Birthday Ideas for Older People

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Birthdays bring a smile to everyone of every age.
Birthdays bring a smile to everyone of every age. (Image: birthday image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com)

When it comes to birthdays, nearly everyone enjoys a party even if they hate to admit it. The key is to be sensitive about announcing the honoree’s age, as many people are quite sensitive about that subject. With that in mind, you should plan a party that reflects the honoree’s life, interest or hobbies. Or you can give this person the birthday she always dreamed of having when she was a child but never did. Regardless of your theme, be sure to respect dietary or health needs when making your birthday treats and think of some fun activities that everyone can play regardless of age or physical impairments

Birthday Treats

No birthday celebration seems complete without a cake or ice cream; however, when planning a birthday party for older people, you must adjust your plans as needed based upon the honoree and your guests. For example, because people of all ages have severe allergies to peanuts, it is best to always avoid them and any product containing peanut oil or by products. You should also avoid serving many sugar loaded treats as many older people have diabetes or other problems with blood sugar. Instead, serve fresh fruit treats, veggies and cheeses with crackers. Slice all of these items into small bite-size pieces. And if you want to splurge on one sugary treat such as a birthday cake with butter cream icing, either pass on the ice cream or look for a low-sugar, healthier version of traditional ice cream. And according to chiff.com, you should always offer low-salt foods and sugar free drinks for those on dietary restrictions.

Themes

Themed parties are not just for children. In fact, throwing a roaring 1920’s-themed party for group of senior citizens living in an assisted living center will have them talking about the fun they had for weeks. The key to having a successful theme party is to select a theme that enables you to involve all of your guests. Some great party themes include a western party, a disco party, a masked Mardi Gras party, or a party from a previous decade such as the 1950s. As noted on your invitations, encourage guest to dress appropriately for the party—according to your theme. Even if it is as minor as wearing a western bolo tie; some old, funny sunglasses or jewelry; or an old hat; your guest will enjoy the conversations initiated by your theme and what they see others wearing. Or if you prefer, you can provide your guests with some form of accessory, costume or a funny hat for them to wear upon arrival.

Gifts

Because so many older people may have everything they need, ask the honoree for some ideas of a local charity that guests can either purchase a gift for or make a financial donation. And be sure to include this fact on the invitations. For example guests could buy children’s books from a list of needs at your local public or church library. Or your honoree may want to encourage guests to make a donation to a nationally recognized charity such as The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, The Humane Society or the Arbor Day foundation. By taking this approach, both the honoree and the participating guests can make a difference for those in need.

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