Christmas Activities for the Elderly
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This article from The Live in Care Company provides some ideas for activities that are suitable for the elderly to get involved with during Christmas time. These Christmas activities for the elderly are designed to be carried out with family and friends and can help maintain social and cognitive skills.
Elderly live-in care doesn’t stop at Christmas. Personal care services are available all year round, so if you are looking into live-in home help for the elderly for as a loved one, and are unsure of how it works at Christmas time, you can read our guide: How Elderly Live-in Care works at Christmas.
One elderly activity to consider is bingo; this might be played in the home with friends and family or the elderly person may want to visit a bingo hall, where there are often Christmas events held. Bingo can be a good way of connecting those over 60 with each other and can help to maintain social and cognitive skills. If your loved one is fond of bingo, then a live-in carer should be able to help your loved one to join online bingo or locate a local bingo hall and accompany them to a game night. Depending on whether you’re able to meet up with your close ones this year, see if you can arrange a virtual bingo night, which would be a simple and easy way to get involved and stuck in.
Make Christmas Cards
For those elderly family members who like more creative, arty projects, making Christmas cards can be a great activity since it does not require overexertion and can be readily done in the comfort of one’s home. Making Christmas cards can also help stimulate cognitive areas that are involved with remembering the names of recipients of the cards, as well as thinking of a design for the card covers. A live-in carer can support your loved one with buying relevant materials to make the cards. It can be a time-consuming activity but one that can help your loved one feel that they are giving something to those around them. If there are young children in the family, they too might like to get involved with the arts and crafts side of this activity and it can be an opportunity to help grandparents bond with their grandchildren.
Activities for older people at Christmas include cooking and baking since it can be a joint activity to do with friends and family. The smells and tastes of foods can also help bring back memories. In many cultures, cooking for others is an act of love and therefore your loved one may feel able to provide family members with food at Christmas time to express their love and care. Some ideas for baked goods include Christmas biscuits, mince pies and Christmas cake. Your loved one may be able to remember recipes that they have used in the past or they may need help with choosing an appropriate recipe. Depending on the needs of your loved one, they may require support from their carer with buying ingredients, following a recipe and keeping check of the time when baking.
Knit a Christmas Scarf
Knitting is an ideal hobby for elderly people. It can keep your brain sharp as it requires you to use many parts of your brain at once. It can also be good for hand-eye coordination, which is something that tends to decline as we age. Knitting can be good for dexterity in the hands which can improve grip strength. Not only is knitting good for cognition and for coordination but it is also thought to be good for mental health since repetitive movements can be calming and relaxing. Knitting a Christmas scarf or hat is a really great way of engaging seniors and it can also be a social activity for them to do with others.
Top Tip: If you are looking for suitable activities for those with dementia, then you can read our guide: 15 Activities for Those Living with Dementia.
Make a Christmas Wreath
A Christmas wreath is a great Christmas activity for the elderly who are interested in arts and crafts. It can be a more challenging task but one that will exercise both cognitive skills and fine motor movement. A wreath can be decorated as per the person’s choosing and it can provide an opportunity for your loved one to get outside to gather materials needed for the wreath. For instance, moss, foliage, holly, and berries can all be used to decorate the wreath. If a garden with materials is not accessible then a wreath can be made from decorative bows that can be stuck to a straw or Styrofoam wreath.
Gift wrapping may be challenging for some elderly people because their fingers are less nimble. This means that using sellotape, scissors, and ribbons can be a difficult task but it is usually not impossible. It may be that you need to give older people more time to carry out the task. They will appreciate having independence in gift wrapping but you can be on hand to help if needed. A live-in carer may also be able to support your loved one with gift wrapping and they can take the opportunity to ask lots of questions and stimulate discussion about what the gifts are and who the gifts are for.
Make Christmas Decorations
Christmas decorations can include ornaments for the Christmas tree, such as baubles that are painted or decorated with stickers. Activities may also include making candles for the table or decorating the house with tinsel, wreaths, and gingerbread. The creation of ornaments and decorations with others can be a great way to get your loved one to socialise and feel included in the Christmas festivities.
Make window displays
Window displays can be an easy activity for elderly people to do at home during Christmas. Window displays can include hanging Christmas cards and fairy lights around the window ledge. You can also buy sticky snowflakes that stick to glass windows and are easy to put up. These are activities that can be done over a period of time leading up to Christmas but it can be worth ensuring that someone is there with your loved one to be sure that they are not climbing up on chairs or ladders to hang things, as this can put them at risk of falling. A live-in carer can be on hand to help with the Christmas decoration shopping and to support your loved one with putting up the decorations safely.
How can a live-in carer help?
A live-in carer can support your loved one to be independent with carrying out Christmas activities, whilst ensuring that this is done in a safe manner. Social activities for the elderly are important for keeping the brain active and can help combat loneliness. The activities listed can be carried out with family or friends, where possible, but a live-in carer can also be a suitable companion for your loved one. Elderly live-in carers often form close bonds with their clients and your loved one will hopefully enjoy sharing Christmas moments with their carer. Personal care duties and other daily tasks that are not related to Christmas will still be something the live-in carer will carry out during the holidays. This can make it easier for your loved one to focus on enjoying time with their family and friends, without the added stress of worrying about daily essentials.
In terms of dementia activities at Christmas time, all those listed above are certainly possible and the activities can be adapted to suit the needs of the individual. It is still important for the individual to have the opportunity to get involved with Christmas activities but if someone’s dementia is advanced then they may need more support. A live-in carer will be well-rehearsed with supporting individuals, no matter their functioning so you can feel reassured that your loved one is in safe hands.
How can we help?
The Live-in Care Company can help you make arrangements for elderly live-in care for Christmas and beyond via a hassle-free and straightforward process. Our helpful team can support you with seeking the appropriate personal care at home for an elderly relative and we are very happy to be able to discuss all of the care options with you.
Our team will be happy to speak to you and will take the time to help you understand your options fully before matching you with a wonderful live-in carer. You can speak to us by ringing 0118 449 2373, filling in an enquiry form on our website, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.