Christmas is a special time of year for the whole family. But Christmas for seniors can be a time when they feel lonely and left out. If you have an elderly relative or neighbor, why not include them in the holiday celebrations.
Some of the best ways to spread holiday cheer are actually very simple. Just spending some quality time with them can make all the difference.
If you’re looking for some gift ideas that will help make Christmas special for seniors, consider getting them something that will help them stay connected with loved ones.
A photo album or scrapbook is a great way to help them keep memories alive, and a digital photo frame is a wonderful way for them to display pictures of their friends and family.
Here are some ideas of Christmas activities for seniors to make sure your elderly loved one has a special holiday season:
1. Bring the Christmas cheer to them. If your elderly loved one can’t come to you, then go to their own home! Bring along some holiday decorations and music to help get them into the festive spirit.
2. Start a new tradition. If your elderly loved one is unable to travel or doesn’t have many family members nearby, consider starting a new tradition. This could be something as simple as having a special dinner on Christmas Eve or going for a holiday-themed outing.
3. Make sure they’re included. Whether your elderly loved one is living at home or in a nursing facility, make sure they’re included in the holiday festivities. This might mean decorating their room or taking them to a holiday party.
4. Keep them active. Many seniors become more sedentary as they age, which can lead to boredom and depression. During the holidays, make sure your elderly loved one is getting enough exercise. This could mean going for walks together or participating in an exercise class.
5. Stimulate their mind. Games, puzzles, and other mental activities are great ways to keep an elderly person entertained. This is especially important if they’re dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Get them involved in volunteering. The holidays are a great time to give back to the community. If your elderly loved one is able, consider involving them in a volunteering opportunity. This could be anything from wrapping gifts at a local hospital to delivering meals to home bound seniors.
7. Connect with other family and friends. The holidays can be a lonely time for seniors, especially if they live alone or are estranged from family members. Make an effort to connect with them, whether it’s through a phone call, text, email, or video chat. Even if you can’t be there in person, let them know you’re thinking of them.
8. Christmas caroling. This can be a fun activity, even if you are just doing it indoors as a family with friends gathered. But if you can get out and go caroling through the neighborhood, that can be fun too.
9. Reminisce through photos and videos. It’s wonderful to spend some time with your older adults and hear the stories of how they grew up, family members long gone, etc.
10. Record their stories. Along with reminiscing, you can also video record them telling their stories and you may even want to “interview” them. Ask them questions about their lives and their parents’ lives.
11. Take them on a special outing. Sometimes the best way to beat the holiday blues is to get out of the house and do something fun. If your schedule permits, take your elderly loved one on a special outing, like to see the holiday lights or go ice skating.
12. The best gift can be one that keeps on giving. A subscription to a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu would be a great option, or you could get them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or store.
13. Help them stay connected. Social media can be a great way for elderly loved ones to stay connected with family and friends, especially if they live far away. If your loved one isn’t already on social media, help them set up an account and show them how to use it.
14. Plan regular outings. If you live nearby, make a plan to go out on special weekly or monthly outings with them. This could be a Wednesday lunch date or a movie date once a month, etc.
15. Give them the gift of connection. A gift like Amazon’s Echo Show can be used for many different skills but one great skill is video chats. Get yourself an Echo Show and the two of you can connect virtually.
16. Collect some great DVD movies. Make it a regular date night with them to watch some of their (and yours too) favorite movies. Put that DVD player to good use!
17. Play games together. Games are a fun way to spend time with someone of any age. Whether you play cards, chess, or another type of game, you’re sure to have a good time.
18. Do some of your favorite Christmas crafts together. Crafts are a great way to pass the time and can be very therapeutic. If you’re not sure what kind of craft to do, look online for ideas or ask the person you’re crafting with for suggestions.
There are many different kinds of Christmas crafts for elderly adults that you and your loved one can enjoy.
19. Put together a Gingerbread house! It’s not just for kids, putting together a gingerbread house or even an entire gingerbread village can be a lot of fun for everyone involved!
20. Conduct a donation drive. Start a neighborhood campaign to gather donated toys for a local toy drive.
21. Create some homemade food gifts. You can share these with neighbors and friends! Anything from homemade tomato sauce to Pumpkin Butter, etc. This is always a thoughtful gift to give. Here are some wonderful recipes that you can try.
22. Make a meal like your grandparents made. Some of our best memories are of the foods that our mothers used to make. And that doesn’t go away no matter how old you are. So, pull out those recipes or do the best you can to replicate the wonderful meals they made.
23. Read a Christmas classic. Gather friends and/or family in front of a fire (real or fake), serve some hot cocoa and cookies and read Twas The Night Before Christmas!
24. Make some homemade Christmas tree decorations. It could be stringing popcorn, or creating ornaments.
25. Advent calendar. Create your very own advent calendar filled with your own personal little gifts or things to do for each day of the month.
