During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you may find yourself with a house full of family and no idea what to do to pass the time. During this season, activities for seniors, as well as for kids, come into play.
With this intergenerational group coming together for the holidays, we’ve rounded up some amazing seasonal activity ideas to please everyone in the house – from the toddlers to the seniors.
Activities for Seniors
Activities around the holidays should add to life enrichment and fun for seniors. This may be the only time of the year the entire family gets together, so make sure to plan for memorable, meaningful activities.
The benefits of holiday activities for seniors are countless.
- Social interaction and emotional well-being: Engaging in activities provides opportunities for seniors to socialize, offering support for mental and emotional well-being. It can also help with feelings of isolation or loneliness. Holidays can be complicated for anyone, but for seniors who have lost friends or family members, it can be especially poignant. Activities for seniors can create positive memories and experiences and bring joy during this time.
- Mental and physical stimulation: Activities for seniors during the holidays can stimulate the mind through games or holiday crafts, maintaining cognitive health and reducing behaviors that seniors with memory-impaired conditions like dementia may have. If possible, physical stimulation through activities like light walks or breathing in the fresh air can help promote relaxation and serve as a stress reliever for seniors during the holidays.
- Spiritual connection: The holidays may include spiritual or cultural ties. Being able to connect with these activities allows seniors to engage in traditions, heritage and shared time with friends and family.
How to Plan Holiday Activities for Seniors (and Ideas!)
There are numerous enjoyable seasonal activities to engage seniors in during the holidays! We’ve compiled three enchanting activities that cater to every family member, fostering a festive atmosphere.
- Holiday Cook-Off
Whether it’s baking and icing cookies, preparing tasty holiday mocktails or making Grandma’s special lasagna, there’s always a lot to cook and make around the holidays. A lot of times, it’s all hands on deck to get everything finished in time for the big holiday meals. Asking seniors to help with holiday cooking and baking gives them a sense of accomplishment and purpose in the festivities.
Throw a fun twist on these chores by preparing a cooking challenge – utilize cooking shows you may have seen to serve as your inspiration. Split into teams and cook to your hearts’ content! You may find that the palate-pleasing meals cooked up by an elementary school grandchild may rival her grandfather’s famous stuffing!
2. Themed movie night
The holiday season is a truly magical time for movies. Each of us has a favorite childhood memory of movie night with their loved ones. Kick it up a notch to include everyone in the family, and plan food and drink around the movie that you’re watching. This is a great Christmas activity for seniors because there is such a variety of Christmas movies that can appeal to all ages.
Here are a few ideas for a themed movie night for four of our favorite holiday movies:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Serve green “Grinch” punch and DIY heart-shaped cookies
Home Alone: Channel Kevin McAllister with an ice cream sundae bar
A Christmas Story: Take the night off cooking and order Chinese takeout (don’t forget the Peking duck!)
Elf: Serve spaghetti and meatballs (hold the maple syrup!) plus lots of candy canes
Remember that any night can be a fun movie night, especially during the holidays. Pick your absolute favorite and have fun with it!
3. Winter Wonderland Walk
If your community has a lot of holiday lights, bundle up and take a walk around the neighborhood to check out all the decorations. Grab cups of hot chocolate to warm you up as you mosey around the neighborhood. If your family is the singing type, join a group of carolers (or start your own group) and go door to door spreading holiday cheer.
This activity can be catered to seniors who are not as mobile by riding in a car, admiring lights and decor and listening to Christmas music in the background. Many cities also have drive-through Christmas light displays, which takes all the work out of finding the neighborhoods with lights – and this is a perfect Christmas activity for seniors!
Other Christmas Activities for Seniors
When it comes to holiday activities for seniors, there’s a wide array of options that can bring joy to everyone in the family. Seasonal ideas abound, and some of the classic Christmastime activities can be particularly delightful for seniors.
Here are some old Christmastime standbys that can be adapted to suit the preferences and abilities of seniors:
- Build and decorate a gingerbread house
- Deck the halls and decorate the Christmas tree
- Create Christmas cards or scrapbook pages to commemorate the year
- Play family-friendly board games or quick prize games
- Dress up in holiday pajamas and take silly photos
Holidays at Tutera Communities
In Tutera communities, our dedicated team works together to create magical holiday experiences for every resident. From holiday-themed chef-prepared menus to daily programming for seniors, the holiday season is full of joy, peace and comfort in our neighborhoods.
Our Activity Directors curate month-long celebrations for mind, body and soul, incorporating traditions, spiritual practices, mental stimulation and seasonal activities, such as crafts or gift making. Our team utilizes our compassionate caregivers to encourage seniors to take part in holiday activities, bringing the joy of the season to every resident.
Within our communities, we offer a range of services, including housekeeping, laundry, transportation and a variety of daily activities and programs. Safety and security are paramount to our team, offering distant family members invaluable peace of mind.
Navigating the journey of caring for a loved one can be challenging, especially during the holidays for those separated from family. Tutera is here to provide options and resources, making assessments and decisions a bit more manageable. Caring for an aging family member can be akin to a full-time job, often requiring a dedicated team of caregivers and resources to ensure your loved one’s well-being and comfort.
Reach out to us today for a complimentary assessment and consultation to determine your loved one’s needs and required level of care. Interested in our community locations? Tutera communities span across the nation, and you can locate the nearest one to you here.