Monthly Archives: September 2012

Falling Into October Activity Planning!

Can you believe it is almost October?!  The air is getting chilly, the leaves are turning colors,…. um…  I love autumn!  Here is October’s planning helps for you!

October is …

  • American Magazine Month
  • Billiards Awareness Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Country Music Month
  • German-American Heritage Month
  • Healthy Lung Month
  • National Bake and Decorate Month
  • National Book Month
  • National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Caramel Month
  • National Chili Month
  • National Cookbook Month
  • National Dental Hygiene Month
  • National Dessert Month
  • National Go On a Field Trip Month
  • National Kitchen and Bath Month
  • National Physical Therapy Month
  • National Pizza Month
  • National Popcorn Poppin’ Month
  • National Reading Group Month
  • National Roller Skating Month
  • National Stamp Collecting Month
  • National Work and Family Month
  • Photographer Appreciation Month
  • Polish-American Heritage Month
  • Spinach Lovers Month
  • Squirrel Awareness Month
  • Talk About Prescriptions Month

Veggie Lunch

Recognize this World Vegetarian Day by serving residents a delicious vegetarian option for lunch.

Peanut Farmer Social

On this birthday of peanut farmer and president Jimmy Carter, encourage residents to socialize over shelled peanuts. Provide residents with nut crackers for those who need more help in getting the shells off the peanuts.

Dim Sum Happy Hour

Celebrate this National Day of China by serving Chinese egg rolls with dipping sauce at this evening’s happy hour. Chit chat with residents about any visits they have made to Asia.

Oct 2 is World Farm Animal Day so have a Petting Farm

Invite a local petting farm to your facility on this World Farm Animals Day.

Reminiscence & Tea

During this National Roller Skating Month, invite residents to reminisce about roller skating as kids. Ask the residents if any of them had skate keys. Serve hot tea and cookies.

Fall Wine Picnic

Break open the wine and invite residents for a fun fall picnic indoors. Serve sandwiches, cheese, fruit, and wine. If weather permits, host the event outdoors.

Ladies Home Journal Social

For this American Magazine Month, download articles from the Ladies’ Home Journal magazine and discuss how the magazine has changed over the years. Ask residents whether they still read the magazine. Serve veggies and dip as a snack.

Harvest Stories

Encourage residents to join in a harvest discussion. Have residents tell stories of what harvest time was like for them as children. Ask residents if their school was closed during harvest so that kids could help out on their family’s farm.

Oct 4 is Detective comic strip Dick Tracy debuted (1931)

Spot the Difference

Invite residents to play detective on this day that the detective comic strip Dick Tracy debuted, by spotting the differences between two Halloween pictures.

Walking Club

Get your residents ready for the Neighborhood Walk for a Cure on October 7, by encouraging residents to go for a walk around your facility after lunch.

Coffee Klatch Social

Encourage residents to socialize as they are served an array of delicious hot coffee on this cool afternoon. Serve butter cookies as a snack.

Computer Class

Teach residents how to use the computer designated for residents during this Computer Learning Month. Teach residents how to set up a Facebook page in which they can communicate with friends and family.

Photography Club

Encourage residents to partake in a fun photography session during this Photographer Appreciation Month. Allow residents to borrow your facility’s camera to take snapshots of the changing leaves outdoors.

 Oct 5 World Smile Day Good Deeds

Assist residents with doing good deeds on this World Smile Day. Make a list of “volunteer opportunities” throughout your facility for residents, like reading to a resident, handing out magazines to those in bed, or watering plants.

Oct 6 is National German-American Day

German Class

Teach your residents some clean German words on this National German-American Day.

German Waltz

Teach your residents how to do the Waltz on this National German-American Day.

German Root Beer Sample Social

Serve residents a variety of root beer, to sample. Ask residents to discuss their travels to Germany.

Oktoberfest Party

Hire an entertainer to stop by and play fun German music as your facility celebrates Oktoberfest. Encourage residents to do the German Waltz that they learned earlier today.

