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Nursing Home Activity Calendars — Blow-ups and Dailies

Nursing home activity calendars come in various sizes, one of the more popular sizes being 11 by 17 inches.  Residents with special needs, however, may benefit from using a different size calendar.  A resident who has visual impairment, for example, will benefit from an enlarged activity calendar, one with a larger font size, or “dailies,” 8½ by 11 inch sheets of activities for each day.  Since only one day’s activities are listed on each sheet, the font size is increased substantially.  A resident with dementia may also benefit from the enlarged “blow-up” calendar, or the daily calendars.

Many facilities enlarge the standard 11×17 activity calendar to a 36 by 48 inch poster size to be hung in the facility and accessible to all.  This makes the font much larger and easier to read.  The enlarged nursing home activity calendar can also be used as an artistic activity for the residents, for example, our enlarged calendars come with art that can be colored in by the residents.  Having the residents with dementia color in the art on the nursing home activity calendar helps them focus and take a greater interest in the calendar itself.

The enlarged nursing home activity calendar can also be used as an orientation tool that will help residents with cognitive difficulties.  Use a sticky note, sticker, or other indicator to note which day it is on the enlarged nursing home activity calendar.  This will help with date and time orientation.  Hanging the enlarged calendar in a central location that the resident will walk by several times a day will maximize the chances of the resident being aware of the activities for that day.

“Dailies,” the 8½ by 11 inch individual sheets for each day’s activities, are also useful for residents with dementia because they focus only on the day at hand and do not list what has occurred in the past or what will occur in the future.  This type of calendar system helps the resident to stay focused on the present day, which can help to decrease feelings of anxiety and confusion.  Dailies also help with reality orientation by continuously reminding the resident what the date is and what activities they have done and have the option of doing for the rest of the day.  To further the efficacy of the dailies as an orientation tool, you can cross off the activity after it has been completed for the day, which will help the resident keep track of activities.