strawberry bouquet with candy

These strawberry desserts have your choice of topping and are also easy  gifts you can make. Do it the super easy way or make chocolate covered strawberries. We explain both.

This is both a food and craft project so perfect for senior activities. The result will be an attractive centerpiece, door prize, or gift – sure to please. And satisfying to make and give.

If you’re planning elderly activities, be sure to consider these strawberries desserts  – both plain or chocolate covered. The project is easy to modify and to give extra help to those who may need it. Simple items are used, and you may already have some around.

Bouquets & Strawberry Desserts

Candy Vase With Bouquet

You will need:

  • 4 large strawberries
  • Vase of your choice – tall and narrow work well
  • Candies to fill vase – wrapped is always best if it’s for a non-family member
  • 4 long kabob skewers
  • Ribbon or raffia, and bow if you’re using one — or
  • Colored feathers, or artificial flowers instead of a bow
  • Curly reeds for bouquet (optional)
  • Whipped cream, — or
  • Dipping chocolate (in microwavable container), — or
  • Small gumdrop for top of strawberry instead of whipped cream or chocolate dip
  • 4 toothpicks if you are using gumdrops
  • Plate with waxed paper, if using dipping chocolate

Make sure your vase is washed and clean.

Fill the vase half way with your candy. Put the skewer sticks and curly reeds in, arranging them as you desire. I put them in at slightly different levels so the berries wouldn’t bump into each other. Finish filling up the vase with candies.

Then wrap the ribbon or raffia around the vase several times. You can also separate the strands to give a spiral effect. Insert the feathers, flowers, or attach a bow.

If you are going to be presenting this right away and the recipient can eat the strawberries soon, then it’s very easy to use whipped cream for the tops of the berries.

However, if you’ll be giving it or eating it later, use gumdrops on the tops (sticking them on with toothpicks), or make chocolate covered strawberries (see below). First put a strawberry on each skewer. At this point, put on the whipped cream topping, or gumdrop, if not using chocolate dipped.

You can decorate strawberry bouquets for many holidays and occasions, like these super easy ghosts. They are white chocolate dipped, and the instructions are further below. The faces were made with edible food markers. Or use chocolate squirt frosting in a tube. Then place them in a vase of black and/or orange jelly beans.

Below is another version of a bouquet to use both as a centerpiece (either on a buffet, or perhaps one on each table that can later be used for your strawberry desserts. Just change out what you fill the vase with, and surround it at the bottom with real or artificial flowers.

strawberry bouquet dessert

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

If you want to make chocolate covered strawberries, there’s a really easy way. Learn all about it and see our chocolate strawberry ideas,  at: Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

They also look fabulous with a white chocolate coating. And colored berries make fabulous strawberry desserts in a bouquet type arrangement.

Learn the specifics of what to do at the link above. Then just stick a kabob skewer in each berry. Fill a teapot or vase half way with florist foam or styrofoam, and arrange the berry sticks in it. I also made and inserted a few long, thin leaves of colored paper to add to the look.

Chocolate Strawberry Flowers

For this whimsical bouquet, make chocolate covered strawberries according to instructions, in any color you like. Add a candy on top, if desired.

To make the petals, I like to use old rolls of wallpaper samples (from the thrift store) or colorful wrapping paper. You could also use doilies. Fold your paper in half (so it will be double sided), making a 3 to 4 inch square.

Trace or draw a simple flower shape on it and cut it out. Glue the two sides together.

When the glue is dry, pierce the flower centers with something sharp, like a needle, then insert kabob skewers as stems. Also insert the skewer ends into the strawberries. Make as many as you want.

Then arrange them as a bouquet in a vase filled with candies, nuts, etc. If you put one on each table, or several in a grouping, there will be enough flower strawberry desserts for everyone.

For Valentine’s Day, you could also make the petals out of red or pink paper, and cut them in the shape of hearts.

Below is a sunflower style using the same petal onto a stick principle. By doing several, you could create a bouquet.

Bouquet Strawberry Desserts, with Parfait

These strawberry desserts involve a different approach, using layers of a variety of items such as ice cream, strawberry sauce, coconut, fruit, etc., layered with fresh strawberries. The berry bouquets are made as usual. These desserts would need to be eaten right away.

You can also make these red, white and blue, so they’re great for the Fourth of July. Or use green mint ice cream and more green in your coloring, for Christmas.

