07 Jan The Activity Director
This is the first of an ongoing series that explores the career options for students of our classes. To begin, we’ll take a closer look at the Activity Director class.
Activity Directors are the people who plan group and solo activities for residents of nursing homes and long term care facilities. State licensing requirements for nursing homes almost always require a facility to have an Activity Director on staff, or at least available to the residents part-time. An Activity Director must be able to plan and run a variety of activities that will appeal to residents of all ages and cognitive/physical abilities–no easy task! He or she must also be able to budget, direct staff, and coordinate events both inside and outside of a facility. The job requires skills in many areas, but most of all, a person must truly love working with people.
The WeCareOnline Activity Director class is currently available in nine states, and more are coming soon. Students have four weeks to complete the class, and must accomplish 45 hours of work in that time. Since the class is available 24/7, many students finish before the four weeks are up, and all appreciate being able to study on their own schedule. The class consists of four units which cover the basics of person-centered care, the aging process, cognitive issues, and psychosocial needs. The class also covers the business end of an Activity Director’s job, and students learn how to work with facility budgets, how to manage internal and external resources, and how to plan and provide activities to best meet the residents’ needs. In four weeks or less, students are ready with the skills they need to work as a facility’s Activity Director. There is no other required training or certification needed to work in the states where this class is approved.
Job prospects for Activity Directors are good, and the US Department of Labor reports that this is a field that’s growing faster than average. They anticipate 14-19% growth in this field between now and 2018. Need for long term care is also on the rise as Americans are living longer and often need managed care in their later years. If you love working with people, and enjoy the challenge of planning activities to meet a diverse set of needs, this is the career for you.