Nurses General Nursing


Can any of you wonderful people tell me how one goes about becoming certified to be an activities director in LTC? I live in CO, if that makes a difference. I can't seem to find any info on this. (BTW, I wouldn't quit being a nurse, it's for somebody else! lol):p

i was an activity director for a LTC facility. i started with no training just desire to make life better for the residents. the facility put me through training with the university of arkansas gerontology dept. was a one week training seminar.


230 Posts


I was an Activities Director/Social Services Designee for 4 years at an LTC and Program Director for 4 years in a facility that ranged from Independent Living to a locked unit for psych residents.

Anyhow all the info she needs can be found at the above address. It is the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals. Fabulous organization. Also if she just pops "activity professionals" into a search engine, all sorts of local educational programs will pop up. If she is interested in a four year degree try "recreational therapist."

Also volunteering is a great place to start. I would have been dead and the water and not able to do half the programming the residents wanted without the volunteers and CNA's assistance.

Tell her I said "Welcome!". I loved being an AD/SSD. If ya'll want to talk more feel free to pm. We AD's tend to be gregarious lil ol chatterboxes.



2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

If you have the desire and the energy to do this kind of work, and can maintain a relatively upbeat attitude regardless of the situation, stop by some nearby LTC facilities and talk with them. The ones I have known have NO formal training whatsoever in the area--only OJT.


230 Posts

See and what sjoe said is so true and totally pi$$es me off!!! I had a bachelor's in Social Work when I was hired as an AD. I too had no formal training. Matter of fact my first day I looked at the activities schedule and read "Volleyball 10AM" looked at the residents and said to myself "WTF? Well this oughta be interestin' ."

AD's are also a group that by and large get minimal to little respect. I've known administrators who say "Oh we don't have an AD let's just take a CNA off the floor, that 'll work..." And give no thought to the psychosocial aspect of the aging process and the need to remain involved in activities that not only reflect the interests of the resident, yet act in a complimentary manner to therapies and ADL's.. Not to mention the physical changes that occur in aging and how activities need to be adjusted to suit the resident's specific needs so that the goal is still viable and gives the resident a source of pride and accomplishment....Oh man I could go on and on and on......

Activity just ain't bingo folks.....(and btw bingo is excellent for both short and long term memory issues, eye hand coordination, friendly competition and socializing....)

OK getting offa my soap box now.......

(sjoe Thanks for bringing up one of my favorite issues. Salient points.)


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