activity
and gifts for you, your
residents, your facility
and your Department.
Be sure to visit.
|Featuring supplies for
|ESPECIALLY DESIGNED WITH SENIORS IN MIND
|FEATURING TONS OF BULLETIN BOARD AND CRAFT SUPPLIES
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
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
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
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
NAAP affords Activity Professionals across
the country the opportunity to speak with a
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.
To provide excellence
in support services to
assistance, promotion of
standards, fostering of
research, and peer and
WHY NOT JOIN NOW?
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, Susan
Rauch and Executive Director Irene 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 = $59 USD
- Associate Membership = $65 USD
- International Membership (outside
US) = $65 USD
- Student Membership = $49 USD
- Supportive Membership = $99 USD
Email us for more information at
Click Here to Download a
P.O. Box 5530
Sevierville, TN 37864
phone (865) 429-0717
fax (865) 453-9914
PLEASE NOTE: Any opinion, advice,
statements, offers or other information or
contents expressed or made herein by third
parties is neither endorsed nor adopted by
the National Association of Activity
Professionals unless otherwise stated. NAAP
is neither responsible for nor warrants the
accuracy or reliability of any such opinion,
advice, information or statement made or
offered by third parties in this publication
(website). NAAP has the right, but not the
obligation, to monitor and review the
content that it feels violates the terms of its
understanding with the third party: violates
the policies and purposes of NAAP; or is
defamatory or otherwise deemed
PLEASE NOTE: The articles set forth in this
publication are for informational purposes
only. Nothing contained herein shall be
construed as legal advice. The statements
made herein are those of the respective
authors and are not necessarily an
expression of the views of NAAP.