Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Typical Work Day for Joanna

As an Engage Life Director, I plan all sorts of programs and activities for residents at Atria Merrimack Place and have three assistants as well as some volunteers to help me! My main responsibility is to plan each monthly activity/event calendar two months in advance in order to ensure I can get colored copies of my calendar printed and delivered to my building prior to the actual month beginning. For example, on April 1st, I will be starting to solidify and confirm all the activities/events/programs (as well as my personal and staff schedule/work hours) for the month of June! Planning this far in advance was a little challenging for me to do at first, but now it's just second nature. To see one of my most recent monthly calendars, go to my community's website and click on "Community Calendar" on the right side:

This is a job where I (as well as my staff) do not spend most of my (our) time sitting in an office staring at a computer and answering/receiving phone calls and e-mails. Instead, I get to wear many different hats: department manager, exercise instructor, bar tender/waitress, educator, art teacher, photographer, videographer, van driver, counselor, decorator, gardener, computer technician, receptionist, dancer, caregiver, shopper, event planner, tour guide, etc. It's nice because to me my job is fun, rewarding, and dynamic. No day of the week is ever the same. I can honestly say that I never get bored when I'm at work. My building always has activities going on, even on weekends and evenings. My staff and I rotate working the weekends. Being flexible with my work schedule is an important and helpful aspect with this type of work, as special events/parties and emergencies do arise. Emergencies include power outages, floods, fires, evacuations, etc. Sometimes, my staff and I end up helping our other "sister" Atria communities with transportation (we have a 14-seat van) when they experience emergencies.

Below is an example of a typical activity schedule for one day:
9:30 Exercise Class: Weights!
10:00 Play Wii Tennis
10:00 Board Game with Adam
10:15 Shopping Trip: Walmart in NH
11:00 Word Game
11:00 Choral Group
10:30 Store Cart
11:30 & 12:45 Dinner
1:30 Bridge Group
1:45 Communion & Rosary w/ Joe
2:30 Scott Entertains: Piano & Singing!
3:15 Happy Hour
4:15 Trivia
4:30 & 5:45 Supper
6:45 Evening Fireside Chat
7:00 Movie Night
7:00 Card Games

It's important to note that my staff and I are the ones responsible for both setting up and cleaning up all of the activities listed above. And, more importantly, to make sure the activities start on time!! (If you want happy seniors, then you must always start on time, otherwise you may be sorry!) Sometimes it is necessary for my staff and I to remind some residents about events or even recruit residents in order to promote a specific or new activity. Whenever there's a new resident, I take the time to interview them in order to get to know their history and interest/recreation background. Then, I have to see if we currently offer activities/programs that meet this resident's interests, and if we do not, then I have to think creatively and make sure this happens. I need to make sure that there is something for everyone, so our residents can be happily engaged in life at our community.

No comments:

Post a Comment