Find holiday joy with activities for you and your senior loved ones

Make this an especially joyous time for you and your senior loved ones with these festive activities, designed to bring families and friends together:

Recipe joy

Feel instant holiday joy by coming together over treasured family recipes.

  • Start a recipe swap tradition. Have family and friends, including your senior loved one, each contribute a treasured holiday recipe to the “pot,” reassigning the recipes. Contributors then make the recipes, coming together to share the delicious results. Expect much debate—and laughter—as to whose recipes and renditions are better.
  • If your senior loved one is unable to make a dish, another version of the above activity asks that all participants honour the senior by each producing a variation of the senior’s favourite holiday recipe. If your family loves grandma’s traditional shortbread, how does Cousin Anna’s chocolate version stack up?
  • With your senior loved one’s help, assemble a family favourite recipe collection. Invite those who can’t be there in person to join the fun via Zoom, Facetime, or another video platform. Ask each contributor to talk about why their recipe is special.

Decorating joy

Decorating early for the holidays can make you feel nostalgic and even happier, a study has found.*

  • Start a new tradition by handing out an unfinished wooden ornament, asking everyone to paint or embellish it in their own style. Get together in person or virtually to share your results.
  • For seniors in retirement residences, ask if they would like to get together with you and other family and friends to decorate their suite. Find out their decorating style—would they like a string of lights over the doorway or a front door wreath? Enjoy your decorating get-together with hot chocolate and/or hot toddies!

Musical joy

Music is one of the most powerful tools to stimulate memory, including for those living with dementia.* Singing or listening to holiday songs is a wonderful festive activity for families and seniors alike, providing a fun focus for a get-together.

  • Ask people to print out the lyrics to their favourite holiday song and plan an old-fashioned sing-along. If you have a keyboard, tambourine, or even a karaoke machine, bring them along to add to the fun. If you can’t get together in person, have everyone participate virtually.
  • Every Chartwell residence enjoys celebrating the spirit of the season, welcoming residents with numerous activities, amenities and opportunities to live a healthy, active and meaningful life.