Four strategies for the busy lifestyle director

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Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson

Lifestyle directors work tirelessly to ensure activities are booked and run smoothly, residents are active and engaged, family member requests and concerns are addressed, and juggling a variety of administrative tasks. By focusing their efforts on these four strategies, lifestyle directors can improve daily efficiency and satisfy the residents and families they serve:

Leverage your technology: There are many helpful tools available to communities. Incorporate calendar builder tools to save you time developing monthly and daily calendars. Manual entry of calendars in word and publisher are no longer needed. With LifeLoop, you can build your calendar one time and pull the information to your website, Microsoft Word or Publisher, or use the intuitive calendar designer built into  LifeLoop.  

Customizing your own look and feel in a user-friendly version to send off to residents and family members without spending too much time and effort on perfecting something that often gets overlooked by its recipients. Also, while you are at an activity, utilize technology that allows you to capture attendance, take photos, and capture notes real time at the activity. You won't have to go back to fill in the missing pieces later on.

Understand your residents: Understand the likes and dislikes of residents through resident engagement platforms. Don't waste your time on activities in which there is no or little interest. LifeLoop easily tracks engagement percentages and changes in engagement. Beyond activities your residents like and don't like, it is important to understand the little things that your residents like and don't like about the community. You and your staff are the community's primary touchpoints with your residents and a lot of valuable information that you learn from your residents and take for granted oftentimes doesn't get farther than you. It is important to begin establishing a place to keep this info so that it is accessible in a useful way to other leaders of your community. The happier your residents are; the more enjoyable your job will be.  

Engage residents: Find out what your residents like to do and then try to understand why they enjoy doing them. For your active residents, that's an easy task. You take attendance and review that every month and you are present for most of the activities so you know the people who show up for physical activities, for social activities, for things like card games, etc.  

Find out whether residents like the person running the activity, if they just like getting out of their rooms, or if they like the routine or would prefer to change it up.  When you talk about these things you are going to find out a little about their personal story and you need to keep personal bio notes like that in a place where your other employees and volunteers will see them and be able to personally engage them.  You also need to actively seek out those people who don't attend your activities and try to find some alternatives.  This could take a huge amount of time, but if you develop a system for doing that with an application such as LifeLoop, you can easily sort out your least active residents once a month and find an alternative or go interview them to be your next resident spotlighted in your calendar.  

Streamline family communication: It is more important now than ever to keep families in the loop through electronic communication. If you don't have a system in place to collect families' email addresses, implement one as soon as possible. Communicating with families electronically eliminates phone calls back and forth and saves time. With LifeLoop, families can communicate with their loved ones and staff. Moreover, they can see updates from the community in real time. This is the primary way of heading off concerns before people's emotions get in the way of straightforward communication and joint problem-solving, turning instead to complaints or grudges that aren't communicated until it becomes a major problem.

By implementing these four strategies, busy lifestyle directors can improve daily efficiency, effectiveness, and connectivity with both residents and families.

Amy Johnson is the founder of LifeLoop. Request a demo via

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