The older generation grew up in an era of social activities that kept many people entertained, such as dining parties, sporting events, and celebrations. As some elderly folks make the transition to assisted living facilities, it is only natural that they would be drawn to similar social activities in this part of their life as well. Around the holidays are great times to get together and socialize in these communities. Even if it is not for a holiday, dining experiences can prove to be so much fun and provide some much needed socialization for the residence. Even if it is just a random meal, take the opportunity to turn it into an amazing experience. Consider these simple steps to turn just an ordinary dining experience into a great opportunity for socialization to truly maximize its potential.
Have Your Residents Invite Guests
For any particular meal time, take the opportunity to have your residents invite some guests over for a meal. It is no secret that many older people can start to feel lonely as they reach an advanced stage in their life. Giving your guests the opportunity to have an open invitation to a dinner evening or a brunch special can help them to get excited again. Many residents want the chance to call up their family or friends and invite them to something that is especially planned for them. It can give them the chance to reconnect with people outside of the community and let them introduce their special friends to their home neighbors. These special events can make a normal day feel that much more unique and exciting.
Promote Holiday Dining Experiences
Although you can have a great dining experience any night of the month, you can have a little extra something special by planning the meals and dining routines around a certain theme or holiday. Each month of the year has a holiday or a theme you could center meal times around. These themes can allow for anticipation and excitement to build up, as well as allowing the residents something to plan and prepare for. Maybe they could wear certain clothes that match the theme, they can eat foods that match the theme, or play games centered around the dining experience. All of these suggestions can lead to residents being more engaged with each other as they enjoy their dining experiences together.
Create Comfortable Dining Areas
Whether there are outside guests coming or the residents just want to share a nice meal with each other, have dining areas that are pleasing and comfortable. While at facilities like assisted living Pocatello, residents want to feel like they are home as much as possible. These feelings can be enhanced particularly if they have a home-like and comfortable feel to them. These areas can create a great environment for socialization and communication to take place if they are well organized and feel safe and welcoming. Having nice table cloths, comfy chairs, nice dishes, low lighting and friendly staff can all increase and enhance their dining experience and promote more socialization among each other and guests. When a nice meal has been well-chatted over because everyone feels comfortable and secure, then you know you have truly maximized the elderly’s socialization times.