Pathways to the Past
by Sandra Stimson ADC, CALA, CDP
Executive Director,
Alternative Solutions in Long Term Care
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Executive Director
Alternative Solutions in LTC
National Council of Certified
Dementia Practitioners  
Providing Internet Resources
for Activity Professionals
in Long Term Care Settings

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The Activity Director's Office
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At Resident Shopping &
More you will find
clothing and more for
your residents.  Also, you
will  find Activity
Department supplies
Activity Director
Novelties features
promotional materials
and gifts for you, your
residents, your facility
and your Department.
Be sure to visit.
Get promotional and gift
items customized.  Bob
creates your design and
makes it available for
you on
Activity Director
Novelties.  Buy as much
or little as you want.
(Design Fee $10.00)
Contact Bob
Activity Director
Excellent Resources for
Activity Professionals
Featuring supplies for
parties, holiday
celebrations  and
special events
Click Here

Sandra Stimson has
experience as a corporate
consultant, Corporate Trainer
and National Speaker. Her
experience is in long term
care, as Activity Director,
Director of Alzheimer's Units
and Assistant Administrator of a
550 bed long term care county
home.  She is Co-founder of
Pet Express Pet Therapy Club,
is a Life Replay Specialist.  
Sandra implements dementia
units nationwide.  Sandra has
written several books,
Volunteer Management
Essentials for Long Term Care
and Pet Express Pet Therapy
Program. Sandra has been a
facilitator for Alzheimer's
support groups and is the
Awards Chair for the NJ
Association of Activity
Professionals.  Sandra is the
Executive Director of
Council of Certified Dementia

Alternative Solutions in Long
Term Care offers resources for
health care professionals in
many areas of dementia care,
care plans, Snoezelen
products, dementia activity
calendars, adult day care
calendars, sensory calendars,
reminisce videos for dementia,
activity books, and dates to
remember, party supplies,
resources and links.
Each Norman
Rockwell print
is paired with
a national
standards of
Resident Rights and is
illustrated by a picture
depicting the "Resident
click here to purchase
resident rights prints
75 Ways to honor your staff during
Activity Professionals Week

