Retirement communities everywhere are gearing up for another wonderful Thanksgiving season, a time when they can celebrate with residents and their families, and give thanks for the great things happening in their lives. Making this time special for those who are living in retirement communities is an essential part of ensuring that seniors enjoy this time. The key to a great Thanksgiving holiday is to prepare activities that motivate senior residents to participate in the festivities. Here are some ideas to get residents of retirement communities excited about the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend!
- Decorate for fall. Decorating throughout the retirement communities so that everyone can get in the spirit of Thanksgiving is a great way to kick off the celebrations. Encourage residents to make decorations for common areas, gardens, hallways and even the doors to their room or apartment.
- Host a Thanksgiving dinner. Most communities make plans to have a huge Thanksgiving dinner for their residents, including some of the holiday staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet yams, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. One great way to involve residents is to ask them what are their favorites, and feature some resident-inspired dishes in the feast. Another option? Hold a potluck of sorts, where family members and those residents who are able to cook contribute dishes near and dear to their hearts.
- Grandparent/grandchildren activities. Often the greatest joy for grandparents is to have their grandchildren visit and take part in activities during the holidays. For instance, planning outings to a local pumpkin patch – or having one on-site – where grandparents can spend quality time with their grandchildren is a wonderful way to keep family time and togetherness at the forefront of the holiday. Planning Thanksgiving-themed craft days with the children, or having the kids put together Thanksgiving-themed plays and skits for their grandparents, can be entertaining and fun for the entire community.
- Holiday movie marathons. One of the best parts of the holiday season that kicks off with Thanksgiving is the amazing holiday-themed movies that have been made through the years. Make a list of some of the resident favorites and have a holiday-themed movie night, complete with some Thanksgiving treats and holiday goodies.
- What are you thankful for? Perhaps as part of the holiday movie marathon, or even just to screen during Thanksgiving dinner, have someone make a video interviewing residents individually and asking them for what are they most thankful. Play the video for everyone, and make copies for each of the residents as a gift. This will keep them encouraged and serve as a wonderful keepsake of the holiday season they can share with family and friends.
Alternatives for Seniors has a more comprehensive and detailed list of holiday ideas available. Find assisted living or retirement communities at Alternatives for Seniors, which offers a directory (in print and online) that specifically caters to the senior housing and care concerns of senior citizens and their families. Gain access to information from thousands of nationwide health and care facilities, including independent living, assisted living, nursing care, and more, without ever leaving your computer. Be social, too! Join our Facebook and Twitter community for the latest news and information on housing for seniors.