It’s that time of year again, and we are all itching to break out the decorations and candy canes. As 2021 comes to a ceremonious end, you may be wondering how to spread the holiday cheer at your assisted living facility. Many seniors may not be able to partake in the usual winter fun because of the ice, snow, and cold temperatures. However, that does not mean that they cannot get into the holiday spirit with their family and friends. That warm and fuzzy festive feeling is for everyone! That’s why we have curated this list of senior activities to keep the mood merry and the smiles bright at your senior care facility this holiday season.
1. Get Festive with Decorations
One way to share the holiday spirit is to surround the world around you with it. What better way to bring some of that holiday merriment into your assisted care facility than put up a few decorations? These can go up in common areas as well as peoples’ rooms. Denominational holiday decorations can be helpful for seniors who are religious but unable to attend ceremonies and services or connect with their faith communities. Still, even just seeing some paper snowflakes cascading down the dining room wall or Christmas lights stretched throughout the hallways can brighten some days!
2. Make Cards
Holiday cards are a wonderful way to stay in touch with loved ones during the winter. They can also allow for a fun social activity. Seniors can make cards for favorite staff members, family, and even each other. Assisted living centers can set aside some time for everyone to get together and make cards. Centers should also purchase some regular cards for seniors who might have a hard time with fine motor skills, so they can still get involved. So bring out the fun drawing utensils, glitter, and Santa stickers and allow your residents to get creative!
3. Facilitate Gift Giving
It is no secret that grandparents love spoiling their grandchildren, but not everyone is able to do the holiday shopping on their own. While your facility might plan shopping excursions for residents throughout the months of November and December, those who can’t get out do not have to miss out on all the fun. You could open an in-house holiday shop where residents can find gifts for grandchildren, children, and every other loved one and even have their gifts wrapped for them. You could even invite them to create their own handmade gifts: decorated holiday cookies, painted mugs, and so much more.
4. Have a Holiday Movie Night
Many people can think of at least one holiday movie to which they return every December, whether that’s Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, or something more colorful and childlike like A Charlie Brown Christmas or the classic Rankin/Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You could plan a special holiday-themed movie night that residents can enjoy with their families and serve delicious fare like hot chocolate, holiday cookies, and more. You might even come up with fun themed games to accompany the movie, such as trivia hour or a fun craft.
5. Enjoy Holiday Traditions
We all want to keep family traditions alive and well during the holidays, but some seniors are bothered by the extra lights, sounds, and people. With that in mind, while larger, social parties are certainly worth planning, some residents may appreciate smaller-scale celebrations and activities. Some living in assisted senior care facilities might benefit more from a more intimate visitation from friends and family that does not interrupt their daily routines. Perhaps a quieter, small group celebration could involve a family dinner with favorite dishes and treats, holiday games and movies, and gift exchanges among close friends and family. You could even have residents name some favorite holiday traditions they have enjoyed and try to implement them into everyday activities so that others can experience them as well! That way, everyone can still feel involved in the festive joy!
6. Keep in Touch
Video chat platforms have exploded in popularity over the past couple years, and not just for virtual corporate meetings. Plenty of people have relied on this tech to stay connected to friends and family during 2020 and 2021. If families are unable to visit the care center this year, you could set up a virtual meeting so they can still see their loved ones. Senior activities don’t need to be in person to be fun and meaningful! You can even help residents decorate their living spaces so that they can show them off to their families.
Is your assisted living facility ready for the holiday season? Our team can help you promote your services to families who want to make sure their loved ones are comfortable and well cared for during the holidays. Reach out today and tell us more about your organization and how you hope to present your facility to families!