26. Have conversation pieces around. A game like I Should Have Known That or an interesting knick knack will do.
27. Christmas cookies are a must! It just doesn’t seem like Christmas without the cookies, right? So pull out your favorite recipes and get baking. This can be a fun thing to do with the younger generation in the house.
28. Get moving with a great activity game. This Angler Ring Toss Game can be a fun Christmas activity that you can play every year!
29. Play some holiday music. Especially if you include the kind of music that your senior loved ones enjoy!
30. For those living in a senior living community. If your senior loved ones are in an assisted living or nursing home, join whatever celebration they are providing for their residents.
Note: If your senior loved one is inflicted with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, take a look at our December Activities For Seniors With Dementia for some activity ideas.
All in all, there are so many special ways that you can show the older adults in your life how much you appreciate and love them.
Christmas activities for elderly adults can be incorporated into traditional family events or new traditions. Either way, they can be fun and enjoyable for everyone.
Ideas For Holiday Craft Projects
For many families, holiday crafts are just part of the festivities. You probably have the traditional ones that you enjoy doing but here are some ideas if you are looking for some new crafts to make this year.
Here are some great books filled with fun holiday craft ideas.
- Homemade Holiday
- Christmas Papercraft Village
- Seaglass Crafts
- The Eco Christmas Craft Books
- Primarily Pine Cones
- Tissue Paper Magic
These are some really great ideas for holiday crafts. I hope you have a lot of fun making them!
What Makes A Christmas Memorable?
For me, it’s always been about the little things. The laughter of my friends and family. The warmth of a fire on a cold winter’s night. The smell of fresh pine needles in the air.
But more than anything, it’s the memories that we make during this time of year that make Christmas truly special.
Yes, it’s always wonderful to get and give great gifts, but the holidays for me are so much more than that.
Think about what can make your Christmas time memorable.
Whether it’s decorating the tree together, baking cookies or simply spending time around the table catching up on old times, it’s the moments that we share that make this holiday so memorable.
These ideas we’ve listed for Christmas activities for the elderly can help to give you some of your own ideas for you and your family and friends.
So this year, take the time to create some new memories with your loved ones. Whether it’s taking a walk in the snow, watching your favorite holiday movie or simply sitting by the fire chatting, make sure to savor every moment.
After all, it’s the little things that make Christmas so magical. Merry Christmas!
How Do You Keep An Elderly Person Entertained?
I remember that my elderly mother used to just sit on the sofa and smile at everyone but not participate when she came to family gatherings. Although she had no trouble hearing, she seemed to not want to participate.
It can be difficult to find activities to help keep everyone of all ages entertained.
But here are a few ideas that may help you and your family.
- Try to have people there that they can socialize with and interact on a regular basis. That may mean inviting friends of their age group to your event.
- Try to have plenty of activities to do that are interesting to them. Some things that they might enjoy include working on puzzles, playing cards or other games, reading, listening to music, or watching television.
- It is important to make sure that they have a variety of activities available so that they can choose what they want to do and are not bored.
- Invite them to help you to prepare a dish or write some Christmas cards or make some ornaments or decorate the tree. Anything that can be useful and helpful for you and purposeful for them.
- Create a scavenger hunt within your house. This can be a lot of fun for everyone.
- If your local community or church is presenting a Christmas play or event, pack everyone up and enjoy the entertainment.
Some of these events require some planning ahead but it will be worth it when you see the enjoyment on your elderly loved one’s face.
Include them in as much of the Christmas festivities as possible and they will feel valuable, needed and loved. Most importantly, they will feel like they belong.
How Family Caregivers Can Cope Through The Holidays
The holiday season is a time for family, friends and loved ones to get together and celebrate. However, for those who are responsible for taking care of elderly parents, the holidays can be a challenging time. Here are some tips on how you can cope as a caregiver during this festive period:
1. Plan ahead
When it comes to caring for elderly parents, planning ahead is key. This means making sure that you have enough help lined up in advance so that you can take a break when you need to. If possible, try to get family or friends to pitch in with the caregiving duties so that you can have some time off.
2. Take some time for yourself
It’s important to remember that you need to take care of yourself as well. This means making time for activities that you enjoy outside of caring for your parents. Whether it’s going for a walk, reading a book or taking a yoga class, make sure to schedule in some “me time” so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
3. Simplify your holiday plans
The holidays can be a hectic time of year, so it’s important to simplify your plans as much as possible. This means avoiding big gatherings and instead focusing on quality time with close family and friends. Keep the menu simple and don’t try to do too much. The most important thing is that you enjoy the holidays and don’t get too stressed out.
4. Ask for help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help from other family members or friends. This can be a big relief, and it will help you to enjoy the holidays more.
5. Take breaks
Caregiving can be exhausting, so make sure to take breaks when you need them. This might mean taking a few minutes to yourself every day, or taking a weekend away if possible. It’s important that you take care of yourself so that you can be the best caregiver possible.
The holidays can be a difficult time for family caregivers, but by following these tips you can make it through. Just remember to take things one day at a time, and ask for help when you need it.