MEPAP Classes

MEPAP I & II classes are now forming for both traditional, online, and distance learning settings.

Dr. Debra Stewart is a NCCAP pre-approved instructor with over 25 years experience in long-term care.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MEPAP II Grad Forum 8: Boredom

Why do residents report being bored even though facilities have activity calendars that are full of events?
Are reasonable periods of boredom healthy for the average nursing home resident?

Understanding boredom is an essential first step to coming to terms with reports of boredom. We assume that the brain is not active during states of boredom; however, according to research, the brain is very active during times of disengagement with the external world. During episodes of boredom, the healthy brain connects to its inner database and reminisces, creates, engages in fantasy, daydreams, and problem solves in a more relaxed manner.  Inventors, writers, and artists look at this mental phase as a window of opportunity for greatness.

How can we help our residents experience greatness from their alone time?

Monday, December 1, 2014

MEPAP Grad Forum 7: Antipsychotic Medications

CMS is concerned with reducing the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes. What are your initiatives regarding this issue and do you use a multidimensional approach? Do you also measure your success and report accordingly so that the team may learn from your methods?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

MEPAP GRAD Forum 6: Pandemics

Describe how you would maintain these objectives during a pandemic event such as Ebola or other contagious outbreaks.

  • Reduction of the  transmission of the pandemic virus strain among employees, residents, families, volunteers, and vendors. 
  • Minimizing illness among employees, residents, families, volunteers, and the public.
  • Maintaining mission, critical operations, and services. 
  • Minimizing social disruptions and the psychosocial impact of a pandemic event.

Friday, October 10, 2014

MEPAP Grad Forum 5: Effects of Life Transitions

The elderly often feel a loss of control when moving into a retirement community because of downsizing and  moving to a new and sometimes unpredictable environment. How can Activity Directors ease the stress of relocation.

Ideas from previous directors:

  • Connect residents to their current and preferred groups, clubs, and committees
  • Invite the resident's network of groups, clubs, and committees to volunteer to increase contact time.
  • Help the resident with change of address notices for friends, family, and important associations or companies.
  • Take pictures of items that are too large to bring into the resident's new home or take pictures of special areas of the resident's home or yard, and help the resident create a scrapbook of their home before moving.
  • When possible, create similar designs or grouping of items in their new home.
  • ...your ideas?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

MEPAP Grad Forum 4: Creating a Council of Equals

Robert Greenleaf, in his work titled Servant Leadership, calls us to create a council of equals where we nuture and train our staff to serve and become leaders within the organization, community, and the industry. How important is it to encourgage your staff to become Certifed Activity Professionals?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

MEPAP Grad Forum 3: Senior Driving Resources

What are the resources in your community that may help your independent residents continue their driving privileges? For example, do you have a driving school nearby that could offer refresher classes for skills and current regulations? Perhaps, your community offers driving evaluations and screenings from reputable occupational and physical therapy organizations. What other ideas do you have to help senior citizens become proactive about their future transportation needs? Do you offer public transportation awareness events?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

MEPAP II Grad Forum 2: Self-Limiting Beliefs

We have spent some time in this course identifying aging stereotypes so that we may offer a more holistic and empowering program for our residents. However, the elderly are also victims of aging stereotypes, and residents may believe these myths and stereotypes about growing older. How do we help our residents see aging as a valued process and not a handicap in a society that focuses on glamour and youth?

Friday, September 19, 2014

MEPAP II Grad Forum 1: Resource Allocation an Ethical Issue

There is a fundamental ethical obligation to provide care for all, particularly the weak and vulnerable; however, with younger residents entering with chronic long-term issues related to risky lifestyle choices, how do we identify the weak and vulnerable? Do we use cognitive decline as a measure, age and frailty, mental disability, or social dis-ease as a measure?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Week 40: Wrap Up

Discuss briefly a few of the most important concepts and best practices that you have learned in this class. Looking ahead, what degrees, certifications, or workshops would you like to add to your current skills and competencies as a manager and a leader in long-term care?  

Week 39: The Controlling Function of Management

Briefly discuss one of the components of the controlling function of management listed below. Discuss why it is an important part of the activity director's responsibilities.

  • Strategic Goals
  • Employee Performance Evaluation
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Resident Satisfaction
  • Family Satisfaction
  • Financial Management
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Quality Control
  • Risk Management
  • Performance Improvement
  • Credentialing

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Week 38: Coaching


Share with others in this forum the statements that best reflect your coaching style

  • I take a personal interest in the development of my staff
  • I communicate clear expectations 
  • I provide my staff with the tools they need to do their jobs
  • I help remove obstacles from my staff's career development
  • I delegate effectively
  • I look for ways to showcase the talent of my staff
  • I make sure that I offer effective day-to-day coaching
  • I encourage my staff to reach out in new directions and contribute to long-term care and the greater  community
  • I conduct effective performance appraisals and provide timely feedback
  • I am a  trusted mentor in career planning
  • I help others become leaders

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Critical Thinking No. 37: Lawful Interviewing

Are you knowledgeable and current about lawful interviewing? Without violating civil rights, provide an example of selecting a candidate based on their fitness for the open position and their ability to complete related tasks within the scope of the job description.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Critical Thinking No. 36: Time Management

Do you work or live in an environment of uncertainty and chaos?
Share your time management tips and how you find work/life balance.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Critical Thinking No. 35b: Budget-Tips to Avoid Budget Cuts

Share your tips for other activity directors concerning how to avoid budget cuts.
  • Do you analyze the previous year's expenses?
  • Do you allow for inflation?
  • Do you connect requests for addition resources to survey results and resident satisfaction surveys?
  • Do you research the successes of others in the field?
  • Do you research new trends and opportunities for therapeutic products and technology?  

