Monthly Archives: October 2012

Building Bridges Through TR Workshp

Earn 4 CEUs!

December 6th

Topics include:

Non-Pharmacological Approaches to Behaviors in LTC and Our Impact on the UHCA Initiative

•Validation Therapy
• Low Functioning/Sensory Programs and Ideas in LTC
• Working With Mental Illness In LTC


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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Consultant Notes


Boys Only Allowed

Men’s group activities can be a challenge to plan at times, but they are also rewarding.  Take a little time to listen to the men in your facility, find out what their interests and needs are, see what they would like to do and go from there.  Your senior men will participate more if they are part of the planning process, have them help you plan the activities, have them help you set up and promote the activities.  I have found having male department heads and/or other staff participate is also beneficial.  Sometimes they don’t want to “hang” out with me and would prefer it to be an “all man’s group”, don’t take offence it will be okay for a male volunteer or other staff member to run the activity.

Here are some ideas which have worked for me or other RT’s:


  • Woodworking; building birdhouses, trains, cars
  • Model planes, cars
  • Hold your Pine Wood Derby Event with local Cub Scout Group.  Have your men construct their own cars or help a cub and hold event at your building.

Men’s Game Nights:

  • Poker night.  Serve pretzels and root beer.
  • Checkers and chess
  • Yahtzee
  • Dominoes
  • Uno
  • Black Jack Night

Helping out in the facility:

  • Responsible for flag.  Raising and lowering everyday
  • Water plants
  • Put bird seeds out for birds
  • Washing off patio furniture
  • Planting trees and seeds
  • Weed flower beds
  • Feed facility animals dogs, cats, fish
  • Rake leaves
  • Sweep


  • Romeos (Retired Old Men Eating Out), who wear a red baseball hat emblazoned
    with the word ROMEO. Their website is
  • Red Suspenders Club (The Red Hat club for men)
  • Plaid Flannel Shirt Society
  • Men’s Red Cap Club
  • Talking Sports
  • Talking Politics
  • Sports Night: Monday night football, Sunday night football, college football, basketball night, baseball night… serve root beer, hot dogs in a blanket, chips and salsa, get rowdy and have FUN
  • Listen to talk radio and have a discussion group
  • Collectors Club
  • Wii Bowling League: start a league just for men and have competitions between the women and staff


  • Men’s Breakfast Club – serve breakfast for the men once a month in your activities room.  Serve eggs to order, bacon, waffles, omelets, breakfast burritos ect… choose a theme each month and cook it right there for them
  • Coffee klatch
  • Happy Hour- serve non-alcoholic drink mixes and serve cheese, crackers and popcorn.   Play music from the World War 2 era and talk about the good old days

Movie night:

  • War movies
  • John Wayne
  • Sports
  • Netflix is great for classic old movies
  • Serve pizza, snacks and drinks

Other fun “men” stuff”

  • Service projects
  • Camp out – this is really fun!  Have the men help you pitch a tent, if you can try and get one of those old big  army tents or similar to it.  Get a cooler, sleeping bag, and camp chairs.  Get the grill going (this is your fire pit), serve hobo meals, hot dogs, and/or s’mores.  Tell ghost stories, and sing old camp songs.
  • Golf course around the building
  • Men’s only bible study group
  • Horse shoes
  • Sport Trivia
  • Play Basketball – get a nerf or swimming pool basketball hoop, both work well and start shooting some hoops


  • Take a tour of Home Dept or Lowes
  • Fishing trips
  • Men’s only van ride
  • Visit a local farm or ranch
  • Coffee shop
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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Activities


Gobble, gobble…. Cooking Ideas for November

Banana Pudding Cupcakes

Banana cupcakes with a vanilla pudding/vanilla wafer center, and a vanilla buttercream


