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Corporate Activity Director Consultant
by Alternative Solutions in Long Term Care

Corporations with more than one facility can benefit from a Corporate Activity Director Consultant. Benefits and out comes are enormous.

Deficiency Free Surveys
Trained Staff and Competent Activity Directors
Increased Customer Satisfaction Scores
Competitive Programs
Diverse programs

Services include:

Survey readiness
Training New Activity Director's or mediocre Activity Directors.
Continuity of documentation and forms
Activity Policy and Procedures
Volunteer Management Policy and Procedures
Resident Council and Trending
Implementing new systems
Implement Volunteer Management program-recruitment, training, tracking, recognition, etc.

Development of Resources
Training and In-services on a variety of topics such as Survey Preparedness, Federal and State Guidelines, Involving CNA's in Activities

Quality Assurance Development
Custom In-services and training based on need
Conference Calls and providing objectives
Review of Calendars
On site and off site consulting
Alzheimer's and Dementia Activity Programs
Low Functioning Programs
Bed Bound Programs
Wellness Programs
Self Esteem Programs
Spirituality Programs
Cultural Diversity & Programs

The Corporation determines how much time you need a consultant for based upon on-site initial visit and recommendations. The Corporation may elect for a weekly visit, monthly visit or even more involvement.

Ask the Consultant

For more information on specialized Alzheimer's Unit Development Services, please contact us.

Corporate Activity Consultants Are a Plus for Health Care Organizations
Article from Summer 2007 Long Term Care Newsletter

Corporations that utilize an Activity Consultant will see immediate results in the following areas:

Competitive edge over their competition
Deficiency free survey’s
Continuity of Activity departments
Increase in customer satisfaction scores
Trained Activity Directors & staff
Strong programming to meet the individual needs of your clients
Documentation compliance
Strong volunteer programs & community involvement
Awareness of community resources
New systems implemented
Continuity among their facilities
Deadlines met because of training in time management

Many health care organizations are utilizing Activity Consultants because long term care facilities have poor surveys, inexperienced directors (lack qualifications) or a department with major concerns in areas of programming and documentation. With the new guidelines it is imperative that corporations recognize the need for an Activity consultant who can pin point any areas that are of concern and fix those problems before your annual survey. Many corporations make the mistake of bringing in a consultant during the survey window. That is not recommended as Activity Directors and the Activity Consultant need adequate time to isolate the problems, make recommendations, and implement new systems.

Some Activity Directors view the consultant as a threat to their job but on the contrary they should view the time and money the corporation is investing on the consultant as a “gift.” The Activity Consultants have years of experience and a wealth of knowledge. The Activity Director should utilize the time with the consultant to gather as much information and resources from the consultant as possible. As most consulting jobs are short term contracts the Activity Director has a limited time with the consultant. As long as the Activity Director is moving forward and implementing the recommendations, the Activity Director has no reason to be insecure about their job. In the long run, the Activity Director will have a better department and confidence in her performance. Activity Consultants want to see the Activity Director succeed.

Often times the consultant is called in by the Administrator or the Corporation. Generally when the Corporation calls in a Consultant it is to provide systems and programs that are offer continuity with their facilities. When the Administrator contacts with an Activity Consultant it’s generally because there are areas of concern. The Administrator needs to be open and forthright about the reasons for hiring the consultant. This will insure that the relationship begins on the right foot; otherwise the director will view the consultant as a threat and with a hidden agenda.

Additionally, Activity Directors who feel there are areas that they need training should be honest with the Administrator about those concerns. The Activity Director should discuss with the Administrator the reasons for bringing in a consultant.

The Activity Director may know a consultant they feel comfortable with and may wish to recommend that consultant. But when this happens, remember, it does no one any good if you are hiring a “friend” consultant just to provide positive feed back. We all want that! But it’s more important to the director to hire a consultant who will be objective and provide information and guidance. If the Activity Director feels that this can be accomplished than go forward with hiring the Consultant.

I am often asked, “once the consultant is hired, now what?” That is a great question. Often times this is the first time a facility or corporation has utilized an Activity Consultant. The Administrator should ask for references and feed back from previous corporations.

