Regular socialization with friends and family ensures that people stay physically and mentally active. According to the NHS, this is the key to healthy aging, as it ensures that individuals maintain their health and independence. Family and professional caregivers often plan social activities to encourage older adults or elderly residents to live healthy lives with the support of friends. However, there are some factors that need to be considered to host a truly successful group activity. Here are five tips for planning events for seniors.
Focus on planning an event that participants will remember long after it is over. While this may seem daunting, it can be as simple as bringing a camera to the event and taking pictures of everyone as they enjoy the event. Even designating someone to capture special moments with photos can be beneficial. Not only will those who participated be able to reminisce about the fun they had, but those who did not participate will feel encouraged to participate when the next opportunity arises. The Guardian also noted that people living in a residential community will love to show pictures of their experiences to family members, who will love to see that their loved ones are enjoying their time there.
Avoid condescending activities
A recent three-year study supported by Royal Voluntary Service found that 6 out of 10 of its seniors surveyed do not use services or attend events specifically designed for them. Many noted that they often find these activities too patronizing. To avoid this, be sure to plan events that are meaningful and interesting to participants. Also, be sure to talk to those in attendance as you would with anyone else, avoiding language that may come across as condescending. It can also help to include participants in the planning of each group activity to ensure that their voices are always heard. This report outlines what many of us already know, that older adults have a lot to give back to society and that we should harness that expertise and enthusiasm to improve services for older adults by involving them more in decision making. The group activity workout is a fun way to encourage physical activity in a relaxed setting. Group activity workouts are a fun way to encourage physical activity in a relaxed setting.
Plan with others
If you are planning an event for residents living in a nursing home, build a team of reliable and enthusiastic people who can help with any problems that may arise throughout the planning process. Make sure your team understands the potential challenges that may arise and offers potential solutions so that no one is caught off guard if they do occur. As an event organizer, it is essential that you keep your staff informed of any changes or modifications to your plans. It may also be a good idea to hold a brief briefing the night before to review everyone’s roles.
Familiarize yourself with the participants
A questionnaire about interests and hobbies can help make the event special. To ensure that the event is special and fun for participants, get to know them first. Start advertising the event weeks before the date and have a sign-up sheet for people interested in attending. Once you have a good idea of who might come to the event, send out a survey with ideas for possible activities, food preferences and other important items. A questionnaire about interests and hobbies can also help make the event special. If you notice that a large portion of the participants have dementia, you can incorporate music into the event, as research has shown that listening to music can be a particularly calming activity for people with memory loss. Also offer people the opportunity to help plan the details of the event. Some may prefer to sit back and enjoy the activity at first, while others may jump at the chance to get involved.
Include participants of all ages
Reach out to people outside the nursing home, such as students and adult volunteers who want to attend and help with the event. If you are planning a group film screening, for example, you can invite a local school film class to participate. Members of the neighborhood knitting club can also enjoy an arts and crafts activity and share tips and tricks with residents. This is a great way for both age groups to share ideas and insights about common interests in a friendly environment.