  • Cake:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker) plus all the ingredients listed to make the cake on the back of the box
  • 3 Large Ripe Banana’s mashed up
  • 1/4 cup lite brown sugar packed
  • 1 to 1 1/4 tsp banana extract flavoring
  • 1 package banana cream pudding mix instant
  • Filling :
  • 1 package vanilla or french vanilla pudding mix (instant)
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 banana
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Buttercream:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups powder sugar


      Mix all cake ingredients and bake cupcakes according to directions on cake mix box

 Bake and cool 24-26 cupcakes in liners

Once cool, cut out center of cupcake for filling

Mix pudding according to box instructions and place in piping bag.
Place a slice or 2 of banana in each cupcake center hole.
fill rest of hole with pudding (I stick the slice of banana in sideways and fill both sides and top of hole with filling).
Cover top of cupcake with vanilla wafer, basically stick wafer on top of cupcake covering filling hole. It will stick to pudding and stay in place.
Make Buttercream. Place in piping bag and pipe swirl on cupcakes. Garnish with another vanilla wafer and crushed wafers on top.
**** Cupcakes are better if you let them sit for a while before eating them and let the wafers in the middle soften *****

Pecan Pound Cake 

Pecan Pound Cake Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie II Recipe

Brenda’s Apple and Pomegranate Crisp

Brenda's Apple and Pomegranate Crisp Recipe

Sugar Coated Pecans

Sugar Coated Pecans Recipe

All American Apple Pie

All American Apple Pie Recipe

Grandma’s Baked Apples

you will need:
4 large apples,peeled and halved
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon 
Dip the apple halves
into the mixture.
Place a dab of the butter into the 
middle of each apple and place in a 
baking dish.Cover with plastic and 
microwave on high for 6-9
minutes.Let stand for 5 minutes 
before serving.
Serves 8.

SPAM Pinwheels
Prep Time: 1 hour
CookTime Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16
Serving Size: 1 piece

–  1 (1-pound) loaf frozen bread 
dough thawed
–  1/4 cup pizza sauce
–  1 SPAM® Classic (7-ounce) can 
–  2 cups (8 ounces) shredded 
mozzarella cheese
–  2 tablespoons chopped 
–  additional pizza sauce

Roll bread dough out on lightly 
floured surface to 12-inch square. 
Brush pizza sauce over bread 
dough. Sprinkle SPAM®, cheese, 
and pepperoncini over dough. Roll 
dough, jellyroll fashion; pinch seam 
to seal (do not seal ends.) Cut roll 
into 16 slices. Place slices, cut side 
down, on greased baking sheet. 
Cover and let rise in warm place 45 
minutes. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake 
20 to 25 minutes or until golden 
brown. Serve immediately with pizza 

SPAM™ Enchiladas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
CookTime Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

–  1 SPAM® Classic (12-ounce) can 
finely chopped
–  1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey 
Jack cheese divided
–  1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar 
cheese divided
–  1 green bell pepper diced
–  1/2 cup chopped onion
–  1 cup CHI-CHI’S®
Salsa divided
–  8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
–  Shredded lettuce
–  Chopped tomato

Heat oven to 350°F. In bowl, 
combine SPAM®, 1 cup Monterey 
Jack cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese, 
bell pepper, onion, and 1/4 cup 
salsa. Spoon cheese mixture down 
center of each tortilla; roll tightly. 
Place seam-side down in 13×9-inch 
baking dish. Spoon remaining salsa 
evenly over enchiladas. Sprinkle with 
remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes 
or until cheese is melted. Top with 
lettuce and tomato


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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Activities


November is a full of giving thanks for all we have.  It’s a time when families gather to share love, memories and blessings.  For RT it can be a stressful with planning family dinners and residents parties, just keep a few things in mind: keep it simple, plan ahead, make it meaningful, make it fun and it will be memorable,  AND ASK FOR HELP!!!

