Christmas Games for Elderly Parents

by Deborah
(St. Louis, MO)

Like I've told my dad more than once, games aren't just for kids. I finally convinced him that adults have permission to act like kids once in awhile, or to have fun with games.

The games don't have to be productive, they just have to be fun. Just about any kid’s game can be adapted to seniors, and though it took some prodding to get my dad involved in just letting loose and having fun playing games, now he's the first one to often suggest games, especially around Christmas time.

Christmas Bingo is a play on the classic Bingo game that is easy for many seniors to play. Instead of numbers in the squares, pictures such as reindeer, elves, bells, or Santa's are placed in the squares and are then matched. Other popular games that the seniors in my facility like to play are Christmas Charades, and most especially, Christmas Jeopardy.

Other popular Christmas games for seniors can include a Christmas tree ornament find (such as the old fashioned game ‘Button, Button, Who's got the Button? Or plan a treasure hunt. You can do the same with a "Find Santa's Reindeer" game, which works especially well in long-term care facilities where a cutout of Rudolph can be taped to a wall or door in the facility and the senior who finds it gets a prize.

When it comes to Christmas time this year, think outside the box. Convert a variety of children's games to the Christmas theme and get your elderly loved ones involved. Chances are they'll have fun, enjoy a laugh or two, and benefit from the Christmas spirit.

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Christmas Scavenger Hunt for Dad
by: Vicki

For years as my brothers and sisters were growing up, my dad used to plan a yearly Christmas scavenger hunt in our house. Now that we’re grown up, we've decided to turn the tables.

We go to Dad’s house now, and even though he's in his early 80s, he enjoys being the one who has to find all the presents, based on clues that we give them.

It keeps his mind sharp, gives him something to look forward to, and a great sense of satisfaction when he gets to the end.

Christmas Game Played by Our Family
by: Lynn

I have found that with my elderly parents, involving other family members works well.

Christmas games can provide even more fun for the elderly that way, reduce their level of self-consciousness, and really boost interaction that bridges generation gaps.

One of our favorite games is called Pin the Nose on Rudolph, a play on Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

To keep things extra safe, we have one of the family members hold onto Mom or Dad's arm or waist to prevent trips or falls while they're blindfolded.

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