Geriatric psychiatry research has proven that the holidays can be a depressing time of the year for the elderly. Many of a facility’s residents may not have family members or friends who live nearby. Therefore, it is up the the caregivers to make Christmas a merry time of the year, for the residents.
Participating in holiday activities can help the residents enjoy the holiday season. Of course, you need to take their physical and mental health into account while planning activities. Therefore, it is important that you plan activities that all of the residents can enjoy.
Activities for Everyone
Concert Night - Have a local choir, Girl Scout group, church group or other group stop by and sing Christmas carols. Offer refreshments and cookies for everyone to enjoy.
Holiday Party - A holiday party is something everyone enjoys. You may need the assistance of the kitchen staff to help make snacks and holiday cookies, if that is not possible, ask each caregiver to bring in an item that can be shared. Play Christmas music, games, and allow the residents to socialize with the other residents.
Christmas Tree Decorating Party – You can never have to many parties during the holidays. Set up a few Christmas trees and have the residents decorate them. Be sure to supervise closely and help out, so no one gets hurt trying to reach a high branch to put a decoration on. Play some Christmas music and let the residents visit. Even if some of the residents don’t want to participate in decorating a tree, they can still enjoy themselves watching and visiting with other residents.
Holiday Movies – Starting about two weeks before Christmas – have a holiday movie night; you can choose to have a nightly movie, a movie three times a week or once a week, whatever works best for the residents and the facility. Be sure to offer each movie goer a beverage and holiday themed snack (upon arrival and one that is suitable for their diet.)
Christmas is a magical time of year, make sure all your elderly residents enjoy the holiday season!