November is …

  • Banana Pudding Lovers Month
  • Family Stories Month
  • International Drum Month
  • Military Family Appreciation Month
  • National American Indian Heritage Month
  • National Diabetes Month
  • National Georgia Pecan Month
  • National Model Railroad Month
  • National Pomegranate Month
  • Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month
  • Sweet Potato Awareness Month
  • Vegan Month

November 1

  • National Authors’ Day
  • Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo, was opened to the public (1512)

Painting to Music

On this day that the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling was opened to the public, encourage residents to paint their own fresco or mural on a piece of clay. Play classical music in the background as the residents paint.

Favorite Authors

Encourage residents to read a book by one of their favorite authors on this National Authors’ Day.

Banana Pudding Social

Celebrate this Banana Pudding Lovers Month by encouraging residents to make and serve a delicious banana pudding for your afternoon social.

Speaker Series

Invite a speaker to discuss living with diabetes during this National Diabetes Month.

Baking Club: Georgia Pecan Cake

Encourage residents to use Georgia pecans during this National Georgia Pecan Month to make a pecan pound cake.

Harvest Bazaar

Invite local venders to come to your facility to sell their wares to residents and staff. Decorate your Activity Room with a harvest theme and have vendors set up in the room.

Peanut Butter Lovers Social

Encourage residents to make their own mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during this Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month. Reminisce with residents about the kind of sandwiches they liked as kids. Serve milk.

November 3

  • Panama declared independence from Columbia (1903)
  • Sadie Hawkins Day
  • Sandwich Day

Panamanian Fun

Celebrate Panama declaring its independence on this day by playing a fun indoor game of soccer, a Panamanian favorite. Divide residents into two teams, with each team sitting facing the other. Use a balloon as the soccer ball and encourage residents to try to kick the ball past the other team.

Hoagie Social

Encourage residents to make a giant hoagie on this Sandwich Day. Supply residents with bread, cold cuts, cheese, and condiments for the large sandwich. Have plenty of plastic gloves handy for residents. Cut off small portions of the sandwiches for residents to eat.

Sadie Hawkins Day Dance

Encourage the ladies to invite the men to dance on this Sadie Hawkins Day.

November 4

  • Daylight Savings Time ends
  • King Tut’s tomb was discovered (1922)

Daylight Savings Time Coffee Break

Bring all the clocks in the facility that are easy to change to the coffee break and have residents help reset the time. Serve a variety of coffee to “wake up” and orient residents to the new time.

King Tut Social

Recognize this day that the tomb of 19-year-old King Tut was discovered by serving the Egyptian snack of pita bread dipped in molasses.

November 5

  • Birthday: Roy Rogers, cowboy actor (1911)

Spelling Bee

Quiz the residents’ spelling skills by giving words associated with November, like Thanksgiving (with a capital “T”), leftovers, Veteran’s Day, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy.

Armchair Travel: Autumn Getaway

Show residents a short documentary about autumn in the Northeast, like Living Landscapes: Fall in New England (2006). Borrow a DVD from your local library or video store.

Fall Gardening

Gather spring bulbs, like tulips, and have residents plant them in indoor pots. Bulbs will begin to bloom during the winter and produce beautiful flowers.

Buckaroo Contest Social

Tie a rope into a lasso and encourage residents to lasso a stuffed animal in honor of Roy Rogers’s birthday today. Give the winner a blue ribbon. Serve buffalo wings with a ranch dressing dip as a snack.

November 6

  • General Election Day

Election Day Memories

On this General Election Day, have fun with residents as you discuss wrong newspaper headlines, like The Chicago Tribune‘s headline that claimed Thomas Dewey won the presidency, when it was really Harry S. Truman who won.

Election Results Nightcap

Turn your Activity Room television to a news station so that residents can hear the election results live. Serve warm cookies and juice.

History in Review

On this day that Jeannette Rankin became the first U.S. Congresswoman, reminisce about women’s rights and how far women have come in society. Discuss feminism and what was considered controversial behavior for women when the residents were young. In addition, discuss interesting firsts for women.

