To understand the position of Activity Professional, it is essential that we understand the National Association of Activity Professionals. We must recognize the efforts of Activity Professionals from over 38 years ago who had the vision to see what an important role NAAP would have in the lives of our nation’s elders. We should value those individuals, applaud their dedication and foresight, and continue to grow.
Activity associations across the nation were surveyed in November 1980 to determine if there was an interest in forming a national association. As a result of the survey, a letter was mailed out on February 2, 1981, and an exploratory meeting was announced. The meeting took place at the Regency Nursing Center in Niles, Illinois, Saturday, March 21, 1981. Attending the meeting were twenty activity professionals from eleven states. With this small but dedicated group, the National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP) began.
By February 1982, NAAP began its first political action campaign against threatened federal deregulation of activities and long-term care. That same month, the national membership elected a Board of Trustees from a slate chosen at the third organizational meeting. The first President of NAAP was Sister Pat Murphy, who served in this position for the next four years. The first annual NAAP Convention was held April 29 and 30, 1983 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
NAAP was off and running, and 1984 was going to be another busy year. To honor Activity Professionals across the country, the very first National Activity Professionals Day was celebrated January 27, 1984. The fourth Friday in January was designated to celebrate Activity Professionals annually and later on it was expanded to include the entire week.
As an Activity Professional, you are part of a vitally important profession that helps people live a life that is full of fun and meaningful activities. The holistic and person-directed approach to caring for our elders you provide is a sight to behold. You are the heart and spirit of your facilities. We encourage you to take a minute to acknowledge the great work you do and give yourself and your staff the credit deserved! Now as never before, attention is being directed concerning care of our elder and disabled citizens and greater attention also is directed those who provide hands-on-care and caring. National Activity Professionals Week provides a timely opportunity to foster and showcase the wonderful things that Activity Professionals create. NAP Week is January 20-26, 2019. The NAP theme and the theme of the Annual NAAP Conference is “Oh the Places You’ll Go.”
The National Association of Activity Professionals has created a special packet filled with information on recognition events, activities you can do with staff and residents. Please check out the Media packet for Mayor Proclamations, news releases; and products page for items to help celebrate the week. This information can be found on our website at www.naap.info. In honor of this week, NAAP is offering an “Oh the Places You’ll BOGO” membership drive. Join NAAP during this week and get one free membership for your colleague or friend.