Dedicated to helping Activity Professionals
with the daily operation of their department.
You need Java to see this applet.
by Debbie Hommel, BA, CRA, ACC,
Executive Director of
DH Special Services.
Let Debbie answer your
Activity Questions
About Debbie

Debbie Hommel, BA, CRA, ACC, is
the Executive Director of DH Special
Services. She is a Certified Activity
Consultant on State and National
level, with over twenty-seven years of
experience in providing direct care
and consultation to long term care,
medical day care, assisted living,
and ICF/MR facilities throughout New
Jersey, New York, Maryland, and
Pennsylvania. She is an experienced
trainer and workshop presenter,
conducting a variety of seminars
throughout the Tri-State area for the
Activity Professional, Administrator,
and allied healthcare professional.
Debbie Hommel is an active member
of Activity Professional Associations
on State and National levels. She is
ACC certified through the NCCAP.
She is a founding member of the
New Jersey Activity Professionals'
Association, serving terms as Vice
President and President. She
received the Weidner Lifetime
Achievement Award in 1994 and the
Monmouth & Ocean County Activity
Professionals Life Achievement
Award in 1999.
Music: "Alexander's Rag Time Band" furnished by Heart and Soul Music "Providing Quality Music for Nursing Homes"
Copyright 2004-PRESENT
The Activity Director's Office
All rights reserved
National Activity Professionals Week
January 22nd to 27th, 2006

Activity Professionals Make Lives Rich

As an Activity Professional, we have a special day coming up.   National Activity Professional Week is a time
for our profession to share the good works we do on a daily basis.     Professional recognition days can be
viewed from various perspectives:

  • We can hope to be taken out to lunch.
  • We can hope to be surprised with a bagel breakfast or donuts.
  • We can dream of receiving flowers from the administrative staff.
  • Or we can view this week as an opportunity to communicate and share the meaning, value and
    benefits of what therapeutic activities has to offer.

Sure, it's nice to go out to lunch and get presents - but in many cases, this does not happen. Rather than sit
back and wait for the "royal treatment", use this week as an excuse to "toot your own horn". Consider the
following ideas to recognize and promote the value of therapeutic activities:

  1. Create and display a photo gallery of activities and outline their benefits on a main bulletin board or
  2. Plan an "Activity Open House". Send out invitations and have display areas set up in your recreation
    room which emphasizes the value of therapeutic activities. Provide information regarding the benefits
    of activities and create displays with materials and photographs. Give out promotional items related to
    NAPW. Serve refreshments, decorate festively, and have door prizes.
  3. Find some poems and writings about activities.  Many of the activity sites, including mine, have poems
    devoted to our work and efforts.   My favorites are "The Activity Pest" and "Activities are...". Display them
    in common areas, send them to the families or read them at activity groups.
  4. Create a video emphasizing the benefits of each activity. Set the video up in the lobby, play it
    continuously with a poster, tri-board or printed materials explaining NAPW.    Create posters and signs
    for display throughout the building. Use the NAAP theme - "Activity Professionals Make Lives Rich”.
  5. Conduct an "Activity Scavenger Hunt". Create a game card for staff/residents/families to complete
    certain tasks. To get credit for the tasks, the activity staff need to authorize the cards. Tasks may
    include bringing a resident to an activity, having a cup of coffee in the activity room, sitting and doing a
    1-1 activity with a resident and other related, interdisciplinary activity tasks. After the game cards are
    completed, they are placed into a drawing. The drawing for a winner may be conducted at a party or
    reception at the end of the week.
  6. Conduct an "Activity Trivia Game" which is similar to the scavenger hunt. Trivia questions can be
    related to your activity program, staff or the benefits of activities. Again, the completed game sheets are
    submitted, with possible winners being drawn daily.
  7. Create an open mural where staff, families and residents can write their thoughts about activities. A
    large roll/sheet of white paper can be hung on a plain wall, with an attached marker on a string. The
    heading of the paper may be the theme "Activity Professionals Make Lives Rich". A question under the
    theme can encourage people to write what activities means to them.
  8. Plan an "Activity Olympics". Each day of the week can offer various activities related to a particular
    activity domain. For example, Monday may be "Mental Aerobics Day"; while Tuesday may be "Let's Get
    Physical Day". Each day will focus on the various activities in that domain, with emphasis on the
    benefits. Interdisciplinary contests and challenges can be integrated into the program plan.

For more information related to celebrating NAPW - you can first contact our National Association. A free NAP
WEEK information packet is available from the NAAP Office. You may call direct at (865) 453-9914 or E-Mail The Packet includes ideas about how to celebrate the week, sample proclamations and
press releases. NAPW Balloons, Buttons, Water Bottles, T-Shirts, Pens, Hi-Lighters and more will be for sale
from the NAAP Office, using the above contact information.   

For promotional materials related to NAPW:

  • There are   free downloadable posters available on the NAAP web site.
  • Sea Bay Game Company, Positive Promotions, Café Press and also the Activity Director’s Office
    apparel store  sell items with Activity logos and sayings.

Before all is said and done, celebrate as a department and with your professional peers. Have a luncheon or
private celebration for your department.  Activity Directors can purchase recognition materials as gifts for their

And if you are going this alone - give yourself the gift of professional membership and affiliation. If you are not
a member of your local, State or National Activity or Recreation Association - treat yourself to a membership in
honor of our week. Membership in professional organizations provides the Activity Professional with support,
current information, state of the art resources and validation for the work that we do.