8 Fall Activities for Older Adults in 2021

Fall is in full swing and now is the perfect time to incorporate some seasonally themed programming into your activity calendar.

As we enter the second winter of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be looking for inspiration to help your team keep residents engaged during the coming months.

The good news is that adding new activities to your calendar is a great place to start, and with nearly 18 months of digital programming experience behind you, the older adults in your senior living community are ready to adapt to whatever this season brings.

To help you start planning, here are eight fall activities for older adults that might be a great addition to your community calendar.

1. Throw a DIY Halloween Costume Contest

Encourage your residents to get creative with the clothes in their closets and the items around their homes to create a fun Halloween costume.

If social distancing regulations permit, host a costume contest and if gathering in person is not possible, have a Zoom costume party.

Then, you can share photos and videos of residents in costume with loved ones near and far using your Family Engagement platform.

2. Host a Football Watch Party

While gathering to watch a football game in person is a staple fall activity, it can be tough for older adults to make it out to the stadium in person.

Instead, throw a football watch party for the big games this season. You can get festive and decorate your space for the home team and encourage residents to wear their team’s colors. 

While not everyone may be a football fan, all residents can get involved by playing games, like football crossword puzzles or football bingo, and everyone loves game day snacks.

3. Program a Fall-Themed Art Class

Remember when you were in elementary school and your teacher had you craft with brightly colored autumn leaves?

Whether the older adults in your community are fine artists or more excited to paint by numbers, host a virtual or in-person class to guide residents step by step through a fall-inspired art class.

If you can host the class in-person, properly socially distance stations. If you are hosting a virtual class, drop off supplies to residents’ rooms for them to follow along with the class on Zoom.

If this goes well, this could be the start of a series of seasonally inspired art classes that explore different mediums like drawing, painting, and collage.

4. Encourage Residents to Pick Up an Indoor Hobby

As the season changes, your residents may spend more time inside so now’s a great time to pick up a new hobby. Popular fall activities for older adults who prefer to do their hobbies solo include… 

  • Knitting.
  • Crochet.
  • Puzzles.
  • Building miniatures.
  • Writing poetry.
  • Meditation.

Many of these indoor-friendly options can also help older adults create thoughtful gifts for loved ones. With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s a good idea to encourage the crafters in your community to start making any holiday gifts they have in mind today.

5. Launch a Seasonal Book Club

Book clubs, virtual or in-person, are an easy way for residents to foster beneficial social relationships, which are so important, especially as your residents continue to navigate the hardships of the pandemic.

And the spooky days of autumn lend themselves perfectly to set the scene for a thrilling story. We recommend The Haunting of Hill House, Dracula, and Frankenstein, if you’re looking for a scary story to get things started.

If your group prefers classic autumn scenery, Jane Eyre, The Great Gatsby, and Anne of Green Gables are fitting options.

6. Offer Virtual Cooking Classes with Seasonal Vegetables

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to host a cooking class to explore fall recipes. As you plan, include fall harvest staples like leafy greens, beets, carrots, and radishes in your recipes.

Whether you cook up a traditional Thanksgiving meal or try a twist on the classics, a cooking class provides a great excuse for the older adults in your community to sit down together for a homemade meal.

7. Schedule a Fall Planting Party

Summer harvests may be over, but the fall season brings its own opportunities in the garden:

  • If you’re in a colder climate, hardy perennials like daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths will make it through the winter.
  • If you’re in a moderate climate, early-blooming daffodils and Dutch iris do well through a mild winter.
  • If you’re in a warmer climate, cacti, sunflowers, and geraniums are perfect for a warm winter.

You can always check with your local gardening center for what grows best in your area.

If you have a community garden space, this is an easy way to get residents active and outside. If you don’t have an outdoor space to use, you can pot plants like herbs or succulents for residents to keep in their rooms throughout the winter months.

8. Send a Seasonal Newsletter

Fall activities for older adults don’t all have to be focused on the weather outdoors. As the seasons change, re-engage residents with a fall-themed newsletter with Caremerge’s PressPrint.

If you have passionate writers or journalists in your community, this may be a great way to activate their professional skills to tell stories about what’s going on day-to-day or in the broader community.

To get started, perhaps get residents to share their favorite ghost stories or what they’re feeling grateful for, as Thanksgiving approaches. You can also include seasonal crossword puzzles and word searches – bonus points if they’re made by residents!

Manage Your Fall Activity Calendar with Caremerge

Providing creative seasonal programming can be a great way to boost community engagement this fall, and with the right platform to support your efforts, you can track increases in attendance rates and resident satisfaction, as well as seeking resident feedback about your programming.

Caremerge offers a range of resident engagement software options, including Calendar Central, which can help you manage room booking, scheduling, resident attendance data, and more. Community Engagement is another resource available to help improve communication and wellness programming.

See how Caremerge can help you tailor your activities for the older adults in your community this fall.

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