Calligraphy Session

Encourage residents to try their hand at writing a Thanksgiving poem, like Joyce Kilmer’s Thanksgiving incalligraphy. Supply residents with calligraphy pens and ink.

Family Stories Social

Commemorate Family Stories Month by encouraging residents to share what Thanksgiving was like when they were growing up. Serve hot apple cider and cookies.

November 10

  • Sesame Street debuted (1969)
  • U.S. Marines Corps was formed (1775)
  • World Immunization Day

Watching Sesame Street

Celebrate Sesame Street’s debut on this day by inviting the grandkids of your residents to stop by to watch the kid’s show in your Activity Room with your residents. Serve juice and muffins.

Semper Fi Social

Honor marines on this Marine Corps birthday by recognizing the marines in your facility and their service to our country. Serve mixed 7-up and punch.

November 11

  • Veterans Day
  • Washington became the 42nd state (1889)
  • World War I ended (1918)

Veterans Day Parade

Create a parade atmosphere to honor veterans by having the veterans in your facility, one-by-one, speak about their time in the military. Encourage other residents to be spectators. Hand out doughnuts, coffee, and mini flags to the spectators.

Veterans Day Dedication

Invite a local high school band to play a few songs for your veterans. If the weather permits, have an outdoor ceremony in which you raise the American flag on the flagpole outside of your facility. Announce veterans’ names, branch of service, and years of service. At the ceremony, present each veteran with an origami medal made earlier today.

11/11 Social

Celebrate the end of World War I on this day. Reminisce about war times and the celebrations at the end of both world wars. Serve grape juice & cheese.

November 13

  • Birthday: Robert Louis Stevenson, author (1850)
  • Walt Disney’s Fantasia premiered (1940)
  • World Kindness Day

Coffee & Beethoven

Play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to recognize Walt Disney’s Fantasia premiere on this day. The film included Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Serve coffee and doughnuts.

Kindness Walk

Invite residents for a kindness walk. Encourage residents to pick up trash around your facility on this World Kindness Day.

Treasure Island Social

Recognize Robert Louis Stevenson’s birthday today by hosting a social that pays tribute to his popular novel Treasure Island (1883). Serve tropical drinks as you play fun Caribbean music.

November 14

  • Geography Awareness Week (November 11-17)
  • Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was published (1851)
  • National Educational Support Professionals Day

Autumn Photo Shoot

Encourage residents to start a Photography Club to take pictures of the holiday events coming up in your facility. Supply a digital camera to residents. Upload pictures onto your computer or a digital frame to showcase to residents.

School Days

Reminisce with the residents on this National Educational Support Professionals Day about their elementary school teachers. Ask the residents whether their teachers had aides in the classroom to help.

Where Is It?

For this Geography Awareness Week, quiz residents about geographic locations.

Moby Dick Social

Recognize Herman Melville’s book Moby Dick on this day that it was published by serving cheddar goldfish crackers as a snack.

November 15

  • America Recycles Day
  • Elvis Presley’s first movie Love Me Tender opened (1956)
  • National Bundt (Pan) Day

Apple Bundt Cake

For this National Bundt (Pan) Day, encourage residents to make a delicious Apple Bundt Cake.

Recycling Club

On this America Recycles Day, have residents start a Recycling Club to help recycle trash. Contact local and county environmental departments for more information on how to start a recycling program in your facility.

Love Me Tender Social

Reminisce about Elvis Presley’s first movie Love Me Tender that opened on this day. Play some of Elvis Presley’s songs as you serve peanut butter and bananas.

Red Hat Ladies Volunteer Project

During this National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week, encourage the red hatters to collect donations (food or money) for a local homeless shelter.

