The New Year is a great time to introduce fun new activities for senior residents. You can look back and remember the year 2018, and also get residents excited to look forward to celebrating 2019. Here are just a few ways from our friends at notjustbingo.com to ring in and celebrate the New Year at your Senior Center:
- Create New Clubs. Invite residents to share their New Year’s resolutions with you for 2019. Based on their resolutions, create new clubs for the year that involve the different hobbies and activities that they want to pursue. For instance, start a Knitting Club if you have residents who would like to take up the hobby, or create a Walking Club for your residents who want to do more exercise in the New Year.
- Host a 2018 Viewing Party. Recruit one of your tech-savvy volunteers to assist you with creating a photo montage to music using the photos of all the fun events in your facility from 2018. Schedule a “showing” of the photos to music in your Activity Room for all to view. If a photo montage is not doable, simply create a wall-size collage featuring the photos from 2018 of your facility’s special events and activities. Then, schedule a “viewing party” for residents to view and reminisce. You can also encourage residents to use a Memory Book to record their favorite events of 2018.
- Throw a “Lucky New Year” Party. Celebrate the New Year by planning a party featuring the traditional lucky foods that are eaten at the beginning of the year in hopes of 366 days (leap year) of good luck. Coordinate with Dining Services to serve a variety of these “lucky” foods like grapes (Spanish countries), black eyed peas and cornbread (southern United States), long noodles (Asian countries), or pork and sauerkraut (German and Eastern European countries).
- Brainstorm a 2019 Bucket List. Invite residents to brainstorm a facility bucket list of all the things that they want to do in your facility for the coming year. Be sure to include field trips, entertainment, and special events.
- Make a Time Capsule. Encourage residents to find mementos from 2018, like old movie or concert ticket stubs or even small craft projects, that they can include in a facility time capsule that will be tucked away and opened again in one year.
notjustbingo.com is an online resource of fun, senior activity ideas for activity professionals of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They have been providing fun activity ideas online since 2009, and we continue to assist activity professionals across the country by creating meaningful and engaging activity ideas for their residents that go “beyond bingo.” Don’t get them wrong – bingo is fun, but we want to spread the word that there is more to life than just bingo. Overall, notjustbingo.com feels privilege to help activity directors better the living experiences of their residents while demonstrating that a senior’s quality of life can actually improve when they move to a nursing facility.