This month, we’re looking ahead to December with holiday activities galore! Elves, Fires, Holiday Movies, and more! What seniors living community doesn’t love getting festive during the holiday season?
Elf on the Shelf is a new Holiday tradition for many families. Parents place this small, flexible elf doll in a different spot each day in December. Why should kids get all the fun? Try these Elf on the Shelf holiday activities for seniors:
Elf on the Shelf is also a perfect opportunity to bond with visiting grandchildren, too.
To encourage your residents to meet new friends, launch a secret Santa program. Residents are given another randomly selected resident. Then, they anonymously leave one small gift each week. If a gift is too much to ask of residents, you can do a Secret Santa note exchange. In late December, hold a secret Santa “reveal” party where seniors can mingle and meet their new friend.
Getting cozy by the fire. It’s a simple yet beloved holiday tradition. Plus, holiday activities for seniors feel more festive when held fireside. Don’t have an actual hearth? No worries. You can still create the same effect:
Fireside holiday activities for seniors include:
When the weather outside is frightful, holiday movies are delightful. Create a weekly holiday movie series – it’s one of the easiest holiday activities for seniors. Turn on nostalgic classics like It’s a Wonderful Life as well as new favourites like The Polar Express. Or, let residents vote on the movies they want to see.
Imagine the joy when a resident opens their door to smiling, singing faces. Get a group of your residents together who have an interest in singing or choir and go door-to-door singing carols to residents and staff.
Santa can still bring us so much joy. So why not invite Santa into your residence! You can serve hot chocolate, play carols and take photos. If your senior residence allows pets, let Santa pose for photos with their beloved companion.
Seniors like to know they can still make a difference. Empower them by setting up a giving tree in your lobby. Residents and visitors can decorate the tree with (new) hats and gloves to be donated to a local homeless shelter or add gifts under the tree to donate to The Salvation Army.
Gift-giving is an important holiday tradition for many seniors and sometimes they need a little help – and extra supplies like tape, ribbon, and wrapping paper. Get your residents and staff together for an afternoon and help your residents wrap their gifts and write their holiday cards. As everyone wraps together, residents and staff can bond over favourite holiday stories.
If your community has access to a bus or van, take your residents on a tour of local homes that are decorated for the holidays. Residents will enjoy taking a short trip to enjoy the decorations and the beautiful twinkling lights. Make it cozier by offering some hot chocolate and baked goodies.
Nothing says the holidays like Gingerbread. And the best part, it’s just so darn tasty. Get your residents together and bake some gingerbread cookies together. Purchase some supplies to decorate Gingerbread Men: mints, sprinkles, icing! This will be a great activity to bring people together and enjoy something delicious at the end. Here’s a recipe to help you get started.
We hope you found some inspiring activity ideas to try out with residents in your senior living community! If this list sparked your creativity, sign up for our newsletter to get even more fun activity ideas sent to your inbox. Every resident’s well-being is at the heart of what we do.
Wendy studies English Language and Literature at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.
Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.
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