September 8 through 14 is National Assisted Living Week. This year’s theme is “A Spark of Creativity,” as announced by the National Center for Assisted Living. This annual observance was established in 1995 by NCAL in order to celebrate residents of assisted living while offering opportunity for the public to learn about this branch of long-term care.
This week is a time to not only celebrate but also to reflect while thinking about ways that assisted living can improve and further grow. This year’s theme is intended to “encourage everyone to get their creative juices flowing – whether it’s residents trying out new things or caregivers exploring innovative ways to improve care and community life,” according to NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle.
Residents are encouraged to explore art therapy as it has the potential to improve sensory-motor functions as well as cognitive functions. Art therapy is also proven to foster self-awareness and self-esteem, reduce and resolve distress and conflicts, cultivate emotional resilience and enhance social skills.
The theme is also geared toward inspiring staff members of assisted living facilities to get creative alongside their residents, while encouraging more person-centered care.
The NCAL has issued a Planning Guide and Product Catalog, which offers ideas and resources to help assisted living staff to make the most of exploring their creative side. Some of the suggested activities include:
- Host an Open Mic Night or an Art show to show off your residents’ artwork as well as that of your staff and any volunteers. Invite local members of the community as well as loved ones.
- Hold a family town hall or a resident council meeting to encourage everyone to share their creative ideas.
- Set up activities and/or art classes led by capable residents, staff members or even outsource it to a local organization.
- Award staff members with awards, such as “The Most Creative Idea Award” for ideas they come up with that will improve the daily lives of residents.
- Create inspiration boards for residents and work with each resident to find images of activities, things and/or people they love as well as quotes that inspire them or any goals they wish to achieve. Put these boards up in sight in the room of each resident.
Many of the products that are recommended for this year’s “A Spark of Creativity” theme can be found on the NCAL site as well.
Making it a Priority
Each assisted living facility and all staff members and volunteers are encouraged to make this year’s theme for National Assisted Living Week a priority. But finding time to add in extra roles or task to your already busy checklist as a staff member or volunteer can be difficult. After all, assisting clients with their everyday needs and providing administrative support are still roles that remain and cannot be set aside. One way you can streamline your office administration work is to look to Stocked as a new way to get your work done faster so you can focus more on your residents. We can help with your purchasing needs and business-related challenges so you can focus on what is most important – caring for your residents.