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Nursing Home Activity Calendars — Some Simple Tips

We’ve been word processing, editing, proofing and printing nursing home activity calendars for 17 years now, and we’ve seen 1000’s of them.  We’ve worked with hundreds of activity directors, and each has his or her own unique way of doing the monthly activity calendar.

A professional and polished activity calendar is a bright reflection on the whole facility.  Here are just a few simple tips for doing your calendar:

1.  Be consistent. As much as possible, keep the times and events consistent on a month to month basis.  For example, if the facility has a monthly birthday party, find a day that will work for most months of the year, say the third Friday of the month, and schedule it for that day.  If the Resident Council meeting is on Wednesdays, try to keep it that way as much as possible.

2.  Keep times as uniform as is practical. Activities might be scheduled on the hour, on the half hour, etc., but it helps to keep the starting times the same month to month once convenient times have been found.  If the morning activity starts at 9:00 a.m. one month, and the next month it’s on the calendar for 9:15, confusion reigns.  While some times changes are inevitable, try to avoid unnecessary scheduling changes.

3.  Write legibly. Since we try to make the process of getting a monthly calendar out as easy as possible, we accept handwritten calendars that our clients fax to us.  This is the easiest way to do it for many of our clients, and we love to be of service this way, but the more legible the better for all concerned!

4.  Proofread your calendar. We proofread all of our client’s calendars before sending them back a proof copy, and we edit for obvious errors.  It only takes the client a couple of minutes to double-check the work, and the result is a beautiful, professionally produced calendar that the facility can be proud of (and can use for marketing purposes).

5.  Send it to the family members. The more you’re able to advertise upcoming events in advance, the more family members and friends will be able to attend.  This will help family members remember when important events are, thus increasing the likelihood that attendance will be high and the event a success!

6.  Get it out into the community. Do you use your calendar for marketing?  In the right hands a great activity calendar goes a long way in marketing your facility, with discharge planners, medical personnel and referrals.

7.  Use last month as a template. In order to make the process as easy as possible, we send our clients their last month’s calendar updated to the new month.  So, for example, after their June calendar has been printed, they have the July calendar ready to go with all their events that were on the June calendar, minus those relevant for only a specific month, like Father’s Day events.  We add the holidays for the new month, e.g., 4th of July.  This streamlines the process when the activities are going to be similar.

These are just a few simple tips to a great activity calendar and they may seem obvious, but they’re sometimes overlooked.