I first put a layer of fresh strawberry cranberry relish sauce, which I made and which is very easy. You just add some chopped berries to the recipe. Then I layered coconut, fresh strawberries, strawberry ice cream, strawberry sauce, etc. Whatever you like. I topped it with a little whipped cream.

Lastly, I insert 3 skewers with chocolate strawberries of different colors. Even just one would suffice. Fun for parties!

As a little alternative to using strawberry desserts in a bouquet, try a towering kabob. Very simple, with fruits and candies that are easy to get. See our strawberry apple fruit kabob page.

Go to (More) Fresh Strawberry Desserts

to Easy Healthy Recipes

fall gourd craft lady

Gourd craft ideas are perfect for seniors and elderly!
They’re fun all year round,
but particularly make great fall craft projects.

I love the lumpy, bumpy kinds that suggest all sorts of funny and weird characters. And these gourds so easy! And can be adjusted to all activity levels. Just take a look at the size and shapes of the gourds you can get, and let your imagination go wild.And be sure to see ideas on our Fall Senior Activities page.

These particular gourd craft ideas have more of a fall theme, but also think in terms of gnomes or elves for winter, and summer centerpieces too. (Be sure to see our page on fall crafts for the elderly, also).

NOTE:  All images are copyrighted – © 2009, Mary S. Schulte
Images may not be copied or used on other web sites, and may only be used with your personal projects.

Favorite Gourd Craft Ideas

Girlie Gourd

fall gourd craft girl

This frivolous miss was made of a mini pumpkin, topped with curly ribbon for her hair. You can attach it with a thumb tack, or glue it. Use googly eyes, of course, and a candy or pom-pom nose.

I drew on the face with a fine point Sharpie marker pen. The head is set on several artificial fall leaves that serve as a collar of sorts.

The stand is an upside-down inexpensive candle holder from a thrift store, atop a doily. Around the bottom is a sparkly bracelet.

The Gourd Ghoul

gourd craft halloween ghost

I loved this white gourd. It immediately made me think of a lumpy ghost floating on its side. First I sliced off the top of the thick part of the gourd to make an opening in which to insert a candle. (I use only flameless candles).

Gourds can be tough to cut, so keep in mind who is doing this project – they may need assistance. Scoop out the opening. (If you remove enough of the insides so the walls are thin, the candlelight will glow through the sides in the dark). Then I put in a flameless tea light candle.

Next the face – really easy. Googly eyes as usual, then marker to make a big oval for the mouth. And a couple slanted eyebrows.

Again, it’s on top of a turned over candle holder on a dish, filled with fall candy colors. Makes a great centerpiece, and is especially fun when several ghouls are lined up across a table. More gourd craft ideas below.

Gourd Ghosts

This lacy lady is one of our easiest gourd craft ideas. Perfect for elderly who may need an easier project.

Materials:

White gourd
Black ribbon (mine was glittery)
Small artificial flower (mine was black)
Glue (for flower)
Black fine-tip marker
Large square of white lace
A stand: candle holder, jar, etc.
Small flameless candle

I first drew the face on the white gourd using the fine-tipped black marker. It is simply three ovals. Then I tied a long strand of black ribbon onto the stem. Next I glued on the artificial flower.

Then just place the square of lace over your stand, and drape it. Set the head onto the draped stand. And add a little candle at the bottom.

And if you don’t have lace…

You can also see another version using a simple white paper napkin, in case you don’t have lace. Or a white cloth napkin looks nice is well. For this sample, I used a little candy cup instead of a candle.

Gourd Goose

fall gourd craft goose

I used the same stand and candy dish for this one as I did for the Ghoul. But without the candle. Instead, I created a nest of dried moss on top of the candle stand. The natural curve of the gourd made a great goose neck, head and beak, with the googly eyes added to the head.

The natural ridge of the body of the gourd protrude enough to suggest wings. For the tail I used a gumdrop (you can also use half a Styrofoam ball), with craft feathers inserted. Since the tail end of the gourd had a little protrusion, I just stuck the gumdrop onto it. Otherwise you can glue it on, even making nail holes to insert the feathers, if needed.

Granny Gourd

One of my favorites, using a combination of two gourds. The bottom was a type of squash that had lumps suggestive of a “bosom.” When I saw it in the store I just about died laughing.

I’d already had the gourd for the head at home, and now knew what to do with it. Curly ribbon was placed around the stem, and also as a bow on the “skirt.”

