The holidays are a great time to reconnect with friends and family, especially with the seniors in your life. While the holidays are usually quite a fun and exciting time, it’s important to remember that for some seniors it can also cause feelings of loneliness and stress. As you plan your time together, think of ways to make your loved ones feel included, stimulated, and bring them joy.
Keeping Seniors Engaged and Stimulated This Holiday Season
To make this holiday season exciting and fun, here are a few ideas for fun activities for the whole family to enjoy together.
1) Update an old tradition
As we get older, it’s natural to experience changes in the body and mind. Many seniors simply don’t have the same energy levels they once did, so it’s important to take that into consideration when you plan your celebrations. If your family traditions involve a lot of walking or physical activity, think of ways you can adapt these activities to be more inclusive.
2) Wrap presents together
After all the shopping is done, offer to plan a party to get all their gifts wrapped and ready for Christmas. Gather all the supplies you’ll need, put on some festive tunes and set up your own little version of Santa’s workshop! It’s a great way to lend a hand and give them a rest while you spend time together and have fun.
3) Plan a movie night
Does your loved one have a favourite holiday movie? Make a date to watch it together! Gather up some holiday treats and settle in for an afternoon or evening of entertainment. If you’re up for it, you can turn it into a movie marathon, where you each get to pick a movie to watch and share with each other. Not only is this idea relatively easy to plan, but it’s perfect for a blustery or extra chilly day.
4) Take in some festive music together
Music truly has a way of bringing people together, especially around the holidays. There’s just something so magical about live music during this time of year. There are usually a ton of local events that feature music, so it should be pretty easy to find something for the whole family to enjoy. Whether it’s a children’s choir, live orchestra, or traditional carolers, it’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
5) Bake some treats together
If your loved one usually does a lot of baking on their own, make it a family affair instead! Pick a favourite family recipe and get them to teach you all the tricks to getting it just right. This is an awesome way to pass down traditions to younger generations and it’s very stimulating for seniors – they’ll love to share their knowledge and teach new skills to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren!
6) Go on a holiday light crawl
Nothing gets you in a festive mood quite like gorgeous homes and parks all lit up with twinkling lights. Many communities have light festivals where people can wander through and view holiday light displays all in one place. It’s also fun to take a walk or drive around local neighbourhoods and take in all the lights. Make it extra fun and grab a cup of something warm (like hot chocolate) to sip on as you stroll along.
7) Put up decorations together
This is a great way to kick off the season with your loved ones. Offer to pull out all their holiday decorations and get their home ready to celebrate the season. You can either work together or get them to rest while you put everything up for them. (With instructions from them, of course!)
8) Volunteer together
Giving back is truly what the season is all about and volunteer work is a wonderful way to spend time with your loved ones while also making the holiday bright for others. Local charity organizations are often quite busy at this time of year and are always looking for extra hands. Whether it’s serving up meals to those in need, wrapping up donated gifts for kids, or working at an event together, it’s a great way for seniors to contribute and feel good about making the holidays special for someone else.