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What Is an Activities Assistant and How to Become One

Activities Assistant

What Does an Activity Assistant Do?

An activities assistant schedules, plans, and executes entertainment for party guests or activity participants, all while sticking to a strict budget and timeline. In this career, you can organize a variety of events and recreation for summer camps, nursing homes, schools, and more, typically with the intention of allowing the participants to socialize, relax, and have fun. Your responsibilities include managing all logistics such as transportation, staff or volunteers, catering, live entertainment, advertising for the event, and more. You are expected to keep records of relevant information such as event popularity and resources used for planning.

How Can I Get a Job as an Activity Assistant?

The qualifications needed to start a career as an activity assistant include a high school diploma or GED certificate. Depending on your employer, you may also need a certification in CPR or first-aid. This is important if you work with children or the elderly. Experience in the particular industry can be beneficial, but event planning skills are more important. Physical stamina is crucial, as this job requires a lot of movement. Organizational and time management skills are helpful, as well as excellent interpersonal skills. To excel as an activity assistant, you need a flexible schedule and a willingness to work nights and weekends.

What Skills Do I Need to Be a Successful Activities Assistant?

To be a successful activities assistant, you need to have a passion for working with your demographic. Especially if you work with kids or senior citizens, you need patience and compassion. You need to be able to communicate effectively while enforcing safety rules. Leadership and problem-solving skills are crucial for creating successful programs and events. If you are working with fitness activities, you should be physically fit, and if you’re planning special activities such as swimming, you should have training in water safety. Experience with management and previous work in your chosen field is useful.

What Does a Retirement Home Activities Assistant Do?

A retirement home activities assistant plans and executes activities in a retirement home. These activities focus on goals like socializing, entertainment, relaxation, and possibly improving daily living skills. Required duties include keeping a record of guest or patient progress with skill development. In a small home, you might be the only person planning events, whereas in a larger facility you are usually one of many reporting to an activities director. Daily events can include games, exercise, crafts, and music. You might also be in charge of planning large events on special occasions.

Activities Assistant Job Description Sample

With this Activities Assistant job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Activities Assistant role.

Job Summary

Our assisted living facility is looking for an outgoing and creative Activities Assistant. You will help plan and execute events that encourage the cognitive, social, and physical interaction of patients in our long-term care wing. Events include karaoke nights, themed dinners, baking classes, book readings, and excursions to local parks. These activities are therapeutic and essential to our patients' quality of life. We prefer candidates who have BLS certification and experience in elderly care, particularly to individuals with dementia.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan daily activities, both in-house and outdoor excursions (when possible)
  • Encourage patients (and occasionally their family members) to participate in events
  • Keep the facility calendar updated to ensure there are no scheduling conflicts with other events
  • Document patient participation

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Basic life support (BLS) certification preferred
  • Certification through the NCCAP a plus
  • Excellent organization and communication skills
  • Valid driver's license and reliable transportation
  • Flexible schedule