The face has those googly eyes, plus a candy nose, and smiley face with eyebrows and lashes drawn on with the fine-tip marker. A doily was placed between the gourd head and body, like a lacy collar. These would also look cute with an apron (such as a doily cut in half, and ribbon).

Gourd Witch

gourd craft halloween witch

This granny is sitting on top of a small, black plastic dish with an artificial tea candle inside, creating an eerie glow. Her head is topped with a simple ribbon curl. The face is a study in fabulous lumps.

The eyes are glued onto lumps which cause them to protrude. The nose is another lump on which I drew large nostrils. The lopsided mouth wiggles around more bumps.

And then there is a wonderful natural chin. Her “feet” are a couple of artificial leaves. If I turned this gourd around, on the other side could have been a perfect grandpa gourd face as well… maybe another day.

Fancy-Hat Gourd Witch

Here’s another witch with a different look, to add to your gourd craft ideas. It’s very easy to put together, complete with a fancy hat which you can decorate any way you’d like. I got a lot of the items from a local thrift store.

The hat did come from a craft store, but we also explain how to make one from felt. You could also use colored paper.

Get the full instructions on our page all about easy Halloween crafts.

On that page we also describe how to make a really cute, frilly witch’s broom to go along with many projects.

Autumn Angel Gourd

Gourd craft ideas are varied. If you want a another look, that is un-spooky, then how about an angel gourd.

She can be used for many occasions — blessing your Thanksgiving table, or as a Christmas decoration. This project is made with a small white pumpkin-shaped gourd.

But if they’re not in season when you want to make it, there are other options. Learn more at our craft angels page.

Elf or Santa Gourd

There are gourd craft ideas for Christmas too. It’s all in the costume! In this case, a festive holiday paper napkin. It can really change the look of this guy.

This is an extremely easy project, and again, is made with a white pumpkin-like gourd. But we give other ideas too.

He can be based on a jar filled with candies, hidden under his “cape.” See just what I did on our simple Christmas crafts page.

………………………………………

Our Book

Easy Crafts and Gifts

Get lots more easy yet quality crafts for many seasons and abilities – over 120 activities in our e-book. PLUS a booklet of FREE templates you can use for a variety of projects (Including other gourd craft ideas).Two books for one!

Also see:

Painting Pumpkins and Gourds – Colorful ideas to decorate instead of carving! More gourd craft ideas.
Really Easy Apple Craft Ideas – Apples are not only abundant in fall, they are available all year long. See fun ideas to make!
Elderly Activities – A wide range of activities for those who may need modified projects.

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Learning and volunteer ideas go hand in hand. Either makes a great retirement activity too – even if you don’t retire. 

Would you like to learn something new and volunteer at the same time? Or just do one or the other? To keep our memories and mental faculties in top shape, we need to keep learning. As centenarian Maurice Eisman says, “If I could leave any message, never stop learning. Period.”

When we went to school as kids, it’s often because we had to. Maybe we enjoyed it and maybe we didn’t. Now is the time for you to learn something because you really want to, or pass along what you know. What would it be?

If you or a loved one lives in a retirement community, assisted living, or even a nursing home community, there still are many ways to put all that good knowledge and experience to use! It just takes a little creative thinking, and asking staff to help carry out your learning and volunteer ideas.

Sharing even in a small way helps keep the mind sharp, gives something to look forward to, and provides a sense of purpose and contribution.

Learning & Volunteer Ideas

Even if you don’t retire or if you just work part time, there are so many ways to help and to continue learning. Here are some volunteer ideas, and also a few for ongoing learning.

