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Family Holiday Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living

family baking together

What makes the holidays such a magical time of year? Is it the delicious treats, the cheerful decorations and the exchange of gifts? That’s certainly part of it. Perhaps more fundamentally, it’s the pleasure of engaging in treasured traditions and connecting with loved ones to make new memories.

But if your parent or grandparent is a resident in an assisted living community, you may be wondering how best to bring the holiday spirit to their lives. These holiday activities for seniors can be a great place to start.

Host a Cookie-Baking Day

Many holiday memories are cooked up in the kitchen. Gather your family and the necessary ingredients and have a baking party. Whether you make time-honored family favorites or try the newest holiday cookie recipes, older adults and kids alike can enjoy mixing, baking, decorating — and sampling — the treats you make together. Plus, your loved one can take a tin of cookies home to snack on through the season and to share with friends and staff in their assisted living community.

Make Holiday-Inspired Crafts

Like baking, crafting is fun for all ages, providing the perfect multigenerational activity. For seniors, there’s a bonus benefit, since making things with their hands can help older adults maintain motor skills, and boost cognitive and neurological function. Try making gingerbread houses from graham crackers or, for a more lasting creation, craft an easy yarn wreath or a colorful wreath from fabric scraps. Your loved one will have festive décor for their assisted living apartment and — depending on how many you make — holiday decor to share with friends and neighbors in their community.

Enjoy Community Events

Tree lighting ceremonies, parades and holiday concerts are just a few of the community events that can spark the holiday spirit in you and your loved one. Even something as simple as an evening drive to view the festive lights in your neighborhood can be a fun holiday activity for seniors. It offers a change of scene and infuses holiday magic into everyday life.

Have a Holiday Card-Writing Extravaganza

Sending holiday cards is often a solitary task squeezed into occasional moments of free time. This year, try a different method — make it an event that includes the whole family. Whether you approach it with assembly-line orderliness or as a free-for-all of stickers, stamps and cheerful salutations, you and your loved ones will enjoy reminiscing and creating together as you revive the lost art of letter writing.

Capture Photo Moments

Holiday gatherings are the perfect opportunity to take photos of your loved ones. What’s more, snapshots, selfies and formally posed photos make wonderful gifts. Use a professional service to create a printed photo book, collect the photos in small albums to give away, or present loved ones with favorite photos in a frame. However you choose to share them, pictures make cherished keepsakes and will inspire fond memories all year round.

Add Seasonal Decorations

If your loved one misses having a house filled with holiday decorations, make it your mission to help them decorate their assisted living apartment. Seasonal decorations come in many different sizes, so it’s easy to find options that fit your loved one’s residence. Make decorating another excuse for a family gathering. Turn on holiday music, supply treats and assign everyone a task as you work holiday magic on your loved one’s living space.

 Collect Family Memories

Holiday rituals are sure to stir sweet memories for your loved one. Take time to ask them about holidays past and record their stories. Ask other family members for cherished recollections, too. Gather these stories — and family photos — together and look for self-publishing options so you can reproduce this keepsake for everyone in the family.

Put a Bow on Top

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. With holiday movies playing in the background and a variety of wrapping papers, ribbons, tags and embellishments, you have the makings of another fun holiday get-together.

Celebrating Everyday Living

At Monticello West we love incorporating festive holiday activities for seniors into our calendar of events. In fact, we think every day of the year should provide an opportunity for fun. Residents in our assisted living community receive the helping hand they need to be as independent as possible, and to make the most of the many social, cultural and recreational activities we offer. Learn more about our assisted living community by contacting us or planning a visit.