Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This joyous occasion brings us various opportunities to change a typical day into something special in the senior living community. Here are the top 5 Thanksgiving activities that residents in a senior living community will surely enjoy.
- Thanksgiving Dinner
It is important that the seniors, especially the new ones, adapt to their new life in their new home. One of the best ways to help achieve that is to show them things that are familiar them. This is why a Thanksgiving dinner filled with traditional dishes is a great idea.
For many years, senior living communities all over the country have celebrated Thanksgiving with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Aside from the usual turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, you should add pumpkin pies and cookies cut into various shapes (turkey, pumpkins, and cornucopias) to for some variation.
Do not forget to add some Thanksgiving themed touches for decorations. Fill the room with pumpkins, and have cornucopias as table center pieces!
- Have a Gratitude Tree
Give the seniors the chance to share what they are most thankful for. After all, this occasion is all about giving thanks to all the good things that fell upon us.
The Gratitude Tree need not to be elaborated on. It just needs to be pleasing to the eye – bonus points if it has Thanksgiving themed colors. With a jar, some wooden sticks, and decorative ribbons, you can make your own Gratitude Tree.
Once the tree is done, ask the residents to write on a scrapbook paper the things that they are most thankful for. Once the paper is written, tie the paper onto the tree using the decorative ribbons.
- Have a Family Recipe Cook-Off
For sure, nothing will make the seniors happier than to have their loved ones beside them in this happy occasion. Since every family surely has their own traditions during Thanksgiving, why not share these traditions with the rest of the community?
For this activity, do not forget to send invites to the seniors’ family and inform them about the competition. Get contestants from the seniors, and have a family member or two to help them. At the end of the competition, everybody will happy with a full tummy.
- Grandparent and Grandchild Pumpkin Design Competition
Again, this activity involves the seniors’ family members, so do not forget to send invites in advance. Take note of the number of grandchildren who will be attending and prepare sufficient number of pumpkins for the event.
At a common area in the community, create a faux pumpkin patch decorated with hay bales. Put a scarecrow if you can! Then, during the day of the activity, the seniors and their grandchildren will decorate a pumpkin together. This pumpkin will then be added to the pumpkin patch.
- Invite a Youth Chorus
Aside from family members, special visitors can also bring joy to the seniors. For this activity, you need to coordinate with a youth chorus or a local theater troupe in the area. You can contact the school nearest to your senior living community as they surely have both these groups there.
Just make sure to plan this activity way ahead of time as it needs a lot of coordination with a school personnel. Remember that the performance might need to be done at least a day before Thanksgiving, as the children will have to be at home during the day itself.
It is not easy to plan Thanksgiving activities for seniors in a senior living community, but it is easy to remember the reason why we are doing this. It is our duty to make sure that they are happy and are well-adjusted in their new home.
Written by The Village Of Bedford Walk, a senior living community in Columbia, MO.