Fighting the holiday blues can be a formidable objective for the elderly in a nursing home. Spruce up your senior residents holiday with fun, exciting activities. Explore nursing home holiday ideas like a red hat luncheon or New Year's Day party.
A Few Nursing Home Holiday Ideas for Christmas
Christmas and New Year's Eve are a special time of year that most people have celebrated their entire lives. Just because a retired person is now in a nursing home is no reason why the holidays can't still be a time of celebration and revelry.
- Santa Hat Luncheon: Host a luncheon and invite residents to wear a Santa hat if they'd like. Combine with an arts and crafts session beforehand where residents can decorate a simple and inexpensive felt hat with baubles, bling and put a unique style on the hat that is all their own. Offer Christmas themed goodies at the luncheon, such as a wide variety of Christmas themed cookies, hot chocolate and popcorn balls. Hold a contest and provide awards for the most original hat, prettiest hat, ugliest hat, and so on.
- Night Before Christmas: Celebrate Christmas Eve with a movie marathon. Watch tried and true favorites such as It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas. Complete the evening with a visit from Santa, who will pass out a small gift to each resident or candy canes if you're on a tight budget.
- Sing Alongs: Area schools and churches often have choirs that will be happy to come in and perform some Christmas carols for a fun sign along. Be sure to find out what songs the choir will be singing ahead of time and provide lyrics in large print for residents to sing along.
- Decorate the Rooms: Allow family, friends and volunteers to come in and decorate each resident's room with a few festive decorations. Small Christmas trees and garland can add a real festive touch. Since many residents may get depressed during the holidays, particular if they do not have a lot of family, a small detail like a cheerful room can make a big difference.
- Shopping Day: Plan an outing for residents who are able to leave the home so that they can get their Christmas shopping done. For those who are unable to leave the home, have a holiday store they can visit on premises to purchase a few items for gift giving, such as bath soaps, small stuffed toys and other items.
Ideas to Celebrate New Year's Eve
It's important to celebrate each new year and think about things to look forward to in the coming year. These festivities can help mark the occasion:
- Celebrate on UK Time: If residents do not wish to stay up until midnight in their own time zone, consider ringing in the new year with the United Kingdom. The time difference is about five hours, so you can ring in the new year at seven p.m. instead of midnight. If the nursing home is located on the west coast, then it becomes quite easy to celebrate earlier with the east coast.
- Resolution Shuffle: Have each resident print their New Year's resolution on a 3 x 5 card, shuffle them all together and pass out. Each person must then match the resolution with the correct resident by asking questions until they find the owner of the resolution. This is a great mixer activity and helps residents get to know one another better. It also creates an occasion for ongoing dialogue as they keep up with one another throughout the year and see how the resolutions are going.
- New Year's Day: Keeping families involved with residents can be vital. Consider having an event on New Year's Day that family and friends can attend. Since most people outside of the nursing home will have plans on New Year's Eve, you have a much better chance of getting family to visit on New Year's Day. Just don't plan the event too early in the day. Remember that everyone was out late the evening before.
The Perfect Event
When it comes to planning events and gathering nursing home holiday ideas, there is no limit to the number of things that could be planned. Consider that holiday schedules are already packed, plan a few really memorable events and enjoy the season!