Holiday Activities That Your Senior Can Participate In
The holiday season is a busy time of year for everyone. With parties, family get-togethers, and new and old traditions, there’s plenty of opportunity to connect with others and share your gratitude in thoughtful ways.
For seniors, the holiday time can be particularly special—and particularly challenging. On the one hand, participating in holiday traditions with loved ones can be deeply rewarding. But if your senior has lost an important loved one, or has needs that require them to live outside their home, such nostalgic moments can feel painful, even lonely. At times, it may be difficult for them to navigate their feelings and express them clearly with others.
Additionally, for seniors living with dementia, age-related declines in mobility, and other chronic health conditions, the sudden change in pace and environment (bright lights, icy weather, large gatherings) can be overwhelming and potentially hazardous.
If you have an aging parent or other senior loved ones in your life, it’s worth your time and effort to create safe opportunities for them to join in on the holiday activities. Fortunately, making your senior loved ones feel included doesn’t take much effort and time at all! Check out these six ways to involve your senior so he or she can share in the joy and warmth that comes hand in hand with this time of year.
6 Holiday-Inspired Activities That Are Senior-Safe and Fun for the Whole Family
1. Host a Holiday Scene Painting Party
Painting is a relaxing and open-ended activity that many seniors enjoy. Choose a medium they’ll like to use—such as acrylic paint, watercolor, or colored pencils—and inspire them with holiday images, such as winter scenes, holiday decor, and more. For extra inspiration, be sure to play some holiday music in the background!
2. Put Together Some Gift Baskets
Throwing together a gift basket which contains a mix of homemade and store-bought items is fun to do with your senior. He or she can add some personal touches—everything from favorite recipes to baked goods to gift cards. Gift baskets also make great items for charitable donations, special events, secret Santa swaps, fundraisers, and more.
3. Visit a Local Indoor Holiday Display
Check around your nearby towns and cities. There are usually plenty of indoor holiday displays you can visit together. Possibilities include indoor nurseries and arboretums, museums, churches, or even your local mall. Visiting such places is a great way for your senior to get into the community and even get some simple exercise.
Consider going at times of day when you anticipate smaller crowds and more light, as this should make it easier for your senior to access the event with you.
4. Throw “A Cup of Christmas Tea” Party
The book A Cup of Christmas Tea was written by Tom Hegg. It’s actually long rhyming poem that truly encapsulates the spirit of the holidays. For a low-key gathering, make a pot of tea, set out some baked goods, and read and discuss this book together.
Other great holiday books to read together with your senior and other family members include:
- Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert May
- Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou
5. Come Up With Some Christmas Crafts
Anything that the grandkids and the grandparents can enjoy together is a great idea for promoting the holiday spirit! A few creative craft ideas you might want to try include:
- Gingerbread houses or cookies
- Homemade ornaments
- Snowman centerpieces
- Holiday wreaths
- Greeting cards
- Paper snowflakes
6. Make a Nativity or Holiday Display
Working alone or together with others to create a miniature holiday scene can be a rewarding experience, especially for seniors who are religiously inclined. You can opt to simply use pre-made nativity or holiday set, or create your own figurines and other features.
Are you looking for more solutions to help your aging parent? Click here to learn more about our personalized care services we offer for you and the special seniors in your life, or call to schedule a free consultation with one of our friendly Always Best Care team members.