A holiday visit to senior living is just what your loved one needs to get into the holiday spirit. After all, research shows that social connectedness is a top source of joy for those over 65. Since meaningful activities can inspire happiness when they lead to connection, playing games with family members is a great way to give them a great holiday season. Read on to learn some fun games to play during your holiday visit with your senior loved one in assisted living.
Bingo is a great game that many seniors love to play. It’s competitive and challenging while still being fun. It also engages the memory and requires quick listening and interpretation.
Players need to assess their entire bingo card in moments and listen closely while doing so. This makes it ideal for seniors who want to stay sharp in memory care facilities.
Bingo is also fun for everyone because it’s a highly social game. You can play with your loved one and a larger group for more interactive excitement. All you need are enough bingo cards for everyone who wants to play and a cup of chips.
Get some fun and exciting prizes for those who win to keep everyone goal-oriented and engaged. Cupcakes or muffins are awesome prizes that are both delicious and easy to bite into.
You also can go with other challenging solo memory-enhancing prizes like small jigsaw or sliding puzzles. You can inexpensively buy these gifts at the dollar store or in large party-favor packages, so there will always be enough to go around.
Scrabble is a great game that you can play with up to three other people. It’s ideal for those visiting two loved ones in a senior living facility. It also works great for people who are bringing parents, siblings, or children to play games with the entire family.
Like bingo, Scrabble is both engaging and stimulating. Making words out of tiles requires critical thinking and fast analysis of what tiles you hold. To play Scrabble the right way, all players will also need a clear grasp of the board, so there are multiple factors for players to consider as they play.
Scrabble is also easy to play with recent senior-friendly adaptations to the traditional board. Hasbro and the Ageless Foundation have created new boards for elderly players that include larger play pieces and bigger board fonts. The game’s the same, but it’s more readable and accessible.
If you’re visiting a loved one on your own, there are tons of awesome two-person games that you can enjoy together. These serve as a great bonding experience because you get to socialize with your senior family member one-on-one. It’s a great way to make them feel special.
Chess is a classic two-person game that seniors can enjoy. It requires a lot of planning ahead and strategy that keeps the mind sharp. Studies also show that it boosts both cognitive function and creativity while improving hand-eye coordination.
Just make sure to get an easily visible board with large pieces. You want this to be an exciting and social game of strategy, not a chore because of eyesight or fine motor challenges.
Jigsaw puzzles are a great way for seniors to band together and socialize with both each other and loved ones. They’re not timed in any way and they’re also not competitive. This means that they can focus on chatting and connecting.
Puzzles also are ideal because they improve hand-eye coordination and visual acuity. Just make sure that you get a jigsaw puzzle with larger pieces that are easy to pick up and move around.
Puzzle video games can also be a lot of fun if your loved one is open to learning the controls. Tetris, for example, is extremely fun and can be played either solo or with others.
Atari Video Games
Board games are classics for those in assisted living facilities partly because they’re nostalgic. After all, most elderly people remember board game nights with family members fondly.
But many seniors in care facilities will also have fond memories of their Ataris, one of the first video game consoles available. Those who don’t will still enjoy the simple games, large and minimalistic graphics, and easy controls.
Luckily, you don’t need to access a vintage game console to bring this joy to an assisted living center. A comprehensive collection for Nintendo Switch is easily accessible. It offers classics like tic-tac-toe, ping-pong, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Frogger.
The movements are visually stimulating and engaging. You can connect your Switch to a large screen in the assisted living facility to make it easy for those with poor eyesight to see and play.
Arts and Crafts
While they’re not precisely games, there are tons of awesome holiday-themed crafts that families can enjoy this holiday season. Coloring books for older adults are large-print and accommodating to those with low vision.
Painting is also fun and accessible, and you can paint canvases, rocks, mirrors, and porcelain mugs or dolls. The possibilities are limitless, so ask your loved one what they want to do and listen. Listening actively makes anyone feel heard and valued, so it’s critical that you do so when visiting a loved one.
You also can engage in traditional holiday crafts like making gingerbread houses, but make sure that you only do this if your loved one is able to eat the hard cookie.
If not, they may also be able to get in the holiday spirit by decorating a small tree with ornaments. A foam cutout of a tree with foam ornaments is another alternative.
Make Senior Living Fun With Holiday Activities
Now that you know some holiday activities that you can enjoy with a loved one in senior living, it’s time to begin planning your visit. We’re happy to help you set up board games, video games, crafts, and more when you come to Inspired Living’s facilities this season.
We aim to ensure that your family member can live a fulfilling life in assisted living, so contact us to learn more about how we can help care for your loved one in a community-driven way or schedule a tour.