The holiday season is upon us and brings with it numerous opportunities for turning typical days at your community into seasonal experiences. Treat October in Canada as a month-long Thanksgiving celebration with regular themed activities scattered throughout. The residents in your community can get involved by helping decorate and plan for the big day, and everyone will have plenty of incentive to think about all that’s been good in their lives past and present.
The whole point of Thanksgiving is to consider and share what you’re most thankful for. You can start that part of the celebration early, by setting up a tree in one of your community’s shared spaces that residents can hang notes on that say what they’re thankful about. On Thanksgiving Day, you can pull the notes down and share them with the whole group.
Combine two of the most popular symbols of fall with these Thanksgiving gourd turkeys that can be used to decorate your lobby and dining area. They can add some colour and cuteness to your home, and the template provided makes getting the craft just right easy for any resident that chooses to participate.
Everyone’s got their family traditions and, while there’s probably some overlap in what your residents’ families have typically made for Thanksgiving, there are probably some unique family recipes that bring back fond memories for the individuals in the home. Let everyone submit their favourites and share them with the group to take a vote. The items that win will get made for the Thanksgiving feast on the big day.
Colourful felted acorns can get you in the autumn spirit (especially if you stick with traditional fall colours like brown, orange, and yellow) and give your residents something productive to work on for an afternoon. If you string them together into a garland, you have a handy decoration for any room in the assisted living facility.
Reflecting on what you are thankful for is one thing, letting the people in your life that have helped make it better know how much they mean to you is another. You could do this anytime in October, but it might have the most impact if you time it so the letters will likely arrive on or around Thanksgiving Day. You can add a craft component to the letter-writing by encouraging your residents’ to make some Thanksgiving-themed homemade stationary.
In preparation for the big day, invite your craft-inclined residents to help you make some adorable turkey place cards for everyone who will be attending the Thanksgiving meal. These can be made from a few simple materials, including apples, almonds, and peanuts.
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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