Holiday time can be enjoyable for older adults even if they can’t participate fully in every activity. Feeling included is the most important part of enjoying the holidays. Even if your senior has physical or cognitive issues, they can still have a good time and feel like part of the group.
ADJUST ACTIVITIES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
Some older adults don’t enjoy big groups while some love being the center of attention. Some love to get out of their home and some are homebodies. Be sure to customize activities to suit their personality and special needs.
For example, someone with Alzheimer’s may want to stay in a separate room and only greet a few family members at a time to keep things calm and avoid overstimulation.
Another example is a senior with declining vision. They might enjoy being in a busy room while someone describes what’s happening to help them “see” what’s going on around them.
12 FUN ACTIVITY IDEAS
Every older adult has different abilities, likes and dislikes. If you have a variety of options ready, you’ll have a good chance of finding something that the whole family can enjoy. Here are a dozen ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- Card Games
- Board Games
- Reading Aloud
- Listening to Your Senior’s Favorite Music
- Prompt Kids to Ask About “The Olden Days’
- Watching Movies Together–at home or in a theater
- Family Walk Around the Neighborhood or in a Local Park
- Strolling Around the Mall
- Online Shopping for Things Your Older Adult Needs
- Enjoying Tea or Coffee Together
- Baking Cookies
- Cooking or Preparing Food–there are tasks for many ability levels
PACE ACTIVITIES AND STICK TO ROUTINES
Older adults have less energy and stamina, so watch for signs of fatigue and suggest break or naps. Changing routines can also be tough for seniors to adjust to, so it’s always a good idea to stick to their normal routine as much as possible. Older adults should join in the fun whenever possible, but be careful not to do overdo it.