New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate the past year and look forward to the future. It is also a time to share joy and gratitude with your loved ones, especially those who may need some extra care and attention. If you have a family member or a friend who lives in an assisted living facility, you may wonder how you can make this occasion special for them. After all, they may not be able to join you for the usual festivities, such as parties, fireworks, or concerts. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways to have fun and create meaningful memories with your loved ones in assisted living. Here are ten great ideas on how to ring in 2024 with them.
- Send them a personalized gift basket. – One of the simplest and most thoughtful ways to show your loved ones that you care is to send them a gift basket filled with their favorite things. You can customize it according to their preferences, hobbies, or needs. For example, you can include items such as books, magazines, puzzles, games, snacks, drinks, toiletries, or accessories. You can also add some festive touches, such as balloons, confetti, streamers, or party hats. Don’t forget to include a heartfelt card or a photo album that captures some of the best moments of the past year. Your loved ones will surely appreciate your gesture and enjoy unwrapping their surprises.
- Host a virtual countdown party. – Thanks to technology, you can still celebrate New Year’s Eve with your loved ones in assisted living even if you can’t be physically present with them. You can host a virtual countdown party using video chat platforms such as Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. You can invite other family members or friends to join the call and make it a group celebration. You can also prepare some fun activities to do together online, such as playing games, trivia, bingo, or charades. You can also watch the ball drop live on TV or online and toast to the new year with champagne or sparkling cider. Make sure to check with the staff of the assisted living facility beforehand about the best time and way to contact your loved ones.
- Plan a visit and decorate their room. – If possible, you can also plan a visit to your loved ones in assisted living and spend some quality time with them on New Year’s Eve. Of course, you should follow the health and safety protocols of the facility and respect their visiting hours and rules. You can also bring some decorations to brighten up their room and create a festive atmosphere. For example, you can hang up some string lights, banners, garlands, or posters with positive messages or resolutions for the new year. You can also bring some noise makers, glow sticks, or sparklers to add some fun and excitement. Don’t forget to take some photos or videos of your visit and share them with your loved ones later.
- Cook or order their favorite meal. – Another way to make your loved ones in assisted living feel special on New Year’s Eve is to cook or order their favorite meal for them. You can either bring it yourself when you visit them or have it delivered by a local restaurant or catering service. You can also ask them what they would like to eat or surprise them with something they haven’t had in a while. You can also include some traditional New Year’s Eve foods that are believed to bring good luck, such as grapes, black-eyed peas, greens, pork, or fish. You can also bake or buy some desserts, such as cake, pie, cookies, or chocolate to sweeten the deal. Make sure to check with the staff of the facility about any dietary restrictions or allergies that your loved ones may have.
- Watch a movie or a show together. – If you and your loved ones in assisted living enjoy watching movies or shows together, you can also plan a cozy and relaxing night in on New Year’s Eve. You can either watch something on TV or stream something online using platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or YouTube. You can choose something that suits your mood and taste, whether it is a comedy, a drama, a romance, an action, a thriller, a musical, or a documentary. You can also watch something that is related to New Year’s Eve, such as When Harry Met Sally, New Year’s Eve, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Sleepless in Seattle, or The Holiday. You can also watch some live performances or concerts that are happening around the world on New Year’s Eve. Don’t forget to prepare some popcorn, candy, or other snacks to munch on while you watch.
- Make a time capsule or a scrapbook. – If you want to do something more creative and sentimental with your loved ones in assisted living on New Year’s Eve, you can also make a time capsule or a scrapbook together. A time capsule is a container that holds items that represent the past year, such as photos, letters, souvenirs, newspaper clippings, or mementos. You can seal it and store it somewhere safe until a future date, such as the next New Year’s Eve or a milestone anniversary. A scrapbook is a book that contains photos, stickers, quotes, drawings, or other embellishments that showcase the past year. You can make it by hand or use online tools such as Shutterfly, Snapfish, or Mixbook. Both of these projects are great ways to preserve your memories and express your feelings with your loved ones.
- Listen to music or sing karaoke. – If you and your loved ones in assisted living love music, you can also listen to some tunes or sing karaoke on New Year’s Eve. You can either play some CDs, vinyl records, cassettes, or radio stations that feature your favorite artists or genres. You can also stream some playlists or podcasts that are curated for New Year’s Eve using platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, or iHeartRadio. You can also sing along to some songs using karaoke machines, apps, or websites that provide the lyrics and the instrumental tracks. You can choose songs that are upbeat and catchy, such as Auld Lang Syne, Celebration, I Gotta Feeling, Firework, or Happy. You can also choose songs that are nostalgic and meaningful, such as Imagine, What a Wonderful World, Lean on Me, Stand by Me, or You’ve Got a Friend.
- Play games or do puzzles. – If you and your loved ones in assisted living enjoy playing games or doing puzzles, you can also have some fun and friendly competition on New Year’s Eve. You can either play some board games, card games, dice games, or word games that are suitable for all ages and skill levels. You can also do some puzzles, such as crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, or logic puzzles that challenge your mind and keep you entertained. You can also play some games that are related to New Year’s Eve, such as New Year’s Eve bingo, charades, trivia, Scattergories, or resolution guessing game. You can also play some games that involve making predictions for the new year, such as fortune telling cards, tarot cards, crystal balls, or horoscopes.
- Read books or tell stories. – If you and your loved ones in assisted living love reading books or telling stories, you can also have some cozy and intimate moments on New Year’s Eve. You can either read some books that are inspiring, uplifting, humorous, romantic, or adventurous. You can also read some books that are related to New Year’s Eve, such as The Night Before New Year’s by Natasha Wing and Amy Wummer, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, The End of the Year by John Updike, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, or A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. You can also tell some stories that are personal, funny, touching, surprising, or scary. You can tell stories about your past year, your childhood memories, your family history, your dreams and goals, or your hopes and fears.
- Express gratitude and appreciation. – Last but not least, one of the best things to do with your loved ones in assisted living on New Year’s Eve is to express gratitude and appreciation for them. You can do this by writing them a thank you note, a poem, a letter, or a card that expresses how much you love and value them. You can also do this by giving them a hug, a kiss, a compliment, or a praise that shows how much you respect and admire them. You can also do this by listening to them, supporting them, encouraging them, or cheering them up when they need it. You can also do this by simply saying “I love you”, “I appreciate you”, or “I’m grateful for you”. By expressing gratitude and appreciation, you can make your loved ones feel happy, special, and cherished on New Year’s Eve.
As you can see, there are many ways to ring in 2024 with your loved ones in assisted living. You can make them feel loved, appreciated, and included by sending them gifts, hosting virtual parties, visiting and decorating their rooms, cooking or ordering their favorite meals, watching movies or shows, making time capsules or scrapbooks, listening to music or singing karaoke, playing games or doing puzzles, reading books or telling stories, and expressing gratitude and appreciation. No matter what you choose to do, the most important thing is to spend some quality time with them and create some lasting memories. We hope you have a wonderful and happy New Year with your loved ones in assisted living!