National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP)
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About NAAP
Founded by Activity
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

The National Association of
Activity Professionals
recognizes the following

The quality of life of the
served is the primary reason for our

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

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 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
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.
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, Diane Mockbee, and our
Executive Director, Charles 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 = $75 US dollars
Associate Membership = $65 US dollars
International Membership (outside US) = $65 USD
Student Membership = $55 US dollars
Supportive Membership = $99 US dollars

Email us for more information at

Join Now!

You can download and mail in this
application with your payment or use our new online registration.
Making Holiday Wishes
Come True
By Myrtle A. Klauer, ADC, CAP
Director of Resident Services
Illinois Council on Long Term Care
NAAP Member

For most individuals, the holidays bring thoughts of family gatherings, feasting, bright
lights, homemade cookies, holiday cards, and gifts. The holidays can also bring
loneliness and depression to those whose loved ones and friends are far away.
Thanks to the facility staff and caring individuals in the community, residents in long
term care facilities will be able to enjoy and look forward to the holidays. I am writing
this article to help facilities fulfill the residents' holiday wishes and experience the joy of
meaningful visits during this holiday season.

Activity Directors should be prepared to provide possible gift ideas to individuals who
may want to purchase a gift for a resident. The first step is to compile a list of the
residents, with gift ideas next to each resident's name. Keep this list handy. When
someone chooses to purchase a gift for a resident, write the name of that individual
next to the resident's name. Be sure to establish a date when the present(s) are
needed. Get the contact information for the individuals providing gifts so you can send
thank you notes and also provide “gentle reminders” as the due date draws near.
Give the staff and volunteers an opportunity to fulfill the holiday wish for a resident. Post
information about the program in the staff break room and where volunteers sign-in.
Ask the individuals purchasing the gifts to wrap them and write his or her resident's
name on each package. Recruit a volunteer Santa to deliver the gifts on a day close to
Christmas. Separate the gifts by floor/unit and place them in large laundry bags or on
decorated carts.

Plan a party on each floor/unit the day the gifts are to be distributed. Be sure to invite
everyone who purchased gifts to take part, so they can see the residents open their

Holiday Gift Ideas for Nursing Home Residents

The following is a list of holiday gift ideas for nursing home residents:
•        Stationery, note cards, greeting cards, pens, and stamps
•        Calendar for 2009 with dates marked on it for upcoming birthdays, anniversaries,
etc. For birthdays, mark down how old the person will be on that day; for anniversaries,
the number of years together
•        Address book with addresses written in for family and friends
•        Cardigan sweaters, sweat suits, pajamas, and ladies' housecoats and dusters
•        Firm shoes with rubber soles; enclosed slippers
•        Clocks with large numbers
•        Radios, CD players, tape players
•        CDs of a loved one's favorite music, such as songs from the 20s, 30s and 40s
•        Televisions and DVD players
•        DVDs of favorite TV shows from years past such as I Love Lucy, The Jack Benny
Show, and Burns and Allen. Also, favorite movies such as Citizen Kane and The
Maltese Falcon
•        Magazine subscriptions, such as Woman's Day, Family Circle, Time, Sports
Illustrated, Newsweek, etc. Also, large print magazines such as Reader's Digest
•        Books in large print editions
•        Electric razors, disposable razors and shaving cream
•        Checkers, chess, and decks of cards
•        Large print crossword puzzle or find-a-word books
•        Brushes and combs
•        Handheld mirror or magnifying mirror on a pedestal
•        Hand lotion and facial tissues
•        For the men: boxer shorts, V-neck t-shirts (these pull on easier than the crew-neck
type), and socks
•        Framed family photographs or frames to hold family photographs (5 X 7 and 8X 10
standing and wall mount are best)
•        Cologne, perfume, scented soaps, or after shave
•        Gift certificates to the facility's on-site beautician, barber, or gift shop

The Activity Director also needs to include information about gifts that are not
appropriate for the resident they are buying for. For example, if the resident has arthritis,
explain how he or she needs things that are easy to put on and take off. Suggest they
consider purchasing clothing items that are easy to wear, such as jogging suits and
cardigan sweaters.

