By Kent Mulkey

You enter a room where a candle, a box of tacks, and a book of matches are lying on a table. Your task is to figure out a way to adhere the candle to the wall, using only the three items on the table, so that the wax does not drip onto the table.

How would you solve this problem?

The only solution that works is to take the tacks from the box and use them to fasten the empty box to the wall, then place the candle in the box and light it. Researchers found that it takes groups of all walks of life between five and 10 minutes to solve the puzzle.

The reason it takes a few minutes to identify the solution to this simple dilemma is because of what scientists refer to as “functional fixedness.” When people look at the items on the table, they assume that each item has only one function.

Too Fixed

Most activity/life enrichment professionals think there is only one way to plan and implement an activity program. They become “fixed” on one main purpose—to keep residents busy. Residents tell us they are overplaying bingo and listening to subpar musicians.

But there is a whole new generation of residents moving into our communities, with unique wants and needs. You already know that 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day in our country. Do you know what they want and need? Travel, 4-star dining experiences, state-of-the-art fitness clubs, skydiving and other thrill-seeking adventures. I know one older adult who owns his own race car that he drives on road courses around his state.

You likely feel like you need some help. Don’t miss EVOLVE 2022!

EVOLVE 2022 is the first-ever life-enrichment-focused virtual summit designed to reimagine how we engage residents and enhance their lives. This summit is for life enrichment and activities staff, executive directors, operations managers, COOs, and CEOs who are interested in gaining knowledge to improve efficiency, reduce turnover, and increase resident satisfaction. Don’t miss this industry-changing event that will uplift and invigorate you, your team, and your residents.

Invite your coworkers and residents! Register now for EVOLVE 2022.