  • Jot down what you know about that you can share.
  • Next, jot down what you’d like to learn more about – perhaps to enhance what you can share.
  • Do you have a college or community college in your town? Call and have them send you a brochure. Many classes can be audited and taken for no grade or tests. Many can also be taken via the computer.
  • Ask if they have special senior education programs.
  • Also ask if they have volunteer ideas or programs to help students, if you are interested in education.
  • Many colleges offer an “elder collegium” curriculum, specifically for seniors.
  • Consider teaching (or performing) yourself, including at your senior center, nursing homes, etc. Sharing your expertise is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
  • Speaking of performing, there are theater groups in most towns that need help with anything from props to costumes to acting.
  • And, if you’re a real performer, a wonderful opportunity is to become a performer or volunteer clown with an organization that visits hospitals and nursing homes, as well as schools.
  • If you are good with sewing (costumes perhaps) or building and constructing things, you may be able to help make the actual props and items for the theater — from where you live.
  • Do you like politics? This is an area full of possible learning and volunteer ideas. Retirement is a time to more fully participate, perhaps work on political campaign or get involved with voters organizations. Also see if there is anything you can do from home, if you prefer.
  • You may even consider running for office yourself. Start locally – many of these positions are volunteer or semi-volunteer.
  • Or become your organization’s expert in current legislation.
  • You could also begin a forum or group around a specific issue in your community. Others with many different backgrounds and experiences will join, creating not only a great civic activity, but also a learning opportunity for all. Who knows what volunteer ideas you may be creating as well.
  • Perhaps you’d like to volunteer with the League of Women’s Voters.
  • Speaking of organizations, take a look at Rotary, Toastmasters, help with the Jaycees (Junior Chamber), Feeding America, Best Buddies (who work with developmentally disabled), Senior Corps (working within communities in many capacities), Foster Grandparents. All of these provide volunteer and civic opportunities. Plus a good platform to learn something new. If you or your loved one lives on a campus, is it possible to start a civic group on site? Or hold meetings there?
  • If you are or were a business person, consider volunteer ideas at SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives) which is in conjunction with the Small Business Administration. You can provide invaluable assistance and learning to others in business.
  • Participate in your local Chamber of Commerce.
  • Some towns, counties and cities have similar small business mentorship programs – consider joining a local organization. Pass on what you know.
  • If you’re physically active, how about joining in with Habitat For Humanity and help build an affordable house. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll learn some new skills too.
  • If you’re interested in the environment, check if your community has a highway or park clean-up program.
  • Your local senior center is most likely full of volunteer ideas. As we age elderly issues can become overwhelming, sometimes necessitating community help. But senior centers also offer many fun senior activity ideas and chances to make new friends.
  • An excellent way to combine learning and volunteer ideas is to help those in need. Almost every community has a local food shelf and other types of community resources. If you have experience in food, health, social services, emergency assistance, communications, financial services, law, they especially need you!
  • A local long term care facility or nursing home may have an activities director that could really use help with crafts, field trips, and other activities for their residents.
  • If you have a legal background, consider assisting with Legal Aid.
  • Every state has an organization for vision and hearing impaired. And many of the positions are volunteer work or close to it. They may also need help with fund raising!
  • Volunteer ideas are plentiful in the outdoors too. Many park and recreational facilities, botanical gardens, and conservatories utilize volunteers and also teach classes (to teach yourself, assist with, or take). If you live in a community campus, offer to share what you know with small or larger groups. Ask staff to assist with putting a slide show together, or pass around books with pictures.
  • If you have experience with gardening, look into starting a community garden – either with flowers and plants, or a vegetable garden in which others can work a plot of their own. Or just plant flowers in an area of town that needs a little beautifying. Or, if you live in a community setting, offer to do a little gardening for them. I know a lady that daily takes a walk out to the outdoor patio with her walker. Then weeds and maintains the elevated gardens there. Others take care of the indoor planter and garden areas.
  • For pet lovers, your local animal shelter may need help. Or an animal hospital. Or perhaps you’d like to do a little volunteer dog walking or pet sitting for someone. If you live on a campus, maybe the activites director has or would like to have a program for bringing animals to the residents — and you could help.
  • Does your local library have a Friends of the Library group? Many such groups not only fund raise and work in the library itself, but also bring books to those who are homebound. They may also include a program to reading to those recipients, or are in connection with another volunteer group who does read to others.
  • Jot down a list of books you’ve always wanted to read (maybe you already have one – in fact, you’ve been making it for years and it’s now three feet long). What is your plan – library, bookstore, or possibly books on tape. Are any of these books that you would like to share with others?
  • Join a book or movie club. None around? Start one with a few friends. Such clubs can provide a large range of fulfilling elderly activities. And develop into years of camaraderie and enjoyment.

As you know, it’s important to exercise the brain as well as the body.

I have seen many seniors, especially in community living, ease into their own world and even become selfish and complaining. They may lose perspective. But there ways people of all ages can learn and help, even if donating to a charitable garage sale, craft fair or holiday effort. Perhaps knitting, sewing, help with baking, crafting or making items for them.