If the resident has swallowing difficulties or a restrictive diet, caution the buyer not to
send food items such as candy, cookies, and fruit. If the resident has Alzheimer's or a
related dementia, instruct the buyer not to send liquid items such as perfume, cologne,
after shave, or lotion, because these items may end up being swallowed. Also, scented
soaps would not be appropriate for this population.

Helpful Advice for Children Visiting Nursing Homes During the Holidays
During the holidays, many individuals visit their loved ones in nursing homes to spread
good cheer, participate in seasonal activities, and celebrate the love of friends and
family. Some of these holiday visitors include children who may be unprepared for the
realities of a long term care setting.

Visiting a nursing home can be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience for young
and old. With a little forethought and planning, parents can help make this visit a
successful one for their children.

The Activity Director also needs to prepare information for families with children who
would like to visit with a resident during the holidays. To help parents, the following
recommendations will help children connect with nursing home residents during the
•        Talk with your children about what to expect during a nursing home visit, such as
seeing residents in wheelchairs or others who may be unresponsive. Answer any
questions or concerns your children may have. Discuss their feelings about visiting
older adults.
•        Stop by the children's section of your local bookstore. There are several good
children's books available that address understanding the elderly. Reading this type of
book with young children can help in making them more comfortable with visiting a
nursing home resident.
•        Try to plan the visit a week or two in advance. The best times to visit are generally
mid-morning, mid-afternoon and early evening. Be sure to contact the elder or the
elder's caregiver to ask him or her what time of the day would be best.
•        Think ahead of time about some possible activities that could involve the elder and
the children. Bring any needed supplies with you to the visit. By participating in an
activity, the children will feel more comfortable and engaged, and will walk away having
had a better experience. (Creative activity ideas are listed below.)
•        During their visits, children may need some gentle encouragement to overcome
their shyness. The parent can offer some questions to get the conversation going, such
as asking their children to discuss their hobbies or participation in school sports
teams. Young children could introduce their favorite toys to an elder as an icebreaker.
•        After the visit, talk about what happened and what the children felt. Be sure to
answer any of their questions openly and honestly.

Here are some creative activity suggestions for the visit, including many that are

•        Help decorate the resident's room for the holidays.
•        Sing familiar holiday songs. Bring along some song sheets and a cassette player
if possible.
•         Read a favorite book together, including holiday stories. If possible, bring a large
print edition of the book.
•        Make simple tree ornaments or other craft projects.
•        Put together a small scrapbook of family photographs.
•        Look at some holiday catalogs and ask for the elder's advice on choosing gifts for
family and friends.
•        Participate in a facility activity program together. Contact the facility's activity director
to discuss upcoming events.
•        Take the senior for a walk around the facility, and enjoy a meal together.
•        Play cards, checkers, matching games or board games.
•        Look over family photo albums to spark memories and conversation. Or, take
some new family photographs together at the facility.
•        Do an activity together related to the family's religion, such as reading stories from
the Bible or other religious texts.
•        Bring in items related to the elder's interests. For instance, for a male nursing
home resident who is a car buff, the children could bring in model cars, car magazines,
glossy dealership brochures, or give a tour of the family's new car. Have the children
use these items to spark conversation.
•        Have the children bring a small gift for their loved one. Possible gifts could include
hand lotion, brushes, combs, note cards, stationery, framed family pictures or large
print books.
•        Have the children "interview" their elderly relatives about their lives. Work together
with the children ahead of time to prepare a list of questions. Consider recording these
responses on videotape or audiocassette.

Most importantly, don't make the holiday visit just a one-time experience. Both the elder
and the children would benefit greatly from continuing these visits throughout the year.
An ongoing series of visits allows for a true relationship to develop, helping children to
connect with the elderly in many meaningful ways. These visits will provide young
people with important life lessons that pay off for years to come.