Warm Apple Cider Social

Serve residents warm apple cider on this autumn day. Serve ginger snaps as a snack. Ask residents if they have ever made apple cider

Chili & Cornbread Lunch

During this National Chili Month, serve residents a home-made chili and cornbread lunch. Consider turning the lunch into a special Harvest Hoe-Down meal by using plastic utensils along with plastic red and white checkered tablecloths

Betty Crocker School

For this National Cookbook Month, invite a staff member from Dining Services to host a cooking demonstration for residents.

Falling Leaves Social

Set up your afternoon social near a big picture window and invite residents to look outside at the falling leaves. Ask residents if they remember raking leaves or playing in them as children. Serve warm cookies as a snack.

Leaf Stationery

Encourage your seniors to make their own stationery by doing an easy leaf stamping craft. Supply residents with writing paper for stamping.

One on One

Invite a pharmacist to come to your facility to talk to residents about their prescriptions during this Talk About Prescriptions Month.

Dessert of the Month Club

During this National Dessert Month, have residents gather and vote for a particular dessert to be served at a special dinner this month. Give residents a list of choices from which they can choose. Take a tally and serve the chosen dessert at the designated time.

Fire Safety

Invite your facility’s Maintenance Coordinator to share fire safety information with residents during this Fire Prevention Week.

Oct 11 – Apollo 7, the United States’ first manned Apollo mission, was launched (1968) Space Race Social

On this day that the first manned Apollo mission was launched, reminisce with residents about the space race between the United States and Russia. Ask residents where they were when the United States first landed on the moon. Serve popcorn as a snack.

Crafts: Squirrel Treats

For this Squirrel Awareness Month, encourage your seniors to make a fun and easy craft like peanut butter treats for your neighborhood squirrels.

Red Hat Ladies Volunteer Project

For this American Magazine Month, encourage your red hatters to collect old magazines and recycle them with your local recycling center. Encourage the red hatters to set up a recycling program at your facility, if your facility does not currently recycle.

Oct 12 Columbus Day

Columbus Day Parade

Seat residents in your Activity Room and supply them with coffee and doughnuts. Create your own parade by having the residents who are marching in the parade tell the others what country their family is originally from. Invite the resident to tell a brief story of how their family came to the New World.

Italian Lunch

To honor Christopher Columbus on this day, coordinate with Dining Services to create a festive and delicious Italian feast for residents.

Columbus Day Social

Celebrate Columbus Day by sharing interesting facts about Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World. Serve wine and cheese as a snack.

Armchair Travel: Rainforest

Take your residents for a trip to the rainforest during this World Rainforest Week. Borrow the video Tropical Rainforest: IMAX (1992) from your local library or video store.

Autumn Hayride

Enjoy the autumn weather by taking residents for a hayride. Contact a local vendor that provides hayrides for seniors.

Country Music Social

For this Country Music Month, play country music and encourage residents to sing along to country song lyrics. Serve root beer and pretzels as a snack

 Speaker Series

Invite one of your facility’s physical therapists to talk to residents about exercise and the benefits of physical therapy during this National Physical Therapy Month.

Oct 21 – All That Jazz Social

Play jazz music in honor of jazz great Dizzy Gillespie’s birthday today. Serve wine (grape juice) and cheese as a snack.

 Oct 23 Honor Social

On this day that the first Unknown Soldier to be honored was selected, encourage residents to discuss what they heard growing up from their parents about World War I and the soldiers who fought in the War. Serve popcorn as a snack.

Caramel Dessert Bar

After dinner, invite residents to make tasty desserts with a fun caramel bar during this National Caramel Month. Set up a dessert bar featuring ice cream with toppings including caramel sauce, caramel cookies, and caramel candies.

Fall Sweater Day

Encourage residents and staff to wear their favorite fall sweaters on this day. Give a prize to the resident wearing the most seasonal sweater.

Oct 26 – Wheel of Fortune

Have fun imitating Pat Sajak today on his birthday as you have residents guess letters that are found in a wheel of fortune puzzle. Print out a small wheel for the residents to spin as they try to solve the puzzle. Secure a paperclip to the wheel using a push pin. Have the residents flick the paperclip to spin the wheel.

