Celebrate Thanksgiving and Halloween 2022 with Your Senior Loved One in a Retirement Community
Published on September 30, 2022
With the upcoming holidays and celebrations, it is the perfect time to plan some quality time with your loved ones who are living in retirement communities. Thanksgiving and Halloween can both hold special memories for members of the family regardless of their age.
Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving with Loved Ones in a Retirement Residences
At retirement communities, holidays such as Thanksgiving are marked with activities, games, guests, and a special dinner. But despite all the fun activities planned within the community, many seniors can still feel extremely lonely. This is why it is important for family and/or close friends to enjoy quality time with their loved ones.
Below are some tips for caregivers looking for unique bonding experiences with their senior loved ones living in retirement communities.
Create Hand-Made Cards
In the days before and during Thanksgiving weekend, most retirement living communities hold fun arts and crafts activities. If you cannot make it to one of the timed events, take along a basket of supplies and create hand-made cards with your loved one. This traditional family activity is a great way to spend quality time while making a tangible product to enjoy for years to come.
Prepare Home Cooked Meals
Cooking is a great, and tasty, way to get everyone involved in the preparation of the holiday. VIVA Communities have craft kitchens that can be used for cooking and baking with family and friends. They also have private dining rooms that can be booked for private events if you want to be creative and bring food from home. Food is an amazing bonding experience as old teaches young and vice versa new and forgotten skills.
Plan a Gratitude Tree and Decorations
Regardless of your religion or culture, there are many ways to mark the occasion of Thanksgiving and give thanks. One activity is to create a gratitude tree. Use magazines, postcards, and other visual aids to build a poster of the things each member of the family is thankful for.
Invite Your Other Loved Ones
Invite other family members to join in the holiday fun with your mutual loved one. If possible, have those living at a distance come stay with you over the holiday weekend. Imagine the joy on your loved one’s face to have their family together again.
Plan Different Games and Activities
See if the retirement community has various board games, cards, dominos, or other enjoyable activities available to use. If not, be sure to pick a game or two up on your way to the retirement community. If your loved one has dementia, stick to easy games for all involved.
Relive Old Memories with Seniors
Whether your loved one has Alzheimer’s Disease or other memory loss, you can spend quiet time talking to your loved one about their own recollections of past holidays. Use old family photo albums and special heirloom objects to spark memories.
Surprise Them with Customized Gifts
Show your loved one how much you care by surprising them with personalized gifts. From homemade quilts to monogramed towels and special family photo albums, presenting a thoughtful gift is the best way to express your love.
Tips for Celebrating Halloween with Loved Ones in Retirement Homes
Like Thanksgiving, Halloween holds precious memories of childhood days, for both you and your senior loved one. The anticipation during the days leading up to Halloween can be easily relived with fun and spooky activities.
Create Halloween Costumes
Halloween costumes do not have to come from a store. Use makeup, old sheets and clothes, and household items to piece together a costume for everyone. Ghosts, witches, and animals are just a few fun ideas! Extend the fun into a mini costume parade, complete with judging and Halloween treat bags for prizes.
Decorate Their Living Space with a Halloween Theme
Whether your loved one’s retirement community goes all out for Halloween or just hangs a few decorations, there is no reason their home can’t be transformed, especially if they love this holiday. Stick to a fun or spooky theme, whichever they enjoy the most.
Plan a Surprise Get Together
As social activities are a staple in maintaining the emotional and mental state of older people, plan a Halloween surprise party for them. Have themed snacks, traditional games, and trick-or-treat bags prepared for the day.
Bring Sweet Treats and Candies
Age has no limits when it comes to special treats and candies, especially at Halloween. Bake Halloween-themed cupcakes and cookies and pick up their favourite chocolate bars, chips, or candies at the store before the visit. Many specialty stores sell candies found in stores years ago. Don’t worry, the candy isn’t that old!
Pumpkin Carving and Painting
What screams Halloween more than carving or painting a pumpkin? Everyone loves to see a funny or scary face on a pumpkin! Depending on the physical and mental capability of your loved one, a pumpkin that cannot be carved safety with a knife can be painted instead.
Plan a Movie Marathon
In lieu of reliving the days of trick-or-treating, plan an afternoon or evening of watching Halloween movies. Put up a bed sheet on a wall and turn your phone or tablet into a movie projector for the theatre experience. Some Halloween themed shows include Young Frankenstein, It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and Alfred Hitchcock’s movies.
Listen or Read Halloween Stories
If your loved one is a booklover, consider spending Halloween time reading a “scary” book or listening to an audiobook. Famous reads include The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Dracula, and Frankenstein. Having the younger generation read to the senior one can also be a special treat!
Learn About VIVA Retirement Communities in Ontario
Thanksgiving and Halloween are just two of the special holidays celebrated in style at VIVA Retirement Communities. We focus on the health, comfort, and social well-being of all our Community Members, team members, and guests.