It’s looking likely that Christmas 2021 in care homes will be a distinctly more cheerful affair than last year. What are some of the care home Christmas activities that you can expect to be available for your loved one, and what activities can you join in with? Here are our top 10 favourite care home Christmas activities according to our residents and staff.
There’s nothing that quite brings us all some Christmas cheer in the same way as a rousing rendition of our favourite carols. Christmas at Eastleigh isn’t complete without at least one opportunity for our residents to sing-a-long to their favourite festive tunes.
There’s actually some good science behind why singing makes us feel so good. It’s got all the hallmarks of community spirit, but the act of singing also releases feel-good hormones whilst decreasing stress hormones.
We also love that with carol singing, residents get the chance to indulge in some nostalgia, each picking their favourite Christmas songs which mean the most to them.
Lots of care home residents love to uncover their competitive side at Christmas and get stuck into a quiz. Quizzes are a brilliant way to keep the mind active and engaged.
Choosing questions and quiz themes which play to common Christmas trivia and to Christmases past ensures that elderly residents feel good about themselves and their abilities. Indeed, show an over-confident grandchild that grandpa knows a thing or two, and everything gets balanced out a bit!
Christmas crafts become the staple of the Eastleigh social scene for much of December! But even better, relatives and loved ones can bring in Christmas crafts to do with their loved ones during a visit, giving the get-together focus. This can work particularly well if you have fidgety young grandchildren and great-grandchildren that need to be entertained at the same time.
Some of our favourite Christmas craft activities include creating Christmas tree ornaments, designing Christmas cards and making wreaths.
The lead up to Christmas is made all the more exciting by sharing a Christmas movie together. You can choose classics and enjoy them with some popcorn and maybe even a mulled wine or two.
Christmas movies allow us to escape into make believe and nostalgia, and that’s wonderful for everyone. Residents can be polled to see which films they’d most like to watch for their very own care home cinema experience.
Classics that always seem to go down well include It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, The Snowman, Home Alone, Miracle of 34th Street and Elf.
One of the wonderful things about being a care home resident is that you don’t have to do the cooking anymore! However, this means that residents sometimes miss out on the fun elements of baking.
The festive season gives us a chance to share some cooking experiences with our residents which focus on the fun and delicious! Even better, some of our residents like this opportunity to make little edible gifts for their family members, or treats for visiting children.
Popular Christmas baking activities for the elderly include gingerbread decorating, mince pies and chocolate truffles.
It wouldn’t be a true Christmas time without staff and residents alike donning their Christmas jumpers! A special lunch where Christmas jumpers can be worn, and even visitors can come along, is often a huge hit.
Everyone loves to see who has the ugliest, most vulgar jumpers and there are plenty of talking points as a result.
We make sure to decorate the communal areas in our care homes, including having wonderful trees bursting with decorations. But one of the most cherished care home Christmas activities that our residents enjoy doing with their families is decorating their room.
There’s something uniquely nostalgic about bringing out favourite Christmas decorations from throughout the years. Hand-crafted decorations from now-grown-up children, or items picked up on travels, can come out at Christmas and invoke memories of warmth and happy family times.
Do take care if you loved one lives with dementia, as consistency with their room is important to their wellbeing. However, a small display of favourite decorations from their childhood could be very beneficial.
If your loved one is quite confined to the care home and unable to undertake a tiring shopping excursion, they may love it if you can sit with them and do some online Christmas shopping for a few loved ones.
Elderly relatives will feel more included in the family if they are able to choose a gift in person, especially for a child that matters to them. Don’t underestimate how much of a gift this opportunity might be to them.
Christmas is a time to think of other people and for our residents, they often like to get involved with seasonal charity events that we organise. These vary but they may involve getting out the knitting needles, or making hampers for those less fortunate, or something else that is both fun and meaningful.
Many of our residents grew up in times when there wasn’t the same level of indulgence we see today. Therefore, when they get treated to something like a hot chocolate bar, it is like letting their childlike inner-selves loose in a sweet shop!
In our care home, we can do things like this because we always have enough people to effectively have a party! The bar can have candy canes, sprinkles, marshmallows and whipped cream. Everyone gets involved and has fun.
There are lots more care home Christmas activities that can be enjoyed throughout the festive season. Speak to your loved one and ask them which activities are most meaningful to them at this time of year. Finding things that you can enjoy together can mean that you really cherish the season, and with a bustling and busy family life, it’s often an opportunity for you to slow down and enjoy some of the more special moments of Christmas too.