20 Joyful Holiday Activities for Seniors

holiday activities for seniors

Include seniors in holiday activities

The holidays can be lots of fun for older adults even if they have physical or cognitive limitations.

It’s all about spending time together, feeling included, and enjoying good company. The activities you do don’t have to be exciting to be special and meaningful. Simply joining in brings joy and helps your older adult enjoy the season.

We’ve rounded up 20 fun holiday activities for seniors that are perfect to enjoy with family and friends.




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20 senior-friendly holiday activity ideas

15 activities for staying in

  1. Make a holiday wreath – these are fun and festive
  2. Decorate and fill stockings – try this cute stocking kit
  3. Make pomanders with oranges and cloves – like this
  4. Decorate the house – here are some fun ideas and these mini hat ornaments are adorable and easy to make
  5. Prompt kids to ask about “the olden days” so they can learn about their grandparent’s youth
  6. Play card games or board games
  7. Enjoy listening to your older adult’s favorite tunes
  8. Sing holiday songs together – try these holiday classics
  9. Have a family movie night with popcorn, extra pillows, and warm blankets to cuddle under
  10. Enjoy tea or coffee together as a group
  11. Bake cookies – try these yummy gingerbread cookies
  12. Cook or prepare favorite holiday foods together
  13. Have a gift wrap party – don’t worry if things aren’t perfectly wrapped, it’s the fun that counts!
  14. Get your older adult’s help with holiday cards – writing, addressing, or sealing envelopes
  15. Ask for their opinions or ideas while you’re shopping online for gifts

5 activities for going out

  1. Stroll around the mall and admire the holiday decorations – go early to avoid the crowds
  2. Take a family walk around the neighborhood or through a local park
  3. Enjoy a delicious meal at a favorite restaurant
  4. Watch a feel-good holiday movie or fun comedy in the theater
  5. Take in a local play or musical

 

Pace activities and modify as needed

Encourage older adults to join in the holiday festivities whenever possible, but be careful not to overdo it. Older adults typically have less energy and stamina, so be on the lookout for signs of fatigue and suggest frequent breaks or a mid-day nap.

Many of the activities we’ve suggested are low-key and can be easily be modified to fit your older adult’s energy level and abilities. If your older adult has Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may want to modify activities to avoid overstimulating or confusing them.

 

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: MonkeySee

 

This article wasn’t sponsored, but does contain affiliate links. We never link to products or services for the sole purpose of making a commission. Recommendations are based on our honest opinions. For more information, see How We Make Money.


4 Comments

  • Reply December 14, 2015

    Kaye Swain

    What a great list – I’ll be sharing this online. Thank you! My senior mom and I went out to see some lights this year as well as enjoyed taking a walk around the block to see the neighbor’s decorations without the lights being on. She has always been the one to do the Christmas cards and is having a harder time with that so we will definitely be doing some of those together. We especially enjoy finding and sending a fun musical Christmas card to a beloved senior with macular degeneration. She can’t see it well but she can enjoy listening to it. This year was Happy Holiday by Andy Williams, a fun treat for all of us to hear. 🙂

    Merry Christmas
    Kaye

    • Reply December 14, 2015

      Connie Chow

      Thank you Kaye! I’m so glad you found this list useful.

      I’m happy to hear that you and your mom are enjoying the holidays together! I especially love the idea of a musical card for someone with low vision, that’s perfect!

      Best wishes to you both for a very happy holiday,
      Connie

  • Reply December 11, 2015

    Shelley

    Thanks for posting this helpful list. My mother-in-law is able to get out and about and loves to “shop” (translation: look at things in stores) so I recently took her Christmas shopping. At 78, she walks slowly and tires easily, so I made some modifications to accommodate her needs: 1) we went at a time when stores would not be crowded; 2) we visited a limited number of stores so I made sure to choose stores that I knew would have a lot that would interest her; 3) we avoided multi-level locations (she does not do escalators lol); and 4) I dropped her off/picked her up in front of each store so she did not have to walk to/from the parking lot. I capped off our mini-adventure by treating her to lunch at Panera, which she loves but would never go to because it’s “too fancy and expensive” so it was a real treat for her.

    Another holiday activity: I asked for her help in putting together a raffle basket for a holiday fundraiser. She has been doing raffle baskets for years and loved the idea of “teaching” me how best to do one. She already had several of the items at home (she did a breakfast basket) and I purchased the rest at a local market. She assembled the basket at home and I delivered it to the fundraiser. It worked out perfectly and it made her feel good to contribute to a worthy cause.

    • Reply December 11, 2015

      Connie Chow

      Thank you for sharing your tips, Shelley! These are wonderful ideas and it sounds like they brought your MIL so much joy! Thank you for being such an amazing caregiver and for sharing your story.

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