Your loved one likely celebrated New Year’s Eve with family and friends. This might be more difficult now if your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s. By choosing the appropriate New Year’s Eve activities, you can still involve your loved one in the celebrations at our Oceanside senior living community.
Here are our top ten picks for family-friendly and Oceanside senior living NYE activities.
1. New Year’s Resolutions
This one’s easy: help your loved one make New Year’s resolutions for 2020. One resolution could be to spend more time with family.
You can make New Year’s resolutions even more fun by turning them into a game. Each person, including your loved one, reveals three new years resolutions. Two of which are true, and one is false. Have everyone try to guess which resolutions are false.
2. New Year’s Intentions
For many people, New Year’s resolutions mean weight loss or career goals – two things that aren’t usually relevant for seniors. Instead, have your loved one choose New Year’s intentions – things that they can focus on enjoying in the upcoming year. In other words, how would they like to best experience their golden years?
They might want to spend more time with family, dive deeper into art and music, get involved with Oceanside senior living events, or simply take some time to appreciate the small things in life such as listening to the birds or watching the changing seasons.
3. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Find out what your loved one’s favorite decade was. Create decorations for it and play songs from that era and your loved one will surely love it. If they can’t tell you their favorite decade, then make an educated guess.
Another idea is to bring out those old photo albums of the previous New Year’s Eve and ask your loved one which memory is their favorite. Try talking about event highlights that occurred over the past year.
And finally, you could combine the above two ideas and ask your loved one what the most memorable years in their life were. This could be, for example, the years that they had children or got married. Now bring out photos from those times and let them spend some time reflecting on them. Discuss with them what those days of their life were like.
4. Scavenger Hunt
Have your loved one seek out the items needed for your planned NYE activities. Bring them along on your scheduled shopping trip as well.
You can also invite others to come and join in the fun. Better yet, make the scavenger hunt around the house!
While shopping, why not buy some arts and crafts? You can create these with your loved one and other family members. There are plenty of ideas online for things that you can create (Pinterest is a good source of ideas).
5. Make Party Hats
Party hats are something that seniors of all cognitive levels can enjoy making. First, have your loved one make measurements on a piece of construction paper to fit their head. Now you can have them decorate it with markers, glitter pens, stamps, stickers, etc. Choose whatever will be the most fun for them to use.
6. Change Your Plans
If your loved one can’t stay awake until midnight, then change up expectations. Celebrations don’t always have to occur at midnight. You could celebrate it with them at noon or even after midnight. Alternatively, you could hold a morning party instead of an evening party.
Changing the time of celebrations will likely be necessary if your loved one has dementia and experiences “sundowning” during evening hours at our Oceanside senior living facility.
Make it complete by wearing festive hats, blowing party horns, playing various party games and enjoying good holiday food.
7. Make it a Multicultural Celebration
A fun and unique idea is to have a multicultural meal to celebrate the New Year. Traditionally many countries around the world celebrate the New Year with their own cuisines. In Spain, for instance, it’s customary to eat 12 grapes at midnight. In Denmark, stewed kale is the custom while in Brazil, it’s lentils.
So why let them pick their favorite countries and cultures so that you can make your meal something special? Of course, you can also ask your loved one what their favorite country is and go all-out on that one.
You can also cook it together with them at home. Just assign him or her simple cooking tasks like stirring batter, sorting ingredients, or washing vegetables.
If you decide to eat out instead, make it a very special occasion and have family members dress up nice.
8. Create a Family Memento
A memento is like a remembrance. Everyone in the family can contribute to it by adding a picture or something else that represents an important event from the previous year. Everyone should explain why their memento is important, and they should put it into an empty container such as a shoebox. Wait until everyone at the party has put in their entry and then save it for next year.
While New Year’s Eve is typically associated with big raucous parties and staying out late, this is obviously not really ideal for seniors. However, they don’t have to celebrate it this way. You can still enjoy the holiday together with your loved one in a different way.
Even if your loved one has mobility issues, all it takes is a little bit of movement. Play their favorite music from back in the day, and have a fun party!
Singing together with your loved one is the perfect activity for almost any occasion especially holidays. You can begin by making a playlist of all of your loved one’s favorite songs. Spotify or YouTube can work fine for this – just remember to get rid of ads ahead of time. The presence of ads interrupting music can cause stress for people with dementia. On Spotify ad-free listening can be achieved with Spotify Premium. On YouTube, there is YouTube premium.
Alternatively, you can just play your loved one’s favorite CDs or musical movies directly. The most fun part about all of this is singing along together.
There are tons of ways to create a meaningful New Year at our Oceanside senior living facility. Contact Ocean Hills today for more tips and ideas to help your loved one feel at home this holiday season.