With the holiday season here, you might be starting to think about that special event at the end of the year. While making your plans for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, however, consider what the seniors in your life might be interested in doing.
If your parent or grandparent is up there in years, it may not always be easy to get them as involved as you would like, but consider the following eight activities, which are designed to engage them — and the entire family — this New Year’s holiday.
Make time capsule
Having something to do together, and look forward to, is known to boost overall well-being and personal drive, and a time capsule is a perfect option for that. A time capsule is a container that is filled with items that are relevant to someone in current times, but intended to be discovered at a later date to shed light on the past. What you store inside a time capsule is up to you and your family, which is what makes it so fun! And if the time capsule event becomes a yearly tradition, everyone, your parents and/or grandparents included, have something extra to look forward to every holiday season.
Writing samples, photos from the year, favorite songs, menus, event tickets, periodical clippings and other mementos are options for items that can be placed in time capsules.
Who doesn’t get giddy over holiday sweets? Add to the sweetness by baking something together with your loved ones on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Nowadays, it’s easy to find classic and new-age recipes online for cookies, cakes and other baked goods to follow.
The benefit to aging individuals is that they might engage their short- and long-term memory capabilities while following recipes. It’s a great mental exercise that may go unnoticed because everyone will be too busy licking their fingers and laughing inside the kitchen, but it will be a rewarding experience for the whole family. These are the moments that provide wonderful memories!
Celebrate a decade
Take a drive down memory lane, way down, by celebrating a previous decade of your parent’s choosing, and make it a party. This will take some research to dig up assets from the time period, but you can base party decorations, song playlists, clothing, drinks, food and anything else from “the simpler time” to create a special evening. The celebration will get your parents thinking wistfully about a previous era and will surely spark up conversations that many in your family have likely never had. You can even take it a step further by matching the dress attire to the era you are celebrating.
Get the whole family involved and consider inviting friends of the family as well.
Throw a dance party
This might not be for everyone, of course, considering the state of mobility your senior loved ones find themselves in, but there are still ways to gather around and enjoy some music together.
Organizing a dance party is easy to do, just clear out some space inside your home for a designated dance floor. Then, create an unforgettable playlist that features some of their favorite current and past songs, set out some yummy foods and maybe add some soft lighting effects (if they can handle it), and before you know it, the entire family will be in a groove.
If dancing isn’t the family’s thing, as an alternative ask your loved ones what some of their favorite music from the past is and sit down with them and listen to it with them. While listening, ask them what was going on in their life at that time.
Share fun resolutions
Resolutions are, of course, a part of the New Year’s tradition. This year, gather the family and ask everyone to share a few resolutions, but make it into a game. As part of the game, everyone should share two things they truthfully want to do, and a third one that can be a lie.
Once everyone shares their to-do list for 2022, take turns trying to detect the lie. Everyone will have a good laugh, and as a bonus, maybe you all will learn more about each other. There may be resolutions you could help them to achieve, and it might set the new year off with some combined goals that will be fun to strive for together.
World food tour
This doesn’t require a passport, just a little imagination, research and good food. Do some research to discover how different cultures celebrate the New Year with food. Different countries will have unique customs you can recreate at home. Pick a few traditions that embrace your loved one’s favorite region of the world and do your best to recreate it. This may not be the easiest task when talking about cooking foods that you never have before, but it can serve as a fun learning experience for the whole family and end up being really rewarding.
Once complete, sit back and relax around the dining room table for a food tour unlike anything your family has experienced before.
These are no ordinary crafts – they are the party favors for your New Year’s get-together. Gather the family to make fun hats, noisemakers, party poppers and other favors that everyone will enjoy. What your parents won’t know is that they will engage their eye-and-hand coordination and get their creative side kicking with each project. It may remind them of their more active years and help you all create new memories along the way.
When your new party favors are complete, they’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment. And on the big day, their faces will light up when they’re used!
Make countdown goodie bags
If you are having a slightly larger get together, then plan on formulating goodie bags. Together, the family can make goodie bags that are passed out to guests. Include trinkets, homemade party favors, treats and other fun items. Your loved ones can be in charge of doling them out throughout the evening to keep them socially engaged.
Depending on their comfort level physically and emotionally, this can help make them feel young again and part of a larger community of friends.
At Cherished Companions, our caregivers take the holidays seriously and would be happy to assist with brainstorming and planning any possible New Year’s ideas you have for your loved ones. We always love facilitating holiday events for those under our care and take pride in it.
For further questions, to request resources, or to inquire about having your loved one utilize our services, contact Cherished Companions today on our website or call (440) 484-5390!
+ Bonus Caregiver Questions To Ask Before You Choose An Agency
As you prepare to interview care agencies, take a look at the agency’s website to learn basic information about the types of care provided, specific services available, and payment options. You can expand on these topics with additional questions during the interview. Keep these tips in mind during the research process:
- Get recommendations. Talk to healthcare professionals in the field, your mom or dad’s doctor, and any friends or family members you know who have worked with a home care agency previously. Ask them which agencies they have had the best experience with and find out what they think about each provider you plan to contact. Look online for reviews and ratings. Do they have a lot of reviews? Look for independent review sites that have verified reviews such as bestofhomecare.com and look for agencies that have awards. See if they are accredited through the BBB and if they have an A+ rating.
- Check references. The agency should supply a list of references such as health agencies, rehabilitation facilities, social workers and other providers they have worked with. Call these references and ask them whether they regularly refer patients to the agency and what sort of feedback they have heard from clients.
- Consider the agency’s technology innovation. Does the agency have an online portal where you can view care plans and communicate with caregivers? Do they respond to communication quickly? Can you access information about your loved one via mobile? These are all useful ways to stay informed about your mom or dad’s care.
- Understand their process. Will you have the opportunity to interview caregivers? What happens if the caregiver isn’t a good fit? Will the same caregiver serve your loved one at each visit? How does the agency provide accountability for quality of service?
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We understand the importance of finding the right caregiver for your family member. The questions included in this guide will help make this process as straightforward and informative as possible.
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