Nursing Home Activity Calendars and Federal Regulations

Nursing homes that accept Medicaid and Medicare must comply with federal regulations, including: each resident has a right to choose activities, schedules and health care consistent with his or her interests, assessments and plans of care. State surveyors typically monitor if a facility is offering activities that pique a resident’s interest by looking at which activities programs a resident is visiting. Because this is the easiest way for surveyors to determine if the facility is providing appropriate activities, all Activity Directors are required to keep a log of which residents attended what activity. Some Activity Directors keep track of a resident’s attendance by using a nursing home activity calendar. In smaller facilities it is easy to record a resident’s activity by making one copy of the nursing home activity calendar for each resident and then simply highlighting the activities using a color coding system. For example: a director might highlight all activities a resident attends in green, all activities a resident refuses to come to in red, and all activities a resident didn’t come to because he/she was occupied with something else in yellow. Other progress notes or elaboration on the circumstances can also be written in the cell for that day. At the end of the month the nursing home activity calendar with all the notes can go into a file that is kept for that specific resident.