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Assisted living activities: From blankets to beer, variety is key

December 21, 2017
by Susan Rauch, BA, AC-BC
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Every other month, we hold an auction—one of our most popular events—where residents use their Mad Money to purchase items. Auction items range from toothpaste, facial tissue and soap to jewelry, toys, seasonal items, door decorations and candy. Residents start the bidding at $50.00 but often find it soon jumping to thousands of dollars. More expensive items such as gift cards, wine, massages, pedicures and community trips have minimum bids. Sometime residents have to be encouraged several times during the auction to spend their Mad Money because “it isn’t legal tender anywhere else in the world.”

Residents are now requesting the addition of useful items they can donate back to our charities such as children’s toys, clothing, hats and gloves. The auction is full of laughter and gasps of sheer delight and is everyone’s favorite activity.

Just offering a wide range of programs isn’t enough. All our programs are deliberately intertwined and have a relationship to each other. Whether the focus is inside the building or out in the community, the activities are designed to engage residents and help them to be a part of something much bigger than just to “sit back and be entertained.” Residents don’t come to our assisted living to just spend their last days. They come to live.

Susan Rauch is a board certified activity consultant through the National Association of Activity Professionals Credentialing Center and has more than 33 years of experience working with seniors as an activity professional in long-term care.

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