National Activities Professionals Week is celebrated January 23-27, 2023. The National Association of Activity Professionals has chosen Adventure Awaits as this year’s theme. Adventure is certainly what our life enrichment teams create for our residents!

The association states: “As an activity professional, you are part of a vitally important profession that helps people live a life that is full of fun and meaningful activities.”

In honor of National Activities Professionals Week, we’re highlighting our Life Enrichment Director MacKenzie McDermott with Avamere at Newberg’s Arbor, memory care in Newberg, Oregon.

Here’s what MacKenzie shares is the best part of her job and her advice to fellow life enrichment directors.

Avamere at Newberg Professionals Week MacKenzie McDermott

MacKenzie’s highlight of her job

I joined the company only a few short months ago in October 2022. Since then, I have absolutely fallen in love with what I do, and who I work with/for. The highlight of my job that made me fall in love, is when I can see the resident’s moods increase, especially when I receive an instant smile and a “well there she is,” every time I walk in for the day, which I think is hands down one of the top things that I gets me excited about coming into work. Knowing that I can lift their spirits with even a small conversation in passing makes me so excited to come to work.

Advice to fellow life enrichment directors

If I were to give any advice to other LEDs in the future, it would be to try their best to have a person-centered care style. A person-centered care model ensures that our residents feel heard and valued. You can showcase this form of care by applying empathy, and following five simple guidelines of care which are choice, dignity, respect, culture, and active listening.

First and foremost, giving the residents choices in their care can help them feel involved in their care and like their opinion matters. By doing so, it also gives them dignity, which is incredibly important. You can also ensure their dignity by treating them like they are still humans with common sense, rather than people who can’t comprehend what’s going on around them. By doing these first two steps, you are showcasing your respect for them, and this leads to your residents feeling more comfortable and connected in their relationship with you. It is incredibly important while working in any healthcare setting.

Thank you to MacKenzie and fellow life enrichment team members out there for enhancing lives of seniors each day! Happy National Activities Professionals Week!