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10 meaningful Thanksgiving activities for seniors

10 meaningful Thanksgiving activities for seniors

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thanksgiving activities for seniors

As the vibrant colors of autumn paint the landscape and the crisp air fills our lungs, Thanksgiving approaches, bringing with it a time of reflection, gratitude, and togetherness. For seniors, this holiday holds a special place in their hearts, as it provides an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and reminisce cherished memories. 

This blog will explore traditions, Thanksgiving crafts, quotes, and heartwarming moments that will make this holiday season extraordinary. So, get ready to embark on a journey of gratitude, love, and joyful experiences that will warm your heart and uplift your spirit! 

When is Thanksgiving Day in 2023? 

Thanksgiving Day in 2023 falls on Thursday, November 23rd. Thanksgiving marks a special occasion for families and communities to come together and express gratitude for the blessings in their lives. 

Share some laughter with these funny Thanksgiving quotes 

Laughter is a great way to add some joy and lightheartedness to your Thanksgiving celebrations. Here are a few funny Thanksgiving quotes to bring a smile to your face:   

  1. "Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not a coincidence." - Erma Bombeck 
  2. "I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage." - Erma Bombeck 
  3. "Thanksgiving is an emotional time. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often." - Johnny Carson 
  4. "Thanksgiving: Bringing out the best nap skills since 1621." - Unknown 
  5. "Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie." - Jim Davis 
  6. "Thanksgiving is an opportunity to show off your cooking skills to people who don't know any better." - Jimmy Fallon 
  7. "The only thing getting 'lit' this Thanksgiving are the scented candles." - Unknown 
  8. "Coexistence: What the farmer does with the turkey - until Thanksgiving." - Mike Connolly 
  9. "Thanksgiving is all about getting together with loved ones, eating delicious food, and then spending the rest of the day avoiding political conversations." - Unknown 
  10. "I'm thankful for elastic waistbands." - Unknown 

Thanksgiving 2023: 10 meaningful Thanksgiving activities for seniors 

Now it’s time to explore 10 meaningful Thanksgiving activities for seniors that can foster a sense of gratitude, connection, and enjoyment during the holiday season. These activities are designed to engage seniors in various ways, promoting social interaction, creativity, reflection, and giving back to the community. 

1. Thanksgiving poetry reading 

Older adults can invite their friends and peers to write and share their own Thanksgiving-themed poems. Set a warm and inviting ambiance by using candles and playing gentle, soothing music, and encourage everyone to take turns reading their poems aloud. This activity provides an outlet for self-expression and creativity. 

2. Virtual storytelling circle 

Organizing a virtual storytelling session for older adults living away from home or in an assisted living facility can be an excellent way to celebrate Thanksgiving 2023. During the session, they can share their favorite Thanksgiving memories and stories. This activity promotes connection, reminiscing, and sharing wisdom across generations. 

3. Harvest fest 

Organize a mini harvest festival at a senior center, nursing home, or community garden. Include activities such as apple picking, pumpkin decorating, and a farmers’ market. This event celebrates the abundance of the season and fosters a sense of community. 

4. Thanksgiving movie marathon 

Host a movie marathon featuring classic Thanksgiving-themed films. Provide popcorn, cozy blankets, and comfortable seating for seniors to enjoy a day of cinematic entertainment and laughter. Some of the classic Thanksgiving movies for seniors include: 

  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles 
  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving 
  • Miracle on 34th Street 
  • Home for the Holidays 
  • Pieces of April 

5. Gratitude collage 

Provide older adults with magazines, scissors, glue, and large poster boards. Encourage them to create collages by cutting out images and words that represent what they are grateful for. Display the collages as a visual reminder of the blessings in their lives. It can be one of the fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for seniors. 

6. Outdoor nature walks 

Take seniors on leisurely walks through parks or gardens to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage. This activity promotes physical activity, mental well-being, and an appreciation for nature’s beauty. 

7. Volunteer opportunities 

Engage seniors in volunteer activities such as serving meals at a local shelter or participating in a food drive. Giving back to the community instills a sense of purpose and gratitude in seniors’ lives. 

8. Pie baking and sharing 

Baking homemade pies like apple, pumpkin, or pecan is a classic Thanksgiving activity. Seniors can share their baking expertise or pass down family recipes, creating delicious treats that everyone can enjoy together. 