November 19

  • International Men’s Day
  • National Game & Puzzle Week (November 18-24)
  • President Abraham Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg Address (1863)
  • Soccer great Pele scored his 1000th goal (1969)

Soccer Break

Celebrate Brazilian soccer great Pele scoring his 1000th goal on this day by having residents sit in a circle and kick a balloon to one another. This is an excellent way for residents to get exercise without calling it “exercise.”

Gettysburg Address

Quiz residents on this day that Abraham Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg Address. See who knows the words, or at least the first line.

The Price Is Right Social

During this National Game & Puzzle Week, encourage residents to play The Price Is Right. Invite residents to play fun games like the Clock Game in which residents must guess the price of two items within 30 seconds. Serve pretzels and ginger ale as a snack.

Men’s Poker Night

On this International Men’s Day, encourage the men in your facility to kick back and have fun playing poker

November 22

  • Thanksgiving Day

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Encourage residents to come to the Activity Room to watch the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television.

Football Game Social

Watch the Dallas Cowboys or the Detroit Lions play football this Thanksgiving. Serve pigs in a blanket and root beer.

Thanksgiving Dinner (Happy Turkey Day!)

November 23

  • Birthday: Billy the Kid, outlaw (1859)
  • Black Friday
  • National Game & Puzzle Week (November 18-24)

Leftovers Lunch

Meet with Dining Services to coordinate turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, or other leftovers for lunch.

Wish List

Question residents about what they would do on this Black Friday, if they had $1 million dollars to spend. Pass out catalogs from local department stores to see what they would put on their wish list. Ask residents to compare prices of items today to the prices of yesteryear.

Remembering the Old West

Discuss some of the famous outlaws of the Old West on this birthday of Billy the Kid.

Jeopardy Social

Use your trivia book to test your residents’ knowledge during this National Game & Puzzle Week as you play Jeopardy. Serve chips and salsa as a snack.

Autumn Science Project

Can you grow an apple tree from apple seeds? Invite residents to work on this autumn science project. Serve apples to the residents and have them save the seeds to plant in small containers with soil. Encourage residents to water their seeds daily and to set them in the sun.

Autumn Poetry & Prose

Invite residents to listen to famous poems about autumn like Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem The Autumn or John Keats’s poem To Autumn. Encourage residents to bring and read any poems that they have written.

Crossword Puzzle Social

Make copies of a crossword puzzle and hand out to residents for this National Game & Puzzle Week. Try to solve the puzzle together. You can also enlarge the puzzle for all to see. Serve veggies and dip as a snack.

Choir Club

Start recruiting residents to join in a facility choir. Have a regular meeting for participants to practice singing together. Schedule a Holiday Concert in December so the Choir Club can sing for other residents.

November 26

  • Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday

If a computer is available, host a computer class for your residents on this Cyber Monday. Show them how to surf the web and Google themselves.

Apple Paring Contest

In preparation for the apple pie to be baked by the Baking Club later today, invite residents to help participate in a fun apple paring contest. Simply, give each participant an apple and an apple peeler and see who can peel off the longest piece of apple peel. Award a fun prize to the winner. Use the peeled apples for the Baking Club’s activity later today.

Baking Club: Apple Pie

On this fall day, encourage residents to bake a delicious all-American apple pie to be served at this afternoon’s social.

Letter of Thanks Social

During this Thanksgiving season, encourage residents to write a quick note giving thanks to someone they want to thank. Supply residents with stationery and pens. Serve the apple pie that was baked earlier by the Baking Club.


November Activity Planning Thoughts

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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Activities


November Craft Ideas



  • Acorns
  • Wicker wreath
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Newspaper
  • Flowers or other decoration


  1. First, spread the newspaper on a flat surface.
  2. Lay your wreath down flat.
  3. Heat your glue gun.
  4. Next, starting in the middle of the wreath, begin gluing the bottom of the acorn. Place the glued part of the acorn in the middle of the wreath and stand the acorn straight up.
  5. Make one row in a straight line going all the way around the wreath.
  6. Repeat the process from top to bottom with the wreath still laying flat.
  7. Then decorate with flowers, bows, or even holiday ornaments. Be sure not to leave any open spaces except in the back. The back of the wreath shouldn’t have any acorns on it so when you lay it down it is flat.


