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Family Holiday Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living

family baking together

The magic of the holidays doesn’t depend on having a pile of gifts to unwrap. The real joy comes from celebrating treasured traditions and creating memories with your loved ones. But when your parents or grandparents are residents in an assisted living community, you may wonder how to include them in your holiday festivities. Our list of holiday activities for seniors will spark bright ideas for bringing the holiday spirit to your loved one’s life — and to yours!

1. Host a Holiday Card-Writing Party

Gather holiday cards, envelopes, stickers, washi tape, pens, markers, rubber stamps, postage stamps — and your loved ones — and make your holiday correspondence a family affair. Working together, tasks like addressing envelopes, writing a cheery note and adding a festive sticker will inspire laughter, fond reminiscences and a delightful sense of togetherness — especially when mixed with holiday cookies and music.

2: Attend Community Events

Local events, such as a performance of “The Nutcracker” or carols sung by a local choir can be wonderful holiday activities for seniors, as can an evening tour of holiday light displays in your neighborhood. Such outings provide a change of scenery and a chance to enjoy favorite holiday experiences with the larger community. If transportation concerns are giving you pause, see if you can arrange for help through your loved one’s assisted living community.

3: Craft Some Holiday Magic

Holiday craft projects offer numerous benefits. Crafting is not only fun, it can support cognitive, neurological and sensory-motor function, and it produces a tangible reward. Holiday crafts, like a wreath made from ribbon or pre-made bows, can be simple to make, and result in lovely gifts your loved one can share with others, including friends in assisted living who may not have family able to visit during the season.

4: Celebrate the Joy of Baking

The kitchen is the scene of many great holiday memories — and tastes and aromas. So gather your family and spend time together baking holiday cookies or other traditional favorites. Older adults, kids and everyone in between can participate in mixing dough, cutting out shapes and decorating. Plus, after a cookie-baking day, your loved one will have treats to snack on and share with neighbors and staff in their senior living community.

5: Deck the Halls

Help your loved one get into the spirit of the season by bringing holiday décor to brighten their residence. Seasonal decorations come in all shapes and sizes, making it easy to find options that fit your loved one’s living space. For another fun holiday activity for seniors, consider making it a decorating party — with music, food and togetherness you can instill happy memories in the festive décor, as well. 

6. Make Your Own Holiday Story Book

Interview your loved one — and other family members as well — about their favorite holiday memories. Add family photos, and explore options for turning this collection of cherished family memories into a book. Make enough copies for everyone in the family and you’ll have the perfect holiday gift to share and to cherish for years to come.

7: Capture the Memories

Take advantage of family togetherness to snap lots of photos. Or take a more formal approach and have everyone sit for a planned group photo. Try different family groupings — siblings in one photo, then a multigenerational snapshot. Also, put your smartphone to good use and capture precious moments on video.

8: Wrap It Up

Gift-wrapping can be as enjoyably creative as making holiday décor. Find inspiration online, and make wrapping presents another fun holiday activity for your loved one and family to share in. Turn on holiday music, bring some of the treats you’ve made, convert the dining table into a gift-wrapping station and you have a recipe for another festive holiday occasion.

Celebrating Everyday Living

At Autumn Leaves 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. With a full calendar of activities and events — and a supportive staff to offer a helping hand when needed — residents in our assisted living community, enjoy the highest level of independence possible and a cheerfully, festive lifestyle year-round. Contact us to learn more about our assisted living community or to plan a visit.

You Are Invited to Experience Our Community!

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