By Cathy Robinson, Life Enrichment Director at Insignia of Newnan.
As Life Enrichment Directors, one of our biggest challenges is getting residents to participate in activities. No matter how much you plan and create an event, if no one shows up for it, it’s unsuccessful.
A few years ago, I came up with our Participation Bucks program. Every time a resident participates in an activity they receive a buck. The value of the activities varies. For Bingo they receive a buck just for showing up and they get one for every game the win. For card games, they could win up to 5 bucks for one game. At the end of the month I host what started out as a little store but has now turned into Insignia’s Boutique.
Our Boutique’ is filled with personal products that our residents can use, such as toothpaste, lotion and soap, but it also has unique items such as scarves, jewelry, greeting cards, and books. Because of this program, our residents are now more involved. You could say we pay them to stay but I say I’m keeping them sociable and active.
The bucks draw them there but once they are out of their rooms and begin to socialize with the other residents, they enjoy themselves and want to come more often. The store gives them a little independence because they feel like they are doing for themselves for a chance. Our best seller is nice smelling body lotions and sprays because our ladies love smelling good. This program gives them something to look forward too.
Sometimes I will give an extra buck to the first one there or the one that came without me having to remind them. I do this just to keep it fun.