Conferences.….. An Investment
not an Expense
Debbie Bouknight, BS, ACC, CDP

There are many Administrators who are very supportive of, and
understand the importance of, continuing education; and then there are some that
aren’t as supportive. So how can we help our Administrator see the importance? We
need to show them how the conference will benefit us. We should not just ask if we can
go and leave it at that. We need to show them how our attendance will benefit the
individuals we serve, as well as the company as a whole.

By attending, we will be further educated and able to offer better programming for those
we serve. We will also be better able to understand regulatory issues and up on the
new trends. We will come back rejuvenated and excited and it will show once we are
out among those we serve. We should choose the sessions we’d like to attend in
advance, and show our Administrator how these sessions will help our residents and
the company.

Better programming means happier residents and clients. That is a huge marketing
tool. Conducting new and innovative programs, outside of the “norm,” is also a great
marketing tool. The only way we are going to learn about new and innovative ideas is to
stay educated.

Depending on the conference we are attending, we need to let the Administrator know
we will have the opportunity to visit the vendor room, where we can actually see the
products we’d like to purchase instead of looking through catalogs. Instead of just
having to order books and other resources “sight unseen,” we can view them, look
through them, and find those best suited for our needs. We normally get some good
deals at conferences too, like not having to pay shipping fees. In many cases, we can
take the items with us and some vendors offer discounts.

The NAAP Conference is coming up March 30-April 2, 2011 and we will have the
opportunity to network with Activity Professionals from all across the United States,
Canada, and Bermuda. This helps rejuvenate us while gaining many new ideas and
new perspectives on issues after discussing them with others in our field. We develop
new friends with whom we can share ideas by email and often learn things from them
that will help us, our residents, or our company. I hope you will be able to attend this
awesome conference with numerous education session opportunities!

Over the years, I have implemented many program ideas that I have learned about
during NAAP, and other conferences, and workshops. These ideas keep us fresh and
keep the residents engaged and continually growing themselves.

Our facility received a South Carolina Spirit of Caring Best Practice Award for a
scrapbooking program we implemented after a session I attended at a State
conference. This session gave me the confidence to try it with our residents. In 2004, I
attended a NAAP session on an Intergenerational Vacation Bible School. In 2005, I
implemented the program (which is an annual event today) and it has been a huge
success! In 2005, our community also won a Best Practice Award for the program
through our State Spirit of Caring program. I have taught education sessions on the
program, which resulted in others in our State implementing the Bible School. The
program was also written up for Long Term Living Magazine in 2009. So, in addition to
this being a great intergenerational program for those we serve, it has been a
wonderful marketing tool, and it wasn’t even implemented for that reason!

In 2009, in New Mexico, I attended a session on a Spanish class and immediately
implemented it when I returned. We submitted this program for a Best Practice award
and again won. The program was presented at our State’s Award Banquet in October
2009. Our facility is part of a very large hospital network and this award was written up in
their newsletter, which was seen by many in the community. Marketing tool, you bet! And
this is just the gravy.

These programs were implemented to serve the residents, but the side affects can be
just as rewarding. We have implemented many other program ideas from education
sessions, too numerous to mention here. All the programs have had great success.
Without these new ideas, we might still be doing some of the same old stuff! Good
programming leads to family members and volunteers “talking” positively about your
workplace, when out in the community. This will lead to more beds being filled. This is
definitely something your Administrator would like to see - a full house!

I learned the following from Susan Rauch (our NAAP President) and put it in place at my
facility a few years ago. When anyone on my staff attends a conference or workshop,
they are asked to fill out a form stating what they learned and how they plan to
implement what they learned from the conference or workshop. When you return from
any conference, in addition to thanking your Administrator for allowing you to attend, let
rth the money for you to be sent to the conference. It will be an investment for them, not
an expense.

Budget concerns are a huge headache for Administrators. It is up to us to show them
how our continuing education is not just another cost to the company, but in the long
run, can help bring in more money by filling more beds and having satisfied customers.
And with the emphasis on Resident-Centered programming, it is even more important
for us as Activity Professionals to stay educated and informed. A great activity program
is the key to keeping those beds filled.

If those you serve are not happy and engaged, no one will want to come there. I firmly
believe that the communities and homes with varied and innovative programs, that are
continually changing, are the ones that will thrive. You can help yours be a thriving
community by keeping yourself educated and fresh! Hope to see you in Myrtle Beach for
the 29th annual NAAP Conference. For more information, visit the NAAP website at:
www.thenaap.com!
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
ACTIVITY DIRECTOR
COMMUNITY
Join our Activity Director
Community message
board and network with
Activity Professionals
across the country. This
is a free service.
ACTIVITY DIRECTOR
TODAY
E-MAGAZINE
Be sure to subscribe to
Activity Director Today
E-magazine for the
latest news and more
about your profession.
Only $19.95/year
SHOPPING & MORE
At Resident Shopping &
More you will find
clothing and more for
your residents.  
Also, you
will  find Activity
Department supplies
.
ACTIVITY DIRECTOR
NOVELTIES
Activity Director
Novelties features
promotional materials
and gifts for you, your
residents, your facility
and your Department.
Be sure to visit.
Activity Director
Excellent Resources for
Activity Professionals
Featuring supplies for
parties, holiday
celebrations  and
special events
Click Here
ESPECIALLY DESIGNED WITH SENIORS IN MIND
FEATURING TONS OF BULLETIN BOARD AND CRAFT SUPPLIES
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 voice...

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.
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.
MEMBERSHIP
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
membership@thenaap.com.

Join Now!
Click Here to Download a
Membership Application
Professionals
P.O. Box 5530
Sevierville, TN 37864
phone (865) 429-0717        
fax (865) 453-9914        
email: TheNAAP@aol.com

DISCLAIMER

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
objectionable.

DISCLAIMER

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.
ACTIVITY DIRECTOR TODAY
Providing Internet Resources
for Activity Professionals
in Long Term Care Settings
admin@theactivitydirectorsoffice.com

Copyright 2004-Present
The Activity Director's Office
All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer