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November 1, 2021

Family Holiday Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living

A magical holiday season isn’t defined by the gifts you receive, the mouthwatering meals you consume, or the cheerful decorations that lend a festive touch to your home. That’s all just icing. The real joy comes from celebrating treasured traditions and making memories together with your loved ones.

When your parents or grandparents are residents in an assisted living community, you may wonder how you can share that joy and bring the holiday spirit to life. Our list of holiday activities for seniors gives you a great place to start making plans.

1. Holiday card writing party

Instead of making your holiday cards a task you squeeze into a spare moment alone, make them a family affair. Bring the family together to write cards to family members and loved ones. Kids can practice their writing and drawing skills, while grandparents share their thoughts on the lost art of writing letters and relay stories about some of their favorite holiday events through the years.

2. Family memories on film

Capturing video of your loved ones is like creating an animated time capsule you can revisit again and again. If you have the opportunity to gather together for fun holiday activities this year, make it a priority to create a family video that showcases the joyous laughter, mischievous grins, and antics of family members across the generations. Ask your most tech-savvy family member to record, edit, and share the finished product with family and friends.

3. Community events

Local holiday-themed events,  such as a performance of “The Nutcracker” or a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, are wonderful examples of holiday activities for seniors that provide a change of scenery and a chance to enjoy favorite holiday experiences with the larger community. Don’t let worries about transportation halt plans. If necessary, you may be able to arrange for help through your loved one’s assisted living community.

4. Holiday-inspired crafts

Craft projects make good holiday activities for seniors because they offer such broad benefits. Crafting allows seniors to practice fine motor and cognitive skills in a fun way while creating a tangible item that can be used for decorating or gifting to others. Holiday crafts, like paper wreaths, are simple to make and deliver to loved ones, including friends in assisted living who may not have family able to visit during the season.

5. Joy of baking

Many holiday memories are made in the kitchen, and holiday cookies are a simple and fun way to spend time together baking. Cookie-baking days are good holiday activities for seniors because they can mix  the dough, cut out shapes, and decorate alongside their grandchildren, then keep some cookies to snack on and share with neighbors and staff in their senior living communities.

6. Decor galore

If your loved one misses having a house all decked out for the holidays, make it your mission to bring all that holiday cheer to them. Christmas trees and other seasonal decorations come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s easy to find options that fit your loved one’s living space, whether it’s a private apartment or shared suite. Decorating parties can be great Hanukkah, Winter Solstice,  Kwanzaa, or Christmas activities for assisted living residents who need help getting in the spirit of the season. Make it a big day by giving everyone their own job, turning on some seasonal music, and rewarding your hard work with a celebratory meal together.

7. Holiday story book

Tell your family’s unique collection of holiday memories with a book that depicts each person’s favorite memory in text and images. With numerous options for self-publishing, you’re sure to find an affordable option. Make the effort extra special by printing copies for everyone in the family so each household can treasure the book for years to come.

8. Photobook guessing game

You probably have generations worth of holiday photos that are a great foundation for all kinds of holiday activities for seniors. For example, you could compile the photos into an album or book, and make a game out of having everyone guess what year it was and what was happening in the photos.

9. Gift-wrapping party

Once the shopping is done, the work has only just begun. For seniors who may have a little trouble with intricate wrapping, you can turn the chore of wrapping gifts into a more festive and enjoyable affair. Turn up the holiday music, add some seasonal refreshments, and convert the dining table into a gift wrapping station where you can turn this chore into a fun-filled day.

10. Family photos

There’s no time like the holidays to gather the family for professional portraits. Put on  your holiday best and invite each branch of the family tree to attend a photoshoot for individual families, special shots like siblings and multiple generations, pjus one of the entire gang.

Celebrating Everyday Living

At Springpoint Living at Manalapan, we know the holidays play an important role in our residents’ lives — and we love having a reason for some festive fun! — but we also celebrate the joy in every day. Learn more about our assisted living and memory care community by contacting us or planning a visit.

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