Critical Thinking No. 35: Budgeting -Donations

¢  Do you have a  policy for accepting donations?
¢  What are the major components of your policy?
¢  Do you have a financial tracking program for tracking all purchases made possible from donations?
¢  How do you determine the value of non-cash donations?
¢  Do you provide gift-in-kind receipts, thank you notes, or letters of recommendation?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Critical Thinking No. 34: Advocacy within the Facility

Why is it important to understand your facility’s characteristics and roles within the community before you address interdepartmental relationships and team strategies.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Critical Thinking No. 30: Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

Name some possible approaches to recruit new volunteers and improve retention of your current volunteer staff.

Critical Thinking No. 29: Policies and Procedures

Why are policies and procedures important for quality control?

Critical Thinking No. 28: Overwhelmed Residents

Behaviors such as exit seeking and behavior outbursts may all be signs of a resident becoming overwhelmed by possible poor task segmentation of an activity program. Explain how this occurs, and please add any other behaviors that you have witnessed that may have occured when we  ask too much of a resident, too soon, and without time for processing

Critical Thinking No. 27: Resident Satisfaction

Why is it important to survey your residents for satisfaction concerning activity attendance and participation?

Critical Thinking No. 26: Behavior Modification

Why is it important that all staff be made aware of behavior modification plans?

Critical Thinking No. 25: Standards of Practice

If you could, what would you add to NCCAP's current Standards of Practice?

NCCAP Ethics and Bylaws

Critical Thinking No. 24: Activity Calendar

It is important to link your activity calendar to the care plan, and it is also important to design the calendar based around the dimensions of wellness. In addition, your calendar should reflect your facility's group dynamics, while staying within your department's resources, and skills and competencies. Please describe why these statements are true.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Critical Thinking No. 23: Care Planning

Be realistic, both in your identification of a problem and the approach when care planning. Why is this difficult to do at times?

Critical Thinking No. 22: Documentation

What are the different types of documentation completed by the activity professional?

Critical Thinking No. 21: Quality Assurance

How does your interdisciplinary team use the information on the MDS for overall facility quality assurance and improvement projects?

Critical Thinking No. 20: Vegetative State

People in the vegetative state need recognition, touch, and nurturing. Describe how you would offer sensory stimulation and self-identity techniques for a person in a vegetative state.

Critical Thinking No. 19b: Cultural Identity

Every facility has its own organizational culture and norms.Why is it important to help support the individual culture and identity of each resident?

Critical Thinking No. 19: Re-Socialization

Discuss how difficult it is for residents to become established socially in health care settings and offer at least two methods of re-socialization.

Critical Thinking No. 18: Over-Stimulation

How can you tell when your resident is over-stimulated? What are some steps to take before this occurs.

Critical Thinking No. 17b: Departmental Grief

How important is it to provide support for staff who are grieving the loss of a resident. Could unresolved grief lead to burnout and poor retention?

Critical Thinking No. 17: Grieving

How do you help your resident adjust when they have lost a friend or loved one to room change, discharge, or death?

Critical Thinking No. 16: Dispensing Medications During an Activity

Do you feel it is a dignity issue when medications are dispensed during an activity? If so, how would you present this issue to your administrator?

Critical Thinking No. 15: Aging Stereotypes

Without using stereotypes discuss how morbidity may change a person's physical appearance, ability, and mental functioning.

Critical Thinking No. 14: Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAMs)

Should the federal standards for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement be relaxed to accommodate healing practices that are complementary?

Critical Thinking No. 13: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Do you think your residents would be more likely to come to activities if their hierarchy of needs were met first?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Critical Thinking No.: 12 Aging Grades and Norms

What effect does aging have on creativity, wisdom, and intelligence?

Critical Thinking No. 11: Life Course

Sometimes major life course events influence resident decision-making throughout every level of care. For example, some life course events foster behaviors that are filled with fear, hoarding, restlessness, and self-imposed restriction or isolation. What are some of the major historical events in your life or your parents' life course?

Critical Thinking No. 10: Advocacy

Activity Professionals often face budget restrictions and limited resources. Brainstorm with other professionals in this forum and consider posting some of the many ways to advocate for funding or resources for long-term care facilities.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Critical Thinking No, 8b: Relevant Programming

How do you know if an activity is relevant and if it supports the care plan and personal interests of the resident, and how can you evaluate the therapeutic value, and adaptability of the activity for changing levels of care?

Critical Thinking No. 8: Appropriate Activities

Offer Three Suggestions for "Person Appropriate" Activity Programing