Posted January 13, 2012
Deborah Connery, LCSW
Director of Consultation at The Comprehensive Group
Activity Professionals are key players in the world of healthcare. It is also a profession that is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years, especially in the senior housing and long-term care industry.
Through program development, Activity Professionals help seniors and persons with disabilities structure their leisure time in ways that meet their cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Programs typically include exercise, arts and crafts, cooking, games, dance, music, community outings, and religious activities; although, what is included in a program is limited only by the creativity and vision of the Activity Professional. And because work environments vary, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Activity Professionals work in nursing homes, hospitals, senior housing facilities, and residential care environments. Most importantly, the profession, as a whole, is dedicated to fun, exploration, and life’s pure enjoyments.
Activity Professionals come from varying backgrounds. A college degree is not necessarily required, but specialized training in therapeutic interventions for specific areas such as: older adults; adults and children with mental and physical disabilities; and adults with cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is beneficial for anyone looking to work in an Activity Department. Seminars, community college courses, and workshops are readily available to potential and existing Activity Professionals.
The Comprehensive Group has special affection for the hardworking Activity Professionals we support in nursing homes, assisted living communities, senior retirement communities, and hospitals. Our consultants have worked in these various communities and so know firsthand both the thrills and operational hardships of the mission of helping seniors and disabled people realize their fullness of purpose and leisure.
We are dedicated to providing Activity Professionals with the education and resources they need to design leisure programs that engage and excite participants. We know that BINGO is here to stay, yet life can be so much more. We love to see seniors branching out into culinary programs, fine art programs, innovative exercise and social programs that promote much-needed peer relationships. We don’t see barriers when it comes to activities. We see opportunities for a quality of life residents never dreamed they could have outside their own homes.
Through our 36-hour Activity Director Courses, 6 hour Activity Assistant Workshops, Dementia Workshops for Activity Professionals and CNAs, and specialized on-site consultation services, we encourage Activity Professionals to continue to grow and remain excited about designing programs for the people they serve.
January 22-28, we send a loud “We Love You!” to the Activity Professionals in Chicagoland and beyond. You are providing a quality of life service to your residents, which makes all the difference between growing and growing older. Kudos to you from The Comprehensive Group during Activity Professionals Week and beyond!