Apple Votive

What you need:
Apples or small pumpkins
Tea candles
Utility knife
Lemon juice

What you do:
If you are going to place the apple votives in the water check how they float first.  
Do this by filling the pot you’ll be putting them in and marking with a dot the side 
that stays up above the water.
Place a tea candle over the dot you have made in #1 and trace around its 
circumference with a utility knife, inserting the knife vertically as deep as the tea 
candle is tall.
Set aside the candle, and cut the circle into sections and scoop out using the 
spoon.   Squeeze lemon juice onto the cut surface to keep the apple from 
turning brown, and insert a tea candle.

Holiday Bean Soup Gift Jar

Holiday Bean Soup Mix

Here’s what you need:
1 pound dried black beans
1 pound dried red beans
1 pound dried kidney beans
1 pound dried navy beans
1 pound dried great northern beans
1 pound dried baby lima beans
1 pound dried large lima beans
1 pound dried pinto beans
1 pound dried green split peas
1 pound dried yellow split peas
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 pound dried green lentils
1 pound dried brown lentils

What to do:
Combine all of the beans in a very large bowl.
Pour two cups of the bean mixture into pretty jars ( 16-oz.) jars- these jars 
should hold two cups of bean mix.
Give with the following recipe for holiday bean soup. You could also layer the 
beans in the jar for prettier effect. Just put a little of each of the beans in until 
you fill it to the top.
Print out the tag and attach it to the jar. (
It is an attractive label as well as the preparation instructions for the recipe.

Straw Hat Turkey
Materials Needed:
1 Straw Craft Hat
Yellow, Orange, Red and Brown Felt Sheets
5 Craft Sticks
Orange Chenille Stem
Wiggly Eyes
Tacky Glue
 How To Make It:
1.  Glue 5 craft sticks to the top rim of the straw hat to support your felt feathers.
2.  Cut 5 feather shaped pieces out of the colored felt sheets.
3.  Cut out wings, yellow beak and a red gobble out of the felt sheets.
3.  Glue the back feathers to the craft sticks.  Allow the glue to dry.
4.  Glue on the wings, eyes, gobble and beak.
5.  Twist the chenille stems to make feet for the turkey then glue them on.
Thankful Wreath of Leaves

You and your residents can make a beautiful wreath of leaves that displays 
what your resident is thankful for. This wreath makes a great Autumn or 
Thankgsiving decoration.  

Supplies needed
A plain white paper plate
Construction paper (orange, red, yellow, brown, and other earth tones)
Crayons or markers
Glue or a glue stick


Cut a half circle out of the center of a plain 
paper plate. This will hold the leaves.

Cut out a lot of leaves from construction 
paper. Draw the leaf veins if you wish.  

Glue the leaves all around the rim of the 
paper plate.

In the lower center of the wreath, write, “I am 
thankful for,” and then let your resident write 
or draw what they are thankful for.  


Kachina Doll

In recognition of this American Indian Heritage Month, encourage residents to make a Kachina Doll to give as a gift to a child relative.

Mosaic Fall Planters

Invite residents to make beautiful and fun mosaic fall planters to use as decoration throughout your facility.

Tissue Paper Turkey

Encourage residents to make tissue paper turkey centerpieces for your dining room.

Thanksgiving Cards

Encourage residents to make Thanksgiving cards to send to loved ones.

Gourd Turkeys

Encourage residents to use real gourds to make beautiful turkeys.

 Dream Catcher

Encourage residents to make a Native American dream catcher during this National American Indian Heritage Month.

Native American Pottery

Recognize this National American Indian Heritage Month by encouraging residents to create their own American Indian pottery out of sculpting clay. Once the clay dries, have residents paint their pottery.


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Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Activities