  1. Create a unique banner using a slogan your staff or residents recommends.
  2. Pay for membership to NAAP National Association of Activity Professionals for
    all of your staff.
  3. Send one of your staff to NAAP national convention.
  4. Send your staff to state association conference.
  5. Provide gift cards to movies, grocery store, restaurants and other stores.
  6. Put up your agenda for the week that lists the special events you have planned
    for your department for residents and other staff to view.
  7. Ask residents, volunteers to submit letters about how your department improves
    quality of life and share at a special planned event.
  8. Make a donation on behalf of your department.
  9. Create a Hall Of Fame. Have an Activity Professional of The Year. Put name on
    plaque. Provide a trophy or plaque to this individual; provide awards such as a
    day off for a 3 day weekend, certificate, and gift card. Ask vendors for award
    donations. Place article in town / city paper.
  10. Host an empty bulletin board with the Theme “ How Does Activities Improve
    Quality of Life?” or any idea you might have. Leave pre cut out paper and pens
    and ask people to post their ideas.
  11. Take staff to a sporting event, play, etc.
  12. Have a Hero Sandwich Party because your department are Hero’s
  13. Have a Lifesaver Award for that one person you really counted on through out the
    year. Provide a certificate that says “Than you. You have been a life saver this
    whole year.” Attach role of Lifesaver.
  14. Order from Hershey candy bars with “Activity Profession Week”. You can ask
    them to imprint anything you like.    
  15. Create a Activity Trivia Game.  Involve your staff and create questions and
    answers about activities you provide, benefits, words associated with activities.
  16. Create a scavenger hunt involving words associated with activities and each day
    have a winner.
  17. Ask all the departments to participate in creating a display abut the activity
  18. Make a Video / DVD of all the activities for the year and play it in the lobby.
  19. Make a 3 panel display board with pictures highlighting events held through out
    the entire year. To make it even more fun, you can purchase small buttons to
    records short messages about each event and will play when pressed.
  20. Provide personalized mugs. You can purchase mugs with people’s
  21. names on it or order the theme name for Activity Professionals Week
    promotions catalogues.
  22. Send Fruit Baskets to each activity professional in your department. Edible
    Arrangements are now in most states are fun to receive.
  23. Cover desks with balloons.
  24. Have a Activity Olympics Games:  Each day have a different fun program you will
    be doing.
  25. Each day provide a different breakfast item from Bagels, Donuts, Fresh Fruit
  26. Designate one specific day and take out to lunch and be sure the Administrator
  27. Provide a custom made banner that pays tribute to the Activity Department.
  28. Purchase the promotional items and give to the staff.
  29. Give an individual Thank You card to each activity professional.  
  30. Put up balloons that have a tribute to the professions all over the building.
  31. Have a party with the residents and all staff one day during the week.
  32. Provide Activity pins for Activity Professional Week.
  33. Send an editorial to your local paper about what your Activity Department
  34. Put up a table in the lobby showcasing all the activities you do. Place pictures on
    3 panel display boards.
  35. Ask the residents to write poems about what Activities means to them.
  36. Submit a tribute about the activity profession to
  37. Pay for membership in your state association for your staff.
  38. Allow paid time to attend the local state association meetings.
  39. Allow (paid leave) staff to attend the state convention.
  40. Pay for a seminar. Or reimburse once they attend.
  41. Write about each person in your department and place in the facility newsletter.
  42. Take a picture of each person and place in a frame and high light them during
    the week.
  43. Create a word search for staff and residents using all the words that define the
  44. Give a corsage or flowers.  
  45. If approved, allow them to leave early on Friday.
  46. Put up tributes written by other professionals. See
  47. Ask Administrator and DON to make a speech about activities during your party.
  48. Ask the Ombudsman to attend the party and make a speech about activities.
  49. Ask the resident council president to make a speech about activities.
  50. Ask the Volunteers to participate in the party as generally they support and work
    for your department.
  51. If you are with a large corporation, ask the owners to acknowledge Activity
    Professionals during Activity Professional Week.
  52. Gift certificates to stores or movies or restaurants.  
  53. Pay for your staff to attend the MEPAP courses to obtain their certification.
  54. Recognize the CNA’s who have supported your Activity Department.
  55. Submit your staff for awards with your state activity association and national
    activity association for Outstanding Activity Professional of The Year.
  56. Order new activity books for each of your staff.  
  57. Purchase new Activity Care Plan Books for each staff member.
  58. Ask your staff to give you a wish list and meet with your administrator to see if
    any of these items can be purchased for your department. Surprise them during
    this special week.
  59. Order new desk items and calendars.  
  60. Host an Open House in your department and serve refreshments and invite
    families, staff, residents and volunteers to come.  Invite other activity staff and
    directors in the area.
  61. Invite a guest speaker who  has topics that are ceu approved to present to your
  62. Purchase subscriptions for each employee to receive online Activity newsletters.
  63. Give a piece of paper pre printed with the numbers 1 through 200. Give the
    residents or staff in-service 20 minutes to write down as many types of activities
    and theme names you provide through out the year.
  64. Toot Your Own Horn! During This Week, showcase your department by providing
    a facility wide in-service. Explain what your department provides and provide the
    calendars.  If you have a video of your department would be great.
  65. Create an Amazing Activity Race Game that will take all week to complete.  
    Create clues that will take the person to a destination where another clue is
    planted. Clues could be: This is the place our residents go to smell the flowers.  
    The answer could be the patio. Once they get to that location there could be easy
    challenges to complete, like unscrambling a word. Once they unscramble a
    word they could see the business manager for the next clue or the president of
    the resident council. There you would plant another clue, etc. Who ever gets to
    the finish line first wins a prize.  But this could take a week, don’t make it too
  66. Purchase a spices and attach a note “You’re the Spice Of Our Resident’s Life”
  67. Purchase Bumper Stickers with your slogan for Activity Professionals Week
  68. Ask Families To Share Success Stories About Their Loved One and The Role
    Your Department Played In Their Success.
  69. Dedicate a flower bed in honor of the Activity Profession and Quality of Life.
  70. Feature your staff pictures and present their bios, tenure, accomplishments and
    achievements in a slide show or put on a video.
  71. Present candy canes at Christmas / Holidays with a note attached that says
    “You’re worth stripes to our residents.”
  72. Invite the President of the state Activity Association to a luncheon with your staff.
  73. Send peppermint candies with a note attached “You’re worth a mint to the
  74. Provide a box of cookies in a pretty box with wrapping paper and bows for each
    staff member. Check with your local bakery.
  75. Provide a candle for each activity professional with a note that says “You light up
    the residents life.”     

Honor your Activity Director with a card, flowers or just say Thank You.