The Responsibilities of an Activity Director in Nursing

By Prev Info - January 20, 2023

The Responsibilities of an Activity Director in Nursing

Activity directors help facilitate the socialization nursing home residents need to thrive. Activity directors are an important part of nursing home staff because they help provide for the psychosocial well-being and quality of life of nursing home residents. Their jobs involve fun activities, events and outings, as well as resident assessments. The activity director must ensure that every resident receives social interaction every week as part of the care plan. The job also entails paperwork, including a portion of the Minimum Data Set (MDS), which the nursing home files with the government to receive reimbursement.

Group Activities

Nursing home activity directors plan group activities to facilitate social interaction among nursing home residents and among residents and the community. They plan outings to parks and restaurants. They coordinate with community groups and local churches to provide entertainment for residents. They organize religious services for interested residents. They set up games and crafts for residents in the activity room.

Each month, they create a calendar of events for residents to participate in. State laws typically require this calendar to be distributed to residents and families at least 30 days in advance.

Individualized Attention

Not all residents are interested in or able to attend group activities, parties and outings. Activity directors must ensure that every resident, including those who are confined to their rooms or beds, has an opportunity for social interaction. The activity director may spend time with these residents or delegate volunteers or other staff to visit these residents one-on-one. They may read these residents their mail or a book, paint their nails or simply have a conversation with them.

Care Plans and Documentation

Nursing home activity directors must participate in resident assessments and care plan meetings. Each resident's care plan has a section for the activity director to document that resident's planned participation in activities. Care plans include individualized activities for each resident's ability levels and social needs.

The activity director must also document each resident's participation in group activities or one-on-one visits. Each state has a regulation for the minimum social interaction each resident must receive each week. At month-end, the activity director may have to complete extra paperwork when the nursing home sends the MDS report for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.

Other Duties

Activity directors coordinate holiday meals and birthday celebrations for the residents. They celebrate national holidays, as well as religious holidays. They decide whether to celebrate birthdays weekly or quarterly. They also plan programs for special times of the year, like Black History Month.

Activity directors typically help transport residents to and from activities. They may also be involved in transporting residents to the dining room at meal times.





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