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226 Crescent Moon Way
Canton, GA 30114
Judges, Senior Project
Cherokee High School
930 Marietta Hwy.
Canton, GA 30114
Hello!! My name is Claire Gay, and I am a senior at Cherokee High School. My favorite subject has almost always been science, which makes it no surprise that I would like to pursue a career in medicine. I believe that bedside manner is a bit of a lost art. That is why I chose to volunteer at an assisted living facility through a hospice program for my senior project. My goal was to put on an event that the residents would enjoy.
For my research paper, I thought it would be beneficial to consider how and why activities are important for residents of assisted living facilities. My initial project was to write a book so my research paper is about dystopian societies in fiction, but through volunteering at the facility and a personal interest in medicine and medical practices, I have some knowledge over how activities can be helpful. Activities help to stimulate patients’ senses, but they also help to stimulate their minds. Different activities help with different issues for the patients. For some patients, the interactions with others is the most valuable aspect while for others it can be the activity and movement. There are some residents that have family and/or friends that visit often, but others do not. Some of these residents would spend all of their time in their room if they were not encouraged to participate in activities in the facility.
After consulting with my Project Facilitator, we decided to do a Carnival for the residents. We tried to pick games that would help to improve the patients’ dexterity. We decided on a Velcro ball toss, and a bean bag toss to help with dexterity. My facilitator thought that a Pie-In-The-Face would be very enjoyable for the residents. She believed that they would think it was hilarious for the managers to get a pie in the face. This would help with the patients’ mental health. When I think of a carnival, I think of a Ferris Wheel. I wanted to try to do something that would give the residents the feeling of being on a Ferris Wheel. From this, my facilitator thought of doing a Time Machine ride. We tried to pull this together, but unfortunately we were not able to make this happen.
By investigating my new intended research topic, I learned a lot about what types of activities help the residents to be more self-sufficient. The whole point of working in an assisted living facility is to help the residents. Generally speaking, they do not want to have to ask people to help them with certain things. The more they can do on their own, the more they feel like themselves. Learning these different activities and how they help the residents is an essential part of being an event coordinator or an activities director at an assisted living facility. I learned that I really enjoy the brainstorming process for planning an event. Shopping on a strict budget can be difficult while still trying to get everything needed to make the event a success. Sometimes you have to find creative ways to produce something similar to the original idea. I had thought that I would like to be doctor, so I thought this experience would be especially helpful in the bedside manner portion of that career, but I find that I really enjoy planning activities. I am certain that I would like to go into the medical field in some capacity.
In my opinion, Senior Project can add a lot of stress to already stressful time in life, but it does help students to discover new qualities about themselves. I know it helped me to learn about some important faults and areas that need improvement. Overall, I believe senior project has taught me that time management and proper priorities are crucial to the success of any long term project or goal. Thank you so much for the time that you have given to us to help us be successful.