By: Anthony Herring
Introduction – Autumn’s Arrival
After a surprisingly brisk and sweltering summer, autumn has finally arrived. The time of beach visits, outdoor concerts, and amusement park hijinks will now give way for cooler temperatures, pumpkin spice beverages, and the changing of the leaves. With that, comes new and fun activities for everyone to partake in—particularly seniors.
Autumn provides several unique opportunities for senior activities, and we here at Ivy Marketing are here to detail a few to you in the hopes that your own community will host them. Let’s get started!
1 – Autumn Festivals
The first activity that we’ll discuss is the eponymous autumn festival, a time for families to get together, eat food, play games, etc. This would be the perfect opportunity to have family members get together with their respective residents and go to a local festival! (This will require plenty of planning ahead, so be mindful of timing and scheduling.)
There are plenty of local festivals in the Chicagoland area, such as Nightmare on Chicago Street in Elgin (October 21st), Free Family Day at the Chicago Children’s Museum on the Near North Side (October 26th), and the Corporate and Community Tree Trim in Brookfield (November 11 – 12th). Additional festivals are can be found on several websites, such as the news site WTTW.
2 – Nature Walks
With the sweltering summer temperatures now in our rearview mirror, the slightly frostier autumn temperatures have now arrived. With that comes an easier time for seniors to make their way outside for a lovely nature walk, whether that be in the local park or even the local nature preserve. Your community can schedule these walks for your residents on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, so as to give them some fresh air—and maybe even some exercise! The cool air will no doubt be a much-needed reprieve at times, especially if certain residents have been unable to leave the community.
That being said, there are some things that need to brought to your attention. Since the seasons have changed, the weather can have an adverse effect on your residents. (For example, during the summer months—as the website Lifespan explains—seniors are at a higher risk for heat strokes due to their older bodies.) The website Comfort Keepers goes into detail about how the cooler temperatures have a detrimental effect on seniors’ bodies, so it’s best to make sure that when nature walks are scheduled, have them dress in layers. Not only that, but the site also recommends that they be mindful of leaves on the ground, as that could make potentially make them fall.
3 – Halloween Movie Nights
October is the month of the so-called “spooky season”, so don’t be surprised to see an uptick in ghouls, goblins, and gremlins. Not actual ones, thankfully, but rather children dressed up as them! This time of the year is a special one for kids, as they’ll be treat-or-treating on Halloween night, collecting candy by the dozens—if not hundreds!
What also makes this season special are the movies. Hocus Pocus. Beetlejuice. The Haunted Mansion. So many to choose from, and what better way to bring children and the residents of your senior living communities together than by hosting Halloween movie nights! (And the great thing is, you don’t need to limit this to the day itself.) Perhaps every once every week—or even twice—you can invite the residents’ grandkids to come to the community and watch some spooky movies with their grandparents. It would be a fun way for your residents to spend time with family members, along with the kids themselves being treated to sweets and everlasting memories. Have the kids dress up in costume, too, if you like; it would only add to the experience.
4 – “Autumnal Decoration Days”
The last activity that we’ll discuss are what we here at Ivy Marketing like to call “autumnal decoration days.” What we mean by this are dedicated days throughout the autumn months where your living community can invite residents’ family members to make autumn decorations. (Perhaps make a limit on how many can be allowed.) They can partake in crafting multicolored leaves to hang in residents’ rooms. They can make papier-mâché pumpkins and squashes to post near the entrances and exits. They can hang orange lights in the main halls and eating areas.
These are just starting suggestions that you are more than happy to implement, along with some that you come up with!
The details present in this blog article were comprised of information gathered from the sources listed below. I want to give credit where credit is due.