Autumn is here and for those of us in Salem, it means soon we will be immersed in Halloween events. However, being based in New England makes us think of other things that seniors may want to do to celebrate fall and partake in some activities in the home.
There are a lot of things we like to do in the fall at the Brookhouse Home. This article includes what our readers can do with their elders who are living in a rest home or assisted living facility or if the senior person in your life would like to get into the festive spirit. Some of these tips are derived from a post written by Tracey Haughton.
At Brookhouse Home we have a lot of planned activities but are always thinking of ways to be more festive.
Decorate Your Door with a Harvest Theme
Fall is a great time to get festive, indoors, and out. Adding a touch of the season to our home, whether it’s a homemade wreath, a brand-new garland, or a few throws and pillows adorned in autumn colors here make the difference and are sure to brighten spirits and bring residents into the joy of the season according to the article. Consider providing residents with a wooden leaves craft kit to create autumn leaf decorations for your facility. Afterwards, assist residents with hanging the finished leaves as door ornaments on your residents’ apartment doors.
Families can take residents on a scenic ride to a local pumpkin patch or animal farm. Along the way, stop by a favorite donut shop to pick up coffee and donuts to enjoy once you reach your destination.
There are plenty of outdoor entertainment activities to choose from this time of the year, the article suggests, weather permitting. Festivals are big this time of year, head out and take in the sites, sounds, and food of the festivities. Further, fall is a wonderful time to enjoy nature with an older adult. Bundle up and breathe the fresh air, admire the beautiful colors on display, and hear the crunch of fallen leaves as you walk.
Jigsaw puzzles became very popular in recent years and there are many beautiful autumn-themed jigsaw puzzle competitions and invite residents to work on their jigsaw puzzle throughout the season to see which floor can finish their puzzle the fastest. We have gleaned some of the fall favorites which include the following:
Wildbird Gathering – a beautiful birds in nature, a 35-piece sequenced puzzle with color coding to designed for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia
Good Companions – 100-piece puzzle, a group of cute and friendly pets
Lighthouse Park – 300-piece puzzle, a beautiful lighthouse surrounded by the sea and autumn trees
Central Park Paradise – 500-piece puzzle, a fall scene in New York’s Central Park with a stone bridge over a pond, horse and carriage, and trees with changing leaves
Social Ideas for Seniors During the Autumn Months
At Brookhouse Home, we like to celebrate monthly birthdays and events, and we do decorate our dining room and home to fit the season. The article suggest some other ways to celebrate the autumn season for residents.
Hot Toddy Social
Serve up hot toddies for residents to sip and enjoy during a cool autumn afternoon in your facility. During the social, pass around photo cards with autumn pictures to spark memories and to begin a fun, interactive discussion among residents.
Fall Wine Picnic
Host a fall wine picnic in your Dining Room during lunchtime. Coordinate with Dining Services to serve comforting autumn picnic foods, like warm roast beef sandwiches and roasted butternut squash soup. During the lunch, pass out small glasses of autumn wine for residents to sample with their lunch.
Since you can’t have an Oktoberfest party without beer, pass around a few brands of nonalcoholic beer for your residents to sample. Encourage residents to judge the beer on taste, color, and smell.
Invite residents to assist you with making pretzels to celebrate Oktoberfest by using a pretzel maker. Provide residents with cups of mustard for dipping.
Prepare for Halloween trick-or-treaters
For those of us experiencing Halloween in Salem, there is are endless possibilities for celebrating planning to hand out treats to children in the family or neighborhood kids, your older adult might enjoy helping with the preparations.
For a safer, no-contact Halloween, prepare individual treat bags in advance and place them on the porch so trick-or-treaters can help themselves.
Prepare fun little pumpkin pouch goody bags
Use the completed coloring sheets and other decorations to make the front door more festive
Someone with dementia might enjoy sorting a mixed bag of candy into different containers. It’s a great no-fail activity that helps them feel included – even if you don’t really need the candy to be sorted.