Around the holidays some seniors may be alone and some rely upon the friends they make at senior centers. Others are bound to a nursing home but nonetheless are with other seniors. Christmas activities for groups of seniors at either a center or nursing home will lift their spirits and build friendships in time for the holidays.
Host Christmas Luncheon/Party
Host a Christmas party and luncheon for the seniors. Make festive Christmas dishes such as turkey or ham with all the trimmings, followed by a nice dessert. Play Christmas music and allow people to bond, talk and laugh together. Ask a local school or religious group to have kids come to the senior center and sing carols to the party attendees. Organizers should set up fun card and board games for the seniors to play after lunch and entertainment. This is really meant to help seniors interact with one another and come together to celebrate the holidays. This is especially useful for seniors who have little family and rely on the relationships made at these centers and homes.
Everyone senior citizen loves bingo. Well maybe not everyone, but many do. Host a Christmas gift bingo party. Wrap small inexpensive items and gifts that can be handed out as prizes for winning bingo. Instead of playing for money, host the seniors for free games of bingo. Have the bingo caller dress as Santa Claus and hand out the gifts after each winning game of bingo. Make sure each gift is wrapped, which gives the winning seniors a chance to open their prizes, putting everyone in the Christmas spirit.
Drive To See Decorations
Rent a van and take a group of seniors out through the neighborhood just after sunset. Take them on a tour of the most beautifully decorated Christmas homes. If you live in a neighborhood where homes are clustered together, you can also park the car and talk a walk up and down the blocks to look at the lights, depending on the seniors' physical capabilities. Many nursing homes and senior centers have vans or small paratransit buses for exclusive use.
Have Seniors Make Christmas Decorations
Host a day of group arts and crafts. Divide the seniors into small groups and have them make Christmas decorations to hang up throughout the senior center or nursing home. Activities can include drawing, painting and making a collage. On another day, use the Christmas decorations to brighten up the center. Have the seniors participate in adding traditional Christmas decorations throughout the center or home. Decorate a Christmas tree as well. Make it a group effort and get everyone involved. This is sure to spread some Christmas spirit.