A+ Activities with Jolene Ewert
Jolene Ewert, Executive Director
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Executive Director
About Jolene

Jolene has enjoyed working in
the healthcare field in such
capacities as Marketing
Director, Activity Director and
Coordinator of Dementia
programs. She currently holds
an Administrator's License and
works as an Activity Consultant.
She is the author of A+
Activites and owner and
operator of the A+ Activities
website, a website dedicated
to Activity Professionals that
has been in circulation for over
12 years.  

The A+ Activities E-Newsletter is available
for only $1.50 a month or $18.00 for a year.
Each month you will be emailed a
newsletter with activity planning ideas such
as sensory stimulation, men's groups, crafts,
trivia and many more! Don't pass on this
great resource! Visit the A+ Activities
website at
for more information or email Jolene at
Providing Internet Resources
for Activity Professionals
in Long Term Care Settings

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

Featuring supplies for
parties, holiday
celebrations  and
special events
Click Here
We now have available 10
holiday themed bingo cards with
hand-drawn images, a
crossword puzzle, a wordsearch
puzzle and a coloring page.
They are available for only $10
which includes shipping and

Available  through my site at
or an invoice can be requested
from me at
Making Memories  

Memory loss can be very difficult for seniors, family members and caretakers. Let’s look
at some activities that can help strengthen memory skills.

Music can stick with us for a lifetime. Often the elderly will remember tunes from long
ago. Play tunes in the recreation area or dining room to spark up some memories. Hold
a sing-a-long or name that tune afternoon. Invite local choral groups to come and sing
with the seniors.

Test the Nose
The sense of smell can evoke strong memories. Fill small bottles with a variety of
strongly scented substances and let seniors react to each one individually. Tell them to
not only identify the smell but also share a memory that the smell evokes: grandma’s
garden, cooking with the kids.

Past World Events
Show photos and/or newspaper headings recalling significant world events such as
the bombing of Pearl Harbor or President Kennedy’s assassination. Ask seniors to
share where they were when they learned of the news and how they felt.

Reminiscing Cards
Create reminiscing cards. Browse magazines, newspapers, or the Internet to find
images of items that you know will prompt a conversation, such as scenes from the
Depression Era, amusement parks and vacation spots. Paste the pictures onto pieces
of cardboard and build a catalog of visual aids.

Start Scrapbooking
Assemble a scrapbook. For seniors that can physically handle this task, it’s a great way
to organize memories and start a new hobby – one that can be shared by the whole
family. Include photos, ticket stubs, fabrics from, say, a wedding dress, newspaper
clippings, recipes, and other homespun memorabilia.

Specific Interests
Provide materials based on specific interests of seniors. If a person has always been a
bird watcher or fisherman, provide books, magazines or documentary movies on the
subject. If some ladies have enjoyed quilting, take them to a quilt show or bring in a
show to your facility.

Around the House
Many seniors continue to enjoy the tasks they have always done. Chores they did
around the house may still make them feel good. Ideas include folding laundry,
shucking corn, doing dishes or sweeping.

Game Ideas
Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, tic tac toe, scrabble, boggle, checkers, chess, board
games and card games are all beneficial for brain stimulation.

Read aloud and use visual aids such as memory poems, family pictures or stories
about the “days gone by”. Ideas include the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and
Yesterdays by NaDezean.

Let’s Talk
A few questions to get the conversation started:
  • Where did you grow up? What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
  • What are some of your favorite hobbies?
  • Can you tell me about one of your favorite teachers?
  • What changes have you seen in the world throughout your lifetime?
  • What is the best advice you were ever given?
  • Can you tell me about your family?
  • What was your first pet?
  • What are some of your Christmas traditions?