9. Traditional Thanksgiving feast 

Prepare a delicious Thanksgiving meal with all the classic dishes like roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Gathering around a table filled with familiar flavors evokes a sense of nostalgia and togetherness. 

10. Random acts of kindness 

Encourage seniors to perform random acts of kindness, such as writing thank-you notes to caregivers or making small gifts for friends. These acts of kindness bring joy to others and foster a sense of purpose and fulfillment in seniors’ lives. 

Thanksgiving activities for seniors with dementia 

When planning Thanksgiving activities for seniors with dementia, it’s essential to think about their needs and abilities. Here are some ideas to bring some joy and delight into their lives: 

1. Gratitude circle 

Gather seniors in a circle and encourage each person to express something they are grateful for. It can be a great Thanksgiving activity for seniors with dementia that promotes a sense of connection and positivity. Keep the atmosphere calm and supportive to ensure everyone feels comfortable participating. 

2. Puzzle party 

Organize a puzzle-solving session where seniors can work together to complete a Thanksgiving-themed puzzle. This activity stimulates cognitive function, encourages teamwork, and provides a fun challenge. It would be one of the fun and stimulating Thanksgiving games for seniors with dementia. 

3. Music therapy 

Play familiar Thanksgiving songs or tunes from their era to evoke positive emotions and encourage engagement. Sing-alongs, gentle dancing, or playing musical instruments can provide a joyful and interactive experience for seniors with dementia. 

4. Fall-themed crafts 

Engage them in simple Thanksgiving crafts suitable for their abilities, such as creating paper turkeys, decorating foam pumpkins, or making leaf collages. These activities provide opportunities for self-expression, fine motor skill engagement, and a sense of accomplishment. 

5. Gentle exercise or chair yoga 

Lead seniors in modified exercises or chair yoga sessions that promote gentle movement, stretching, and relaxation. Physical activities help maintain mobility, improve circulation, and enhance overall well-being. 

Final thoughts 

Thanksgiving presents a wonderful opportunity to engage our elderly loved ones in meaningful activities that promote gratitude, connection, and joy. By considering their unique needs and preferences, we can create an inclusive and enjoyable holiday experience for our beloved seniors. 

We hope these Thanksgiving activities for seniors inspire you to create a memorable and meaningful holiday experience.  Let’s make this Thanksgiving 2023 a truly special and enriching occasion for them – filled with love, warmth, and cherished memories.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Related articles: 


  • What are some Thanksgiving gift ideas for seniors? 

Here are some Thanksgiving gifts for seniors considering various preferences, needs, and any potential physical limitations: 

  1. Put together a food or snacks basket, including items that cater to their dietary restrictions. 
  2. Choose a soft and warm blanket or throw to keep them cozy during the colder months. 
  3. Scented candles, essential oil diffusers, or bath and body sets. 
  4. If they’re open to technology, consider gifting them a tablet or e-reader to enjoy digital books, games, or video calls. 
  5. For seniors who enjoy gardening, consider gifting them gardening tools, seeds, or plants. 
  • What are some Thanksgiving gift ideas for seniors on Amazon? 

Here are some excellent Thanksgiving gift ideas for seniors on Amazon: 

  1. Noise-canceling headphones: High-quality noise-canceling headphones can provide a peaceful listening experience and block out background noise. 
  2. Memory foam slippers: Comfortable and supportive slippers with memory foam can help alleviate foot pain and provide cushioning. 
  3. Instant pot: An Instant Pot or a similar multi-cooker can make meal preparation easier, faster, and more convenient for seniors. 
  4. Large-print books: Look for books with large print that are easy to read for seniors who may have visual impairments. 
  5. Electric wine opener: Select electric wine openers that are easy to use and come with a foil cutter and rechargeable batteries. 

Note: Remember to check the product reviews, descriptions, and shipping details on Amazon to ensure the suitability and availability of the items.

How many days until Thanksgiving 2023?

Thanksgiving Day 2023 is just around the corner, with only 2 days remaining for the special occasion! We hope it will be a time of love, gratitude, and cherishing meaningful connections.

What is the Thanksgiving weather forecast for this year?

As per various reports, the Thanksgiving weather for 2023 is likely to be unpleasant. The New York Times reported that there could be major storms, snowfall, and rain showers on Thanksgiving week. So, it is recommended to keep checking the weather forecast, avoid traveling, and keep warm during the adverse weather conditions. You may check out our article on winter safety tips for seniors to better prepare for it.

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