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5 Brain-Engaging Ideas for Seniors on New Year’s Eve

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New Year’s Eve is a wonderful time to get your aging loved one excited about the upcoming year, and you can kick this year off right by increasing his or her cognitive abilities. As you start planning your final celebration of the season, you can use these five activities to help your loved one stay mentally stimulated.

1. Play a Game of Charades

Party games are a great way to get everyone involved in New Year’s festivities. This year, plan to play a game of charades so your loved one can participate regardless of his or her physical abilities. To make it extra fun, plan for a theme your loved one will get excited about. For instance, you could have everyone keep their words or phrases limited to a specific decade or movie genre. For seniors who are experiencing cognitive challenges, pair up into teams so they can have some extra help. 

If your loved one has difficulty managing physical or cognitive challenges throughout the rest of the year, a professional caregiver can help. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Milwaukee families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

2. Plan a Scavenger Hunt

Your loved one may want to start the New Year’s Eve fun earlier, and a scavenger hunt provides just the right amount of adventure to get him or her excited. Before your loved one arrives, hide party accessories such as hats and noisemakers around the house, then prepare a list of clues he or she needs to figure out to find each one. Your loved one will enjoy the mystery involved, and you’ll like knowing you provided the inspiration to think strategically.

3. Prepare a Favorite Snack Recipe

Cooking is a great way for families to bond, and trying to follow a new recipe encourages your loved one to keep his or her mathematical skills sharp. Try picking out a recipe you have to double and ask your loved one to do the calculations as you measure the ingredients. Being able to help with prep for the party and figure out how to make a new dish may give your loved one a sense of accomplishment. 

If your loved one has difficulty planning nutritious meals or cooking at home, he or she may benefit from the occasional pair of helping hands a caregiver offers. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Milwaukee seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.

4. Start a Sing-Along

Music activates parts of the brain associated with memory recall and creative thinking. Whether you gather around the piano or the stereo, getting your loved one to sing a few favorite songs is a fun way to increase his or her mental stimulation. Try singing a few holiday favorites, or ask your loved one to bring a new song to the party for everyone to learn. You can also increase mental stimulation by encouraging your loved one to dance or do hand movements while singing.

5. Create a Time Capsule

The new year is a great time to reflect on the past. This year, have your loved one draw or write down a few of his or her favorite memories, then look for some mementos such as a scrap of fabric or a photograph that he or she can add to the capsule. Once you’ve put it together, place the capsule in a special place and give it a date to be reopened. This activity can help your loved one recall memories while leaving behind a special legacy for the rest of the family.

New Year’s Eve can be fun for the whole family, no matter what age. Planning mentally engaging activities is a great way to involve seniors in the festivities. Elderly people sometimes need a bit of extra help with mental stimulation to stay sharp and healthy during the rest of the year, too. In Milwaukee, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call Home Care Assistance at Milwaukee (414) 964-8000 or Waukesha (262) 782-3383 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.