Whether you are a seasoned professional activity director or currently earning your certification, it’s important to invest time to find different resources related to the field. Not only will these resources help to prepare you for the challenges of the job, but they may also provide a new perspective for you to explore.

Many activity directors have a professional resource library filled with books, articles, and related media that help them better perform their job and grow in the position. That said, there are a ton of activity and recreation planning resources available, so it can be challenging to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of three essential resources every activity director should read. Let’s dive in!

How to Thrive, Not Just Survive by Marge Knoth

For those in the activity profession, it can be challenging to endure the constant pressure to perform at a high-level every day. If you’ve answered the call to join the activity profession, then preparation and proactivity are essential. That’s where Marge Knoth’s How to Thrive , Not Just Survive comes in. Marge Knoth uses her expertise as a longtime activity director, to coach current and prospective activity directors about how to thrive in the profession, without losing yourself in the process. This book prioritizes you and advises activity directors on how to handle a variety of situations, including:

  • Appropriate dress for the job
  • Handling Stress
  • Building a Professional Resource Library
  • Going Above and Beyond for Residents
  • How to Get the Most Out of Your Activity Budget
  • And Much More

Why an AD Should Read

The activity profession can be as overwhelming as it is fulfilling. Activity directors may face stressful situations that they must navigate to successfully perform the job. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the activity director’s doorstep, including social distancing, masks, and more. This book can help activity directors practice self-care and help them bring their best selves to the job, even when that becomes a herculean task and a new normal has completely shifted everyday operations.

I’m Still Here by Dr. John Zeisel

Although Alzheimer’s disease cannot be cured, treatment of the disease is possible and encouraged. However, relying solely on a pharmacological approach does a disservice to Alzheimer’s residents. Dr. John Zeisel’s I’m Still Here , isn’t so much a groundbreaking work, as it is a deep dive into the study of the connection between Alzheimer’s patients and their non-declining abilities.

Seeking to undo the stigma about care for Alzheimer’s patients and helplessness, Dr. Zeisel shifts the focus to what Alzheimer’s patients can still do, despite the degenerative effects of their disease. By prioritizing a non-pharmacological approach to care, I’m Still Here gives readers a guidebook on how to nurture and harness Alzheimer’s patients’ connection to the world via things like music, the sense of touch, art, and more. This approach serves to enhance patient quality of life, which aligns with the fundamental goal of an activity director.

Why an AD Should Read

Dr. Zeisel’s approach is one that prioritizes activity and its benefits for Alzheimer’s and memory care residents. When you apply his “new philosophy” activity planning for memory care residents is stripped down to the essentials — those activities that enable an Alzheimer’s resident to connect with themselves through their senses and abilities.

The Never-ending Resource Center List

Following Marge Knoth’s suggestion from How to Survive, Not Just Thrive, it’s crucial for activity directors to build a professional resource library. The senior living community industry is currently undergoing a major transition, not to mention the fact that new innovative technology is being implemented in senior communities across the country. With the right resources, it’s possible to build a neverending knowledge library to help keep you informed with up-to-date industry news available at the tip of your fingers. The following resources are great places to start when building your digital professional resource library.

  • Activity Connection: Billed as the premier online resource for activity professionals, Activity Connection brings valuable activity planning resources to you. They even offer courses to help keep your skills fresh and a forum to talk to like-minded activity planning professionals.
  • Eversound: Remember that innovative technology mentioned earlier? Eversound is among the newest engagement tech designed for use in senior living communities. The blog is filled with valuable resources that focus on implementing new tech in your senior living community.
  • Senior Housing News: For updates about everything senior living, Senior Housing News is the only resource you need. Tune in to the podcast, review their job board, or attend a webinar, it’s a comprehensive solution.
  • National Certification Council for Activity Professionals (NCCAP): NCCAP is the go-to resource for activity directors across the country. Their articles are well-researched and updated frequently. You can also subscribe to their newsletter to get updates delivered directly to your inbox.

Key Takeaways

Activity directors don’t have it easy, but when the going gets tough it’s always good to be prepared. Although these resources don’t cover everything (ie. a pandemic), they are the perfect building blocks for what will be a formidable professional resource library.

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