Conference aims to enhance long-term care programming
APO membership helping activity professionals stay ahead of the curve
KINGSTON, Ont. - This year’s Activity Professionals of Ontario (APO) conference was aimed at helping activity professionals enhance the programs they offer through a series of workshops focused on best practices in programming.
Through these workshops and the networking opportunities that come with them, activity professionals from across the province were provided with valuable information to help them stay ahead of the curve in a sector with constantly changing demographics, says JoAnn Stefan, president of the APO.
“Our sector is growing and our population is changing, and trends show us that we need to really make recreation a huge focus of both retirement and nursing homes if we are going to stay competitive,” Stefan tells The Morning Report.
“Today’s elderly population is a much more recreation- and leisure-based population than ever before, so when you get people coming into homes for tours, those are the sorts of things they’re asking about — ‘What programs do you offer? What can you give? What can you bring?’”
As trends in programming and recreation continue to change, membership in the APO, as well as events like the annual conference, will help keep activity professionals connected and up to date with the latest developments in senior-centred recreation, says Stefan.
“The importance of recreation is going to be much more evident as the trends change, and we need to be on top of that to make sure that we are all well-educated in what we can do for residents with dementia, for active residents (and) for residents with behaviours,” she says. “(The conference) is an awesome starting point.”
The theme of year’s conference, entitled “Your Pathway to Professionalism,” was at the centre stage of the 14 workshops featured, says Stefan, noting the information provided has the value-added benefit of encouraging attendees to bring back an enhanced sense of accountability and professionalism.
The conference was held at the Ambassador Conference Resort in Kingston Oct. 22-24. The event featured keynote speakers, as well as workshops centred on a wide range of topics including programming for residents with dementia, best practices in palliative care and time management for activity professionals.
For more information on the APO, visit the organization’s website.
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