Everyone looks forward to the weather warming up so they can venture outside. Assisted living communities are no different. Whether you are going to feed ducks in the park or getting a hot dog at a baseball game, it important to make a checklist of necessary preparations and items needed in order to be comfortable in the summer heat. Water, sunscreen, first aid kits, sunglasses and hats are no brainer essentials, but other items are just as important. The most overlooked item is also one of the most crucial.Make sure you bring proper foot pedals for residents with wheelchairs on your trip.
It is so hard for a resident to keep their feet off of the ground and it can be even more frustrating for the volunteer or family member pushing their loved one. On more adventurous trips, like the zoo or other crowded places it is important to wear name tags, including contact information like a phone number. I also have my volunteers write the name of the resident or two that they are responsible for under their own name and vice versa on their residents’ name tags. The activities director should have enough help with the residents to allow her or him to oversee everyone with constant head counts.
There is no shame in wearing matching shirts or hats, the brighter the better. When I managed communities I used the opportunity to advertise with our logos on shirts. It always drew a positive reaction from the community and people were more inclined to be aware of your groups needs and will even assist the group where they see fit, when you are easily recognizable. Aside from these basic ideas, clinical items are essential for your check list as well. Medications need to be packed and documented properly during your trip. Make sure everyone has clear instructions, like a common meeting place in case a volunteer gets lost. Toiletries are always important. A resident information binder is crucial in case of emergencies when you need to contact family quickly. Make the best of summer. Personalize your checklist, round up your resident’s and have fun. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and make sure to use them in your community marketing campaigns.