It is once again that time of the year. We put our hands to our hearts and hold our heads up high in remembrance of our fallen heroes. Memorial Day was once called ‘Decoration Day’ and was in honor of the soldiers we lost to the Civil War. In later years, it was changed to pay respects to all soldiers who died serving our armed forces, not just our civil war heroes. So, BoomersHub celebrates the day with some exciting Memorial Day Activities for Seniors.
In the retirement community, many are veterans and may have an emotional link to this day. They may have lost many friends and family to war.
We will explore some activities to honor and enjoy this day with seniors, whether at home or in a senior living facility there are many ways they can be a part of this day.
10 Memorial Day Activities for Seniors
Perhaps it is the most basic activity on the list, but of course, what better way to honor our soldiers than to raise our beloved flag in their honor? This is also one of the simpler activities for those that cannot leave their residences.
1. Flag raising
What better way to honor our soldiers than to raise our beloved flag in their honor? This is also one of the more straightforward activities for those that cannot leave their residences. So, start your Memorial Day celebrations by hosting a flag-raising ceremony with your family members or senior living residents
2. Parade Event
There are always several local memorial day parades being held. It may be nice to attend one with friends or loved ones. This may not be possible in light of recent circumstances. Still, maybe you can arrange a small parade at home amongst yourselves, with the children in the family. It may be an opportunity to teach them more about our rich history. Assisted living facilities may arrange a Memorial Day event for the seniors. There are several puzzles and card games for seniors with dementia, so they may actively participate.
3. Visit Monuments
Though it may not be possible to go and tour these monuments, one may drive by with the family and see them. It will definitely be a nice change of pace for your loved ones. An assisted living facility may also plan a short trip for the seniors to ride around local monuments. There are memorial monuments throughout the states, and even in other countries. You can see some of them here.
4. Making Crafts
Several Memorial Day-themed crafts may be made with simple household items. Making such crafts may be a nice activity for seniors to bond with family or friends. The crafts can then be used to decorate one’s own home or a senior facility. Many creative ideas may be found on Pinterest and other such websites. Yellow ribbons and poppy flowers may be used for decoration. The yellow ribbon is to honor our military. Poppies symbolize our remembrance of the first world war.
5. Preparing Snacks
Prepare some Memorial Day snacks. Whether making them with your loved ones, or seniors in a facility- it will definitely be a fun activity! All those delicious cakes, ice creams, and fruits in hues of red, white, and blue!
6. Memorial Day Picnic
A nice picnic will definitely lift everyone’s spirits. The crafts and snacks mentioned previously may be used to make an authentic experience for all! While it may be difficult to go to a nice park for the picnic, one’s own backyard, or an assisted living facility’s lounge may do just fine.
7. Memorial Day Fundraiser
You may decide to throw a fundraiser to gather some money to surprise the families of fallen soldiers. You can sell some of the snacks and crafts mentioned previously if you have decided to make them. The money can go to the families themselves or towards presents for them.
8. Pay Tribute
If it is possible, you may go to visit the graves of fallen soldiers. Many veterans may have friends who died in a war and may wish to visit their resting places.
9. Reach out
It might be a good idea to reach out to the families of the deceased soldiers, especially if they are friends or family. Whether it’s a letter, a phone call, or even video chatting- it may be nice to check up on them on this day. The more senior family members may be pleased to have someone to talk to
10. National Moment of Remembrance
Of course, we will end with the National Moment of Remembrance, taking place at 3 p.m. local time each Memorial Day. While we have to honor the fallen in silence, it might be nicer to sit together with loved ones and support those grieving the most.
Memorial Day Activities for Seniors in Senior Care
Just because our senior loved ones are in assisted living or other care homes doesn’t mean they cannot be a part of the Memorial Day celebrations. Here are some fun and meaningful Memorial Day activity ideas for the elderly in senior care:
1. Visit a nearby military landmark
Memorial Day can be an excellent occasion for seniors in assisted living or retirement communities to get outside and enjoy outdoor experiences. They can visit a nearby military cemetery or monument with fellow residents and lay some flowers to pay their respect.
2. Decorate Common Spaces
Decorating shared spaces like the common room, hallways, kitchen, and garden can be one of the fun Memorial Day activity ideas for the elderly in senior homes. It will bring some cheerfulness to the facility and lift everyone’s spirit.
3. Organize a trivia night
Organizing Memorial Day games and trivia nights are a great way to celebrate the occasion. Senior living residents can share stories and experiences related to wars and previous Memorial Days. It’s a great way to socialize and make new friends. Trivia nights can also be one of the best Memorial Day activities for seniors with dementia since it requires them to rehash memories and stimulates their brain.
4. Letter writing event
Writing letters to active or retired veterans to thank them for their service can be one of the wholesome Memorial Day celebration ideas. Senior veterans can show their appreciation and solidarity towards fellow soldiers through those letters. Many organizations deliver letters and care packages to service men and women.
Seniors can enjoy a day of patriotic fun by attending a Memorial Day parade or visiting a veteran’s cemetery. They can also write letters to the families of the deceased soldiers, organize a fundraiser, or simply enjoy a trivia night with loved ones.
We hope that everyone can enjoy themselves and participate in many great bonding activities. But most of all, we hope everyone can stay safe during these difficult times and take part in activities responsibly.