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When is the Perfect Time to Recharge Your LTC Volunteer Program?

When is the perfect time to recharge your nursing facility’s volunteer program?  Right now!   

All facilities can benefit from an outstanding volunteer program.  It can –   

  1. assist with improved quality of life for your residents by offering more people to socialize with them,
  2. decrease stress for your staff by having others around to respond to non-care needs, 
  3. and, when implemented correctly, can supplement your marketing efforts to increase census by     expanding the number of visitors in your building on a regular basis, observing the great care you’re providing.    

Start by establishing goals for each month this year and an overall goal to be achieved after twelve months.  Make the goals simple, realistic, and achievable.  Involve your entire team in the process, including any long-term volunteers that you currently have, and residents who have shown an interest.    

Your first goal should be to increase the number of volunteers or volunteer hours.  Establish a ‘campaign’ to achieve record-setting numbers for your program each month.  Ensure that your campaign is not just ‘dumped’ on the Activity Director.  Encourage your team to spread the message to groups that they are members of outside of work.    

Community engagement is the key.  Your marketing staff can assist with PR.  In smaller communities, inform your local chamber of commerce of the program and offer to speak at the next meeting.  Create a buzz in your community by contacting neighboring businesses, youth groups, schools, churches, and sororities.  Use your volunteer campaign and goals to drive your social media presence.    

Outline the potential benefits that volunteering can bring to your residents and request an interview with the local newspaper.  Contribute letters to the editor with the benefits of volunteering, updates to your goals, and calls to action for participation.  Offer to submit a monthly “Ways to Volunteer” column.   

Most importantly when beginning a volunteer program have resources available for the volunteers.  Utilize lists that can be reviewed with first-time volunteers to match their interests with your facility’s needs.  Assign each volunteer to a specific task and follow-up to ensure that they feel comfortable with it.  And always remember to follow your building’s policies and procedures regarding volunteers.   

What steps are you going to make this month to improve your volunteer program?  Is your ultimate goal to have one volunteer for every resident?  Have a great idea that has either worked for your facility or that you are planning to implement?  Share it here!   

Need ideas to improve your volunteer program?  Does your Social Service or Activities department need assistance with documentation?  Is your Indiana nursing facility in compliance with QMRP regulations?  Contact Julie at Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC (260-894-1417, to start improving Quality of Life services for your residents.

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