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National Activity Professionals Day – January 27, 2023

National Activity Professionals Day is observed on the fourth Friday in January and takes place on January 27 this year. It’s a special day to recognize and honor all the activity professionals who care and provide active experiences for the residents in nursing homes around the country. Did you know that the lifespan of Americans has increased in recent years, and due to this, there is a great need for patient-centered eldercare? This is where activity professionals come in. They inspire, engage, enrich, and make the lives of nursing home residents so much better and more interesting! It’s because of them that many long-term residents have good quality-of-life experiences.

History of National Activity Professionals Day

National Activity Professionals Day is the day to celebrate all activity coordinators and social care practitioners’ creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication to empowering care home residents across the country to live the richest and fullest lives possible. Activities professionals make a difference every day in residents’ and their families’ lives by planning games and social events and assisting care teams.

National Activity Professionals Day was founded by the National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP), the only organization exclusively representing activity professionals in geriatric settings. In 1980, activity associations across the nation were surveyed to determine if they needed a national association. As a result of the survey, NAAP was formed with a small, dedicated group of activity professionals. In a few years, NAAP grew largely, and Sister Pat Murphy was elected as the first president. To appreciate and honor the significant role they play in enriching the lives of individuals entrusted to their care, NAAP created National Activity Professionals Day. The first National Activity Professionals Day was celebrated in 1984.

Later, NAAP expanded the celebration to a week of celebration. Today, NAAP celebrates it as a National Activity Professionals Week that is a seven-day long celebration to foster and showcase the wonderful things that activity professionals create. So, on this National Activity Professionals Day, let us acknowledge and thank them for all the great work they do to enrich the lives of others.

National Activity Professionals Day timeline

1980
A National Survey

Activity associations across the nation are surveyed to determine if there’s any interest in forming a national association.

1981
The Birth of NAAP

NAAP is created with a group of 20 activity professionals from 11 states.

1982
The First Political Action Campaign

NAAP begins its first political campaign against threatened federal deregulation of activities and long-term care.

1984
The First National Activity Professionals Day

The First National Activity Professionals Day is celebrated on January 27, 1984.

National Activity Professionals Day FAQs

Does National Activity Professionals Date vary each year?

Yes, National Activity Professionals Day is celebrated on the fourth Friday in January.

What do activity professionals do?

Activity professionals do everything from planning games and social events for residents to reviewing medical charts, assessing residents’ individual needs, and tending to them.

How do you become a certified activities professional?

You need to earn the Activity Director Certified (A.D.C.) credential from the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals (N.C.C.A.P.) to become a certified activities professional.

How to Observe National Activity Professionals Day

  1. Thank them

    Celebrate National Activity Professionals Day and thank activity professionals for their contribution wholeheartedly! They’ll appreciate it.

  2. Plan a fun trip

    Take an activity professional out for a fun trip. Treat them to pizza or enjoy a bowling game at your local bowling alley — anything fun to show your appreciation.

  3. Host an award ceremony

    You can organize an award ceremony for the activity professionals in your life. Honor them in front of residents and family members.

5 Interesting Facts About Activity Professionals And Elders

  1. More than bingo

    Most people think that bingo is the only game played at a nursing home, but numerous activities are offered to meet the residents’ needs, including music, excursions, art therapy, workouts, and more.

  2. Specialized eldercare is on the rise

    The need for specialized eldercare is on the rise in the United States as studies show that Alzheimer’s and dementia will nearly triple to 14 million by the year 2050.

  3. Give them some activity

    By age 75, about one in three men and one in two women don’t get any physical activity or any activity — the special care given to them by activity professionals is important.

  4. Staying active works

    Staying active in old age can lower the risk of developing or help manage health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.

  5. The caregiver in your family

    There are more than 66 million caregivers in the United States — this roughly equates to over 30% of all U.S. households having a caregiver present in the family.

Why National Activity Professionals Day is Important

  1. It’s a day to honor unsung heroes

    Most people think that the work of activity professionals is just organizing fun events all day. But they do more than that and work tirelessly to keep the residents engaged. This is the day to honor them.

  2. It inspires the world to be better

    National Activity Professionals Day appreciates and highlights the effort and selfless work these people do to improve others’ lives. This inspires others to make this world a better place.

  3. It’s a day to spread happiness

    This day recognizes the activity professionals across the country and their work, spreads happiness, and provides the motivation to continue their work.

National Activity Professionals Day dates

YearDateDay
2022January 28Friday
2023January 27Friday
2024January 26Friday
2025January 24Friday
2026January 23Friday

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