Did your loved one recently move to a senior living community? Here are some tips to help keep their holiday merry and bright with senior holiday activities:
Do Some Holiday Shopping from Catalogs or Online
If your senior loved one is unable to go out shopping, just bring the shopping to them. Bring a variety of catalogs and search for holiday gifts, bring some permanent markers and have them fold the pages and circle the items they like on those pages. Or if they’re up for it teach them a little about online shopping, create an amazon account and have them put together an amazon holiday wish list. Ask for advice on what to get for other members of the family. Assist the senior in making his or her own purchases.
Listen to Favorite Classic Holiday Music
Bring in some of your senior loved one’s favorite music, including holiday music from artists of years past, and listen to it together during your visit. Think Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley or Stevie Wonder — a tape or record player would be a wonderful gift for a senior who doesn’t already own one. Or try introducing them to a music streaming service like Spotify! Try hosting a carol sing-a-long; recording it would be a memorable way to mark the holiday season.
Bring in a Recipe Book and Have a Holiday Treat Baking Party
Many seniors have a long history of holiday entertaining and would love to play a role in baking or cooking their favorite holiday treats from years past. Bring some cookbooks and review the various recipes or ask if they keep a recipe book with some of their favorites. Bring in all the needed supplies and decorative food items and get to baking!
Help Create Holiday Cards or Assist with Writing Letters
Because of arthritis and vision impairments, many seniors find it difficult to write cards and letters. During the holidays, consider helping your senior loved one prepare cards for family and friends. Make it a group effort if you can. Simply bring in all the necessary supplies and create a card-making assembly line. Assign someone to decorate the cards, someone to write a note in the card and someone to add addresses or stamps to envelopes. In addition, volunteer to read any letters or cards your loved one has received.
Bring Photo Albums or Other Memorabilia
During a visit, bringing family photo albums, including pictures of holidays past, this can spark conversation and bring up wonderful memories. Try thinking of a of questions to ask them about their holiday memories like: what was the best gift you ever received? Or What was one of the funniest moments you experienced at a holiday celebration? Many seniors love sharing stories with loved ones or giving advice on holiday hosting based on past experiences. All they need is a prompt to spark those joyous memories.
Help with Holiday Decorating
Help your senior loved one decorate their home or hang up lights. Decorating can become a fun activity for several generations of a family. In addition, your senior loved one may enjoy working on a holiday craft project that can be used as a decoration or a memento to remember the experience. A simple craft activity is also a fun project for your senior family member to do with children.
Read the Classics or Host a Holiday Movie Marathon
This is also a popular activity for family members of all ages to partake in. Bring the whole family along and have the little ones read their favorite holiday book to your senior loved one. Think, The Grinch or Polar Express! Thanks to modern technology, and a variety of streaming services, hosting a holiday-themed movie marathon is incredibly simple — just be sure your senior loved one has access to Wi-Fi and that you have your usernames and passwords to your streaming services available. Then pop some popcorn, kick back, relax and make some memories!