How do you plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve at your nursing home this year? Today I’m sharing several ideas we’ve come up with over the years, and I would love to hear your suggestions in the comment section.
Staying up until midnight to see in the new year might be a bit challenging for some folks. Instead, celebrate with another part of the world. Find a time that works best for your residents, then use this chart to find a city/country that corresponds. For example, when the new year begins in Rio de Janiero, Brazil it will only be 8 pm here in North Dakota. That’s the perfect time for our residents to celebrate!
Serve sparkling cider or grape juice, along with New Year’s treats that are popular in other countries. Norwegians enjoy rice pudding. In Mexico, they eat Three King’s Bread. Germans eat donuts filled with jam. You can even offer something more unique like the pickled herring that’s served in Poland. Better yet, ask residents to share ideas from their own family traditions.
Provide supplies so residents can make their own party hats. Check out Pinterest for tons of fun ideas. Encourage the nursing home staff to make their own hats, too!
Share New Year’s resolutions from the past. Which ones did your residents keep and which ones were a lost cause? It’s also healthy to create new resolutions. This can be something simple like resolving to get in touch with an old friend, exercising for 15 minutes a day, or reading a certain number of books.
Write down predictions for the new year and place them in a time capsule to be opened next year on New Year’s Eve. For example, who will win the World Series? How much will a gallon of gas cost a year from now? Which politician will win an election? What will be the name of the first hurricane of the new year?
Your residents watched a lot of years come and go. Encourage them to reminisce about New Year’s celebrations of the past. I’ll bet your residents will come up with happy, funny, sad, and perhaps even romantic memories.
Do a countdown at whatever time you wish. Find an old video of the ball drop at Time Square, then be prepared with noisemakers and sheets of bubble wrap to pop. (Just be sure everyone is forewarned so nobody is frightened by the noise!) Finally, finish off the year by singing Auld Lang Syne.
Again, I would love to hear how you celebrate New Year’s Eve at your nursing home!