With the holidays approaching, family caregivers should be thinking about fun and engaging activities their elderly loved ones can enjoy. Doing these activities can keep their brains active and provide social connections. Here are some activities seniors can do on Thanksgiving.
1. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
For this hunt, print off turkey pictures and post them in rooms throughout the home. The guests can team up to find the turkey pictures, or everyone can play solo. If you want to make this more challenging for your loved one, place a clue on the pictures asking players to locate a hidden item. A scavenger hunt is a stimulating game that exercises the brain. Your loved one can use his or her critical thinking skills tracking down the pictures and other objects.
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2. Play a Thanksgiving-Themed Dinner Game
Participants will need to sit in a circle when playing this game. One player starts the game by saying, “At Thanksgiving dinner, I will eat (insert a holiday food).” The next person will need to say what the first person said, plus add on another food. When a player forgets a food on the list, he or she is out of the game. The person who says all the foods correctly is the winner. This is a fun and challenging game that can enhance your loved one’s memory skills.
3. Host Thanksgiving Bingo
Instead of placing numbers on the bingo cards, print out cards with Thanksgiving-related statements on them. Someone will need to call out these statements as if they were numbers. For this activity, your loved one will need to use his or her short and long-term memory and critical thinking skills, which could stave off mental health issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
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4. Conduct a Picture Puzzle Competition
Print out pictures with a Thanksgiving theme, such as turkeys, pilgrims, and cranberries, then cut the photos into four, six, or eight parts. Once you are ready to begin, randomly distribute the parts to all participants. When the buzzer beeps, players will start scrambling to find the people with the other parts of the pictures. The team that gathers the parts of the picture puzzle and puts it together first is the winner. This activity could strengthen spatial and visual skills for seniors.
5. Host a Cook-Off
Everyone has their special holiday recipe that family members love. On Thanksgiving, host a cook-off where attendees make their best dishes or desserts. Allow the non-cookers to be the judges and decide which holiday-themed dish is the best. Cooking is a therapeutic activity for aging adults, and it can boost self-confidence, which could lower the risk of developing depression.
6. Engage in Word Building
Think of a long holiday word like Thanksgiving or cranberry. Once you have chosen the word, pass out pens and notepads to your loved one and other participants. The players will need to use that one word to create as many other words as possible. The person with the most words after time has expired is the winner. This activity exercises the brain and promotes socialization, which can create positive emotions.
7. Create a Thankful Tree
Family caregivers and seniors will need a Mason jar, tree branches, string, and construction paper for this craft. Seniors need to cut the paper into the shape of small leaves and write down what they are thankful for on each leaf. The thankful tree can be placed as a centerpiece near the dinner table. This activity can keep the mind busy, alleviate boredom, and increase social connections.
A professional caregiver can help your senior loved one participate in Thanksgiving activities and allow you to take a break from your caregiving duties. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Orlando Prestige Home Care can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. If your elderly loved one needs assistance with daily activities while aging in the comfort of home, call us at (407) 232-7155 today.