8 Engaging Thanksgiving Activities for Seniors

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8 Stimulating Thanksgiving Activities for Aging Adults

By Lesa Hardiman, 9:00 am on

Like most family caregivers around the world, you probably want to make Thanksgiving a great day for your elderly loved one. The more activities you plan for Thanksgiving Day, the better. Take a look at some of the fun and engaging activities seniors should try out for the holiday. 

1. Decorate Football Jerseys 

This holiday season, help your loved one decorate a jersey to represent one of the teams that play in the Thanksgiving doubleheader. All you need is the jerseys, paint, and stencils as well as a few creative ideas. Decorating football jerseys can stimulate your loved one’s brain and enhance his or her hand-eye coordination. If your loved one’s favorite team is playing, he or she can purchase a jersey and add designs to it.

Helping seniors with creative activities can be difficult for family caregivers, especially if they have other important tasks to tend to. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Grand Rapids, MI, home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.  

2. Create Bobbleheads 

Keeping up with the Thanksgiving Day football tradition, encourage your loved one to make bobblehead mascots. The bobbleheads should be relevant to your loved one’s favorite football teams or the teams featured in the doubleheader. For instance, if the Detroit Lions are playing, your loved one can paint lion bobbleheads. Creating bobbleheads can alleviate boredom and lower stress levels. You can use the bobbleheads as centerpieces or give them out to guests who attend your Thanksgiving dinner. 

3. Watch a Parade 

Each year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs on television. Make sure your family is front and center for the big show. Watching the parade can trigger memories, and it may enhance your loved one’s mood almost instantly. 

4. Hold a Bake-Off 

Seniors who love cooking will enjoy holding a bake off. Your loved one and other family members should make the same pie, then guests can decide which pie is the best. You can make traditional pumpkin pies, apple pies, and sweet potato pies. Cooking helps seniors feel a sense of accomplishment while boosting their thinking skills. 

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Grand Rapids seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

5. Hang Acorn Garland 

Seniors can get into the holiday spirit by hanging acorn garland throughout their homes, especially on the stairwells and fire places. Your loved one can use various colors to decorate the acorns. The purpose of this activity is to stimulate your loved one’s brain and encourage him or her to socialize with other family members, which could reduce stress and lower the risk of a stroke or heart attack. 

6. Create Thanksgiving Mats 

If your family decides to host a Thanksgiving dinner, encourage your loved one to help with the festivities by creating Thanksgiving decorations such as holiday mats. Your loved one can use paint to design turkeys, pumpkins, and pilgrim hats on the mats. Sewing the mats could enhance your loved one’s hand-eye coordination and sharpen his or her critical thinking skills. Keeping your loved one’s mind busy lowers the odds of depression. 

7. Make Turkey Hats 

Your loved one is sure to enjoy making turkey hats with his or her grandchildren. Engaging in multigenerational relationships could enhance your loved one’s mood and reduce the risk of isolation. Your loved one can focus on making the turkey hats and forget about stressful situations that may be going on in his or her life. Creating turkey hats can also boost your loved one’s fine motor skills. 

8. Write Poems Giving Thanks 

Instead of going around the table and saying what everyone is grateful for, encourage your family members to write poems to express their gratitude. Writing poems can increase cognitive function, heal emotional pain, and lead to greater self-awareness. Your loved one will have the opportunity to thank everyone for providing him or her with great care and companionship.

Engaging in holiday-themed activities is one of the many ways seniors can boost their health and wellbeing. A Grand Rapids home caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your senior loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 616-243-0835 today.