You might think that as older people get, they tend to get more serious. At some point this is true, but older people also need, and want, to have fun just like anyone else! Especially when people reach a certain age in their lives when they are no longer burdened by the hassles of everyday life, they might actually be in need of fun and activity, to relive their youth and exercise.
However, senior citizens are like kids in many ways. They are seeing the world again in a new way, and they are more fragile than adults. So even if they want to play games and participate in activities, those should be well thought of and should take into consideration the health and physical state of the senior citizens.
So, when you are planning a party, a get-together, a reunion or a simple fun activity, make sure to follow these steps:
- Get to know your crowd. Before the big event, as much as possible you should try to know who are coming and what their backgrounds are. Ideally you should know their ages so you can have an idea of the age range of participants. Also, make it a point to know their health and physical conditions – who has what condition, who has allergies, special preferences, who takes what medicines and what for. Getting pertinent information would be useful in planning games and activities, and in knowing what to do in case something unexpected happens.
- Make a list of games. When you have figured out or when you have an idea of the range of people and demographic that would be participating, then you can make a list of possible games and activities for them. Do they have active lifestyles? Are they still in the prime of health? Would they appreciate sit down games? Do they like intellectual games like chess or board games? If your group is made of active, healthy senior citizens then you can have charades, dancing games, maybe even walkathon. Active games will let them feel empowered as they see that they still have it.
If they are more passive, then maybe you can opt for sit down games or activities that require minimum movement. You can arrange for chess, scrabble, cards or board game tournaments. If it is a mixed group, you can have a little both so that everyone can participate.
- Make fun activities. Aside from games, prepare activities that would be fun for the senior citizens and their age group. Maybe there could be a singer, but ask first what songs do they prefer. Maybe they like the classic hits of their time, or jazz of a particular decade, and so on. Maybe they are a group into knitting. Then organize a knitting session or workshop. You can even prepare a kind of Show and Tell, and ask them to share something they treasure in this time of their life.
Whatever you come up with, just remember that the senior citizens should be able to enjoy the activities and party games that you will prepare for them.