Creating programs for men isn’t always a challenge
It’s well known that in most long-term care homes the majority of residents are female, which, at times, can pose a challenge for activity departments when it comes to developing programming for the gentlemen residents.
However, this isn’t always the case.
Sheila McConnell, program services supervisor at Leisureworld Caregiving Centre, Barrie, says her department has discovered a way to meet this challenge.
Indeed, it’s a simple approach.
“We try to survey the gentlemen to see what kind of interests they have, and then we program according to that,” says McConnell.
When the surveys are returned, the department often finds that the men are interested in going on outings, as well as themed programming, typically involving things that traditionally interest men.
As long as the department gets feedback from the men, coming up with ideas is simple, says McConnell.
A recent presentation on the evolution of the razor blade by a male programmer at the home was a big hit with the guys, McConnell notes. Beginning by talking about the straight razor, the programmer worked his way up to the modern razor.
“They all thought it was great,” says McConnell. “They all talked about when they started shaving and what type of razor they used, and what they preferred now as an adult.”
Homes with a higher percentage of men may have an advantage when it comes to creating programs for men, says Julie Clarkson, life enrichment co-ordinator at West Lake Terrace in Picton.
With about 15 of its 47 residents male, a higher-than-average ratio, Clarkson says her department hasn’t had too many challenges coming up with ideas.
Like the men at Leisureworld Caregiving Centre, Barrie, male residents of the OMNI Health Care-owned West Lake Terrace like being on the road when staff members get to use company’s van for outings.
When the home gets the OMNI activity van, Clarkson says the men enjoy doing a wide-array of activities, including shopping, going for lunch and even going out for a drink.
Clarkson says the fellows at West Lake Terrace enjoy many other activities.
“Many of the cooking programs the men seem to come out to, and we encourage our men to help out with tasks around the home, especially anything outdoors, provided there’s a staff member available to help them out,” she says.