Nursing Home Activity Calendars and Resident Rights

Any nursing home that is Medicaid/Medicare certified must adopt a set of federal resident rights.  One of the federal rights that a nursing home is expected to adhere to is that the resident has the right to interact with members of the community both inside and outside the facility.  When state surveyors come to the facility they will be looking for proof that the residents have had ample opportunities for this interaction.  An easy and convenient way to ensure that the activities department has proper records of these opportunities is to use a nursing home activity calendar.  Activities personnel should document any volunteers coming in to visit the facility, such as entertainers, religious groups, children, etc., on their nursing home activity calendar.  Likewise, any time the residents have an opportunity to leave the facility for any type of outing it should be documented on the nursing home activity calendar.  The activities staff may want to write down which residents attended outings and if they conversed with anyone who does not currently live or work in the nursing home.  At the end of the month the activities staff can file the nursing home activity calendar away, and refer to it when state surveyors ask for documentation that proves the right to interact with members of the community has been adhered to.