Festive activities for the elderly

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Christmas is fast approaching and the build up is all about getting involved and getting as festive as possible, but it’s important to make sure everyone is included, especially any elderly relatives, friends or neighbours, as this can be a particularly lonely time of year for many of them.

We’ve put together some ideas of activities you can do together to help them keep the festive spirit alive this season:

Make and write Christmas cards

Get crafty and have a go at making your own Christmas cards this year. It’s a great way for your elderly relative/friend/neighbour to keep their mind and hands active and they’ll also enjoy having your company. Making Christmas cards is also a great reminiscent activity for people with dementia as the imagery can help bring back memories and encourages them to recount stories.

If crafting cards isn’t possible, just helping an older person to write theirs is a great gesture and also allows you to spend some quality time together.

If you don’t fancy making cards, then have a go at another Christmas craft activity such as making your own wreath or decorations.

Attend a Christmas event

There are lots of different events in the run up to Christmas, from craft and gift fairs to festive coffee mornings, church services and carol concerts, so take your pick and attend together. It is a great way for your elderly relative/friend/neighbour to get out of the house and get some much-needed social interaction.

Do some Christmas baking

If your elderly relative/friend/neighbour is a fan of baking but isn’t able to do it as often as they’d like, then why not bake some festive treats together? It could be something simple like mince pies or biscuits or you could go all out with a traditional Christmas cake.

It is another great opportunity for reminiscence – you could bake a family recipe passed down through the generations and re-tell tales of family Christmases past.

Listen to Christmas music

You can have a great time together listening to your favourite Christmas tunes. Find out what each other’s favourite song is and, then, play all the greats from across the years. Listening to music can help reconnect elderly people to their past memories and take them on a nostalgia trip, encouraging them to go on to share those memories and stories with you.

Take a tour of the decorated houses in the area

Once it’s got dark, why not take a tour around the houses in your area and look at their Christmas lights and displays? Lots of houses go all out at Christmas with dazzling lights, mechanical decorations and festive scenes and lots of them do it for charity too, so donate and do your bit for a worthy cause at the same time.