Seniors of almost any age can give hope and companionship to others, including in a facility in which they may live, or to kids. Volunteer ideas abound. These simple efforts can bring a turn-around in attitude and provide positive goals in life.

Pages with more retirement ideas:
Finding A Hobby — Finding a hobby that is just right for you will give you a lifetime of enjoyment. Here’s the top list of hobby ideas, alone or in a group.
Senior Citizen Travel — More detailed information on planning your trip, things to be aware of, and what questions to ask your travel agent.
Senior Activity Ideas — Lots of very cool senior activity ideas, some great to do alone, or some in groups.

to Retirement Ideas

I first became familiar with how to make mulled wine when visiting Europe (I have German ancestry), where it is popular during the chilly months.

Mulled wine is an old, historical beverage dating from at least the Middle Ages, and was used to warm you up from the inside out. It’s most typically a red wine concoction (although some do use white) full of spices and also fruits, such as citrus and cherries. And served hot.

A great alternative to hot apple cider, for those who can drink alcoholic beverages. (But you can also make it with non-alcoholic wines, as needed).

Mulled wine is wonderful in cold weather, of course. Sort of a comfort drink – the elderly friends and family who I know love this. It’s often a tradition at Christmas and other winter holidays, and also during Halloween and Thanksgiving. Perfect for many party theme ideas.

But I also make it in the warmer months as well, when it is chilly or rainy outside.

Different versions of how to make mulled wine can be found in almost any European country. So if you have a particular ancestry that uses certain wines or spices, feel free to add them into the “brew”! Some countries sell packets of spices made just for mulled wine. You may be able to find them here in specialty markets, but I like to make it from scratch.

The easiest way on how to make mulled wine is by using a crock pot. Put you could also do it in a double boiler (not aluminum), on the Low setting. First heat it up (but do not let it begin to boil). Then set it on Low.

When I learned how to make mulled wine, it was first through some trial and error. I find the best kind of wine is heavy red wine, such as a Cabernet. I also love Port. I don’t like to use “cheap” wine, because I’ve have bad-tasting results when it’s heated and mixed with the spices.

I’ve tasted white wines that have been mulled, but for me they don’t have as full a flavor. Mulled wine is one of my favorite easy, healthy recipes (“healthy” being relative, depending on what you put into it – I like as much natural as possible).

How To Make Mulled Wine

Here’s a great recipe from my friend Marsha, cook extraordinaire:

  • 2 bottles of red wine.
  • ¼ cup Brandy (optional, but I find it to be delicious!). Brandy gives it more depth of flavor.
  • 2 orange slices.
  • 2 to 3 whole cloves.
  • 2 cinnamon sticks.
  • 1/4 cup sugar or brown sugar, or sweetener (raw honey is also delicious, if you like natural).
  • Optional…
  • Nutmeg and mace – start with ¼ teaspoon.
  • A pinch of anise.

Mix all the ingredients together in the crock pot (or pan) and cook on Low for about 2 to 3 hours, stirring frequently. Taste it from time to time as the flavor deepens, to see if you want to add more of any of the ingredients.

Towards the end (in the last half hour or so) you can add in pitted cherries and lemon slices for effect. Ladle into mugs to serve. I like pre-warmed mugs, myself.

This is best when served fresh. But I never turn down a mug of mulled wine – I think it improves with age. But then, that’s probably my perspective on a lot of things at this stage of the game!

Be sure to also read:

Festive and Easy Sangria Recipe — Sure to add sparkle to your parties and events. Choose either red or white wine recipes.  Non-alcoholic, sparkling grape juice is great too.
Delicious Healthy Dessert Recipes — Our healthy dessert recipes are delicious and fresh. Lots of ways to modify them too, including for low salt or sugar ideas. Fun for either groups or individuals.
Perfect Party Theme Ideas — Who doesn’t love a party? Get party theme ideas for seniors that are sure to add a little life. Plus crafts and décor ideas too.

to Easy Healthy Recipes

Elderly problems can involve a sudden need for elder caregivers or other help …Either from an outside source such as a senior home care service, or assisted living facilities. Or perhaps you. Are you ready?

But how do you really know if there’s a real problem. Or if it’s just normal aging? Our loved ones often exhibit unspoken signs of problems when they need help. Little clues.

And in helping with my Dad, I learned that those little clues can be very subtle. So I had to be very attentive. Yet not try to read too much into anything. It can be a real challenge.

Some of the most common clues that I’ve learned about that point to a need for elderly assