Sunday, 24 July 2016

Olympian for a Day at a Seniors' Residence!


I went to school for social services then completed a post-graduate in recreation. Therefore, my job title is: craft genius! Just Kidding... er, sort of. I've worked in long-term care, retirement care and day program settings. I also completed an eight week unpaid internship in long-term care, where I worked alongside my supervisor to learn the roles of an activity director, assisted in interviewing family members so we could implement the Music & Memory℠ program and created special events. I did "Olympian for a Day" and "A Day at the Carnival". This week, I'll do the Olympian for a Day; next week, I'll do A Day at the Carnival.

Olympian for a Day!
The day on the calendar looked as follows:
11:30 Opening Ceremony
1:00 Paper Airplane Javelin Throw
 2:30 Bottle Toss
3:00 Relay
6:30 Closing Ceremony


This is the poster that I used for promotion of the event throughout the home. I made it on Publisher.

For the opening ceremony, I based it on the 2014 Sochi Olympics ceremony. I invited all the residents to the dining room, and read aloud the speech while I passed a torch that I made throughout the dining room for each resident to look at. For the torch, I took a brown piece of Bristol board, cut it in half then put red, yellow and orange tissue paper in it. It cost less than $5 to make and the residents LOVED it. I have attached a copy of a blank version of the Sochi opening ceremony speech below, with the modifications that I made for it to suit the home.

Opening Ceremony

Opening Olympics Ceremony Speech (full version in a word document!)

The Paper Airplane Javelin Toss
This was the simplest activity that I honestly think I've ever created, one of the most inexpensive but by far one of the most successful. I gave a brief tutorial on how to make a paper airplane, then gave each participant a piece of construction paper with their name on it. I let them make their own airplanes, but gave them assistance where needed. I found the retired engineers that lived at the home thought this was the most interesting, but coolest thing ever.
Once their planes were made, I had the residents line up behind a piece of brightly coloured masking tape. The residents had the opportunity to throw their paper airplanes, then I put a piece of tape with their name on the ground (I did the activity outside). The three residents who had their airplanes go furthest were given homemade gold, silver and bronze medals at the closing ceremony.

Bottle Toss
This is kind of a straightforward activity. I used the home's bottle toss; you can buy similar ones here, or DIY. Again, the top three residents were given gold, silver and bronze medals at the ceremony.

Relay
For this, I took a pool noodle from Dollar Tree, cut it in quarters. Then I split the residents up into two teams. Each team got a piece of the pool noodle (it was the perfect size for the baton). I had help from my supervisor for this activity as I needed someone for each team to push wheelchairs/assist with walkers. Each of our teams would go about three feet, then turn around and come back, hand their baton to the next person on their team and turn back around. The winning team got acknowledgement for their participation at the closing ceremony.

Closing Ceremony
For the closing ceremony, I did the same thing that I did for the opening ceremony; made a modified version of the Sochi closing ceremony speech.

Closing Olympics Ceremony Speech (full version in a word document!)
Once I did the speech, I gave the winners of the paper airplane toss and bottle toss their medals. I made the medals using an online tutorial, I really like this one! After that, I acknowledged all of the residents who participated in the event, by giving each a mini chocolate bar. I love using mini chocolate bars as prizes, as they're a bit better for diabetic residents, most cost efficient and they come in large boxes so it's really difficult to run out when you're running a program!

I hope you enjoyed this post, it was super fun to make and super nostalgic. I definitely miss running programs like this! Have a fantastic Sunday to my beautiful readers and I can't wait to share my Carnival post next weekend! 

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