During the first visit, the Activity Consultant provides an initial comprehensive audit in the areas of documentation, observations, review of programs and compliancy with state and federal guidelines. Based on the initial audit, the Consultant will meet with the Administrator to discuss recommendations, systems to be implemented and the amount of time on site required to insure implementation. A comprehensive report is provided to the administrator that will state the area of concerns and specific recommendations. The Activity Director is provided with written objectives and time frames.

Alternative Solutions has provided consulting services for seven years with 100% deficiency free surveys for our clients. 100 % success to an Administrator might mean a positive outcome during survey. However, for the consultant it is the satisfaction of training a director to be a top notch Activity Director in all aspects such of their job; management, program development, population and calendar analysis, documentation, community resources, room bound programs and volunteer programs.

For those facilities that are seeking other accreditation the consultant can provide valuable information. Many facilities are implementing dementia units and rehab units. The consultant can bring all kinds of programming ideas, resources, policies, training, in-services and systems to the facility which enables the facility to stay competitive as well as insuring a positive outcome during survey.

Additionally, consultants are used when the director does not meet state or federal regulations and lacks the qualifications. They can also be used to fill in for an activity director who is out on leave, vacant positions and oversight of a director does not meet federal or state requirements.

Activity Consultants provide many services:
Training and in-services
Activity Courses (NCCAP 180 MEPAP REV 2)
Training for Activity Directors (Management, Documentation, Q/A, Calendar planning and implementation, Q/A, Resident Council, etc)
Calendar and Population Analysis Tools
Implement state and federal guidelines
Implement standard of practice protocols
Survey readiness –on site visit
Implement special programs for Alzheimer’s and dementia, low functioning, Sensory enrichment programs, bed bound, room bound, NPO, sensory rooms
High Functioning programs, committees, empowerment, self esteem, wellness, community involvement, spiritual, independent, etc
Documentation compliance – Initial assessments, progress notes, MDS, care plans, IDCP notes individual participation, group participation
Compliance for Quality Indicator Reports
Calendar review
Q/A Program
Activity Policy and Procedures
Volunteer Management Program which includes policy and procedures, recruitment, training, recognition, applications, welcome packet.
Referral of numerous resources
Recruitment

Companies may hire a consultant for a one day audit, weekly, monthly or even daily oversight of the activity departments. They provide on-site and off-site consulting and generally are available by email and phone should the situation arise. They are sometimes asked to be there during a survey.

So the most important question I would ask the owners of facilities is why you don’t have a corporate consultant? Because you can invest wisely now or pay penalties later. As there are a limited number of consultants it would be in the best interest of the facility to contract with a consultant now and take the necessary steps to insure your activity department is in compliance.

I recently worked for one corporation who was honest enough to say, “activities were not an area they had invested in before.” They were unsure of what the consultant would provide and I think were amazed not only by what we could bring to the departments but the changes they saw in their activity program and quality of life for their residents. They saw how the investment paid off with deficiency free surveys and an increase in customer satisfaction scores. It’s never too late to begin working with a Activity Consultant as it can only be of benefit to the Activity Director, residents and the corporation.

If you are concerned about your department or just want an objective opinion of the Activity Department contact Sandra Stimson for information at
Contact Us

973.729.6601
973-860-2244 fax.

All correspondence is held in the strictest of confidence.

 

 

OUR OTHER CONSULTATION SERVICES

 

 

Alternative Solutions in Long Term Care

103 Valley View Trail
Sparta, NJ 07871
973.729.6601 973-860-2244 fax
www.activitytherapy.com

 


 

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Alternative Solutions in Long Term Care, LLC provide resources and services for Health Care Professionals and Care Givers. Recreation Therapists, Activity Directors, Social Workers, Creative Arts Specialists, and other health care workers utilize this site to obtain information and purchase products for use in nursing homes and long term care facilities. Products and resources include sensory stimulation products, relaxation videos, party supplies, care plans, activity calendars, and more. For additional resources visit our associate site the Therapeutic Recreation Directory at www.recreationtherapy.com. To become certified in Dementia Care go to www.nccdp.org.

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