Halloween Pictionary

Gather residents around to play a fun game of Pictionary, in which residents draw pictures to get their teammates to guess a specific Halloween word or phrase.

Halloween Parade

Invite kids to come by in costume to parade in front of residents before they go out trick-or-treating. Give residents candy to distribute to the kids

And remember…. HAVE FUN! 

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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Activities


October Craft Ideas!

Here are some fun and easy craft ideas for October!  

Easy Halloween Wreath

You will need:
8″ styrofoam wreath
2 2″ strips of orange fabric 44″ long
1 2″ strip of black fabric 12″ long
Metallic trim (optional)
1 yucky rubber spider
Craft glue

Do not worry about the type of fabric you are using. It is the color effect we are 
after, anything that is orange and black will work. Wool, felt, satin, cotton, etc.

Wrap the orange strips around the wreath to cover the base entirely. Glue ends 
down in the back. Do not worry about raw edges showing.

Wrap metallic trim around the wreath in the same manner and bring ends to 
the back and glue down. This step is optional but I think it gives some extra 
“snap” to the end result.

Tie black strip in a bow and attach at the top with glue.

Tie black thread around the body of your yucky spider and hang down from the 
middle of the wreath. Glue the thread ends in the back of the wreath as well. Let 
the spider hang free. This is the spider’s web.

It is so simple and the kids will have fun hanging all sorts of yuckies from the 
wreath. It also costs next to nothing if you use odd and ends from around the 
house. Enjoy!

Autumn Pinwheel

How to Make a Scarecrow thumbnail

Haunted Gingerbread House

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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Activities


October Recipe Ideas!

Can you smell it?  Smells like popcorn, no caramel, or maybe pretzels!  October is: Pretzel  popcorn, caramel, cookie, apple, pasta and dessert month!  And don’t forget the fun Spooky recipes for your Halloween Party and October FEST!
16 c. popped popcorn
1 stick butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. light Karo
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. peanuts, optional
Place butter, sugar, salt, karo in microwaveable bowl. Microwave (high) for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir microwave 3 minutes more. Remove from microwave stir in baking soda until foamy. Place popcorn and peanuts in brown grocery bag. Pour syrup over popcorn in bag. Fold top over 3 times. Microwave 1 minute. Shake closed bag well. Microwave 1 minute more. Shake again. Microwave 30 seconds more. Carefully cool on cookie sheets
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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Activities


Active or Passive?

Here is a quick reference to documenting participation sheets.  It is important to have correct and updated documentation.  Please make sure all your staff members know the difference between being active and passive.   

Active: Resident is actively participating in group ie: interacting with other residents and RT

Passive: Resident is at activity but is not interacting with RT or other residents.  Resident is sitting on the outside of group.  Resident fell asleep while in activity.  This may also apply if the resident wandered from activity and was not able to be redirected back, please make note how long resident stayed in activity.

Therapy:  Resident was unable to attend due to s/he was in PT,OT,ST

Refused: Resident refused to attend activity

Independent: Resident did not attend activity due to s/he was involved in independant leisure ie: reading, watching TV, listening to music, participating in in-room craft, word searches or puzzles, family visits

Resident not available:  Resident was in the shower, out on a doctors appointments, out with family or friends

Having updated, complete and correct participation sheets facilitates in writing progress notes later on.   


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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Consultant Notes


Communicate With Me

Here is a link to a web site which has some really good communication boards, they are FREE too!  The best thing to do is to down load them and then send them directly to a copy place to have them print and laminate them.  The quality of the pictures will turn out better than you printing them and then taking them to the printers, also saves you some time.

If you have a tablet or I-Pad, you can down load them, keep them handy on your desktop and bring them up as needed.

There is also an app for your phone called “Tap to Talk” for android users.  Tap to Talk lets you customize the app to fit the needs of your residents, for example you can change the language, pictures ect…

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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Consultant Notes


TRT Class

Fall 2012:

October 24, 25, 26, 27 November 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, and 17.  Class will be held on all days listed from 8am – 5pm.

*Students must be present for all above days to complete the training*

Cost $574 (non-credit)  to register please go to

To register for non-credit – please call 801-957-5200 CEHSS 0500-00

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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Consultant Notes


Sensory kits and Themes


Excerpt: The following are some examples of male-oriented kits:
1)Men’s Kit (a general kit)
•Olfactory-cologne, shoe polish, shaving cream, woodchips (cedar, hickory, mesquite) etc.
•Tactile-sandpaper, necktie, pocket watch, comb, work gloves, paintbrush, etc.
•Auditory-marching or military music or favorite genre, sounds of nature/animals, etc.
•Visual-nostalgic and family photos, personal memorabilia, etc.
•Gustatory-various food and drinks in accordance with the resident’s diet
•Kinesthetic-simple jigsaw puzzles, variety of balls, blocks of wood for sanding, etc.

2)Tool Box-fill a plastic tool box with items such as a paintbrush, tape measure, large nuts/bolts, sandpaper, different types of wood such as oak or hickory, leveler, wood chips, etc.

3)Backpack-fill a backpack with camping/hiking gear such as a mess kit, canteen, compass, flashlight, binoculars, pine cones, pine aromas, etc.

4)Tackle Box-fill a plastic tackle box with items such as fishing lures, reels, small rod, bobbers, etc. (remove all hooks), vanilla extract (often used on hands to cover-up fishy smell)
5)Cooler-fill a small cooler with sporting event items such as: water bottle, binoculars, pictures of sports teams, sunglasses, vintage beer ads, baseball cap, a variety of small, soft sports balls (soccer ball, baseball, basketball, hockey puck, etc.). smell of popcorn, peanuts, etc.

The most creative kits are created in advance and incorporate all of the senses.

The following is an example of a Sensory Planning Form
Title/Theme: Fruit
Recommended supplies, props and techniques for the following senses:
Olfactory (smell): fresh fruits, fruit-scented aroma oils, fruit-scented hand lotion, fruit scented candles
Kinesthetic (Movement): fruit-shaped shakers, squeeze a lemon to make lemonade, pull grapes off of the stems, etc.
Tactile (Touch): variety of plastic fruits, fresh fruits (peaches especially), familiar objects with fruit designs (towels, oven mitts etc.)
Visual (Sight): pictures of fruit, plastic fruits, fresh fruits, familiar objects
Auditory (Sound): music (In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree, Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries), fruit-shaped shakers
Gustatory (Taste): fresh fruits, fruit juices, lemonade, fruit Jell-O, applesauce, sherbet, fruit smoothies, fruit pies: fruit-flavored lip balm or lemon glycerin swabs for NPO
Sample Questions:
•What is your favorite fruit?
•Did you ever have a fruit tree? (Cherry, Peach, Apple, Pear, etc.)
•Did you ever have a grape vine?
•What is your favorite way to eat fruit?
•Have you even seen an orchard?
Fruit Sayings:
•There’s no comparing apples and oranges
•An apple a day keeps the doctor away
•You’re a peach
•Life is like a bowl of cherries
•The apple of your eye
•She’s some tomato
•That’s a peachy idea
•Nutty as a fruitcake
•Peachy glow
•You’re bananas
•American as Apple Pie
•That car is a lemon
•The fruit of thy womb
Save the day by creating these fantastic sensory boxes and kits based on the residents’ interests and various themes. It takes some planning and organization at first, but if maintained and stored appropriately, less preparation will be needed in the future. The residents will benefit from your SOS (success-oriented sensory program) more than you can imagine!


Fun New Card Games

Kristi Webb, the Activity Director at Crestwood Care Center, found two card games at Zurcher’s one called Cow Napped and the other called Ask Away.  Both of these are now longer being sold at Zurcher’s but can be found on  Cow Napped is an easy, fun, simple game that can get pretty intense.  Ask Away is an ice breaker type game.  Your residents will enjoy getting to know each other by answering the questions provided on the cards.  The card games are $3.99 each and are made by Hallmark.  Give them a try and thanks Kristi for sharing these games with us.

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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Activities