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5 Ideas to Make Thanksgiving Special for Seniors in Assisted Living

Sun, Nov 19, 2017 at 4:30PM

5 Ideas to Make Thanksgiving Special for Seniors in Assisted Living


Thanksgiving brings families together. Young, old, and those in between expressing gratitude for so many of life’s blessings, which most importantly includes one another. The build up to Thanksgiving, as well as Thanksgiving Day itself, may feel different for a family member residing in assisted living. Many seniors do not leave assisted living during the holidays. Whether due to family living far away or because of health concerns upon leaving the facility, it can be a difficult time for some.  As traditions change, it is important to find ways to make new memories, and make seniors feel included. Here are 5 ideas to celebrate Thanksgiving with seniors in assisted living.


  1. Get Crafty- Invite the grandchildren and great grandchildren to spend quality time making Thanksgiving décor. Make special placemats using handprint turkeys, napkin rings with beads and pipe cleaners, or centerpiece turkeys using feathers glued onto pinecones. String garlands of fall leaves or make paper leaf wreaths for festive decorations.
  2. Swap Recipes- Most everyone has a story to tell about a dish they always made for Thanksgiving dinner, or a recipe that has been passed down through the generations. Share these meaningful stories, and host a recipe swap where seniors can share their favorite recipes as well.
  3. Have a Parade Watching Party- Invite families to bring breakfast finger-foods and project the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on a big screen. Who doesn’t love the excitement from the balloons, floats, music, and marching bands?
  4. Give Thanks- Create a space where residents can write what they are most thankful for. It could be a large community gratitude tree with hanging paper leaves to write on or simply sticky notes to put on each resident’s door.
  5. Share a Special Meal- Whether it is turkey with all the trimmings, or hot turkey sandwiches at lunchtime, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without sharing a special meal. Residents may even want to help with cooking. From peeling potatoes to setting the table, there are lots of ways to get involved.


Stayed tuned to the County Health Care Guide Blog to learn more about assisted-living, senior care, senior placement, and important senior news in Volusia County. From Daytona to Port Orange to New Smyrna Beach, the County Health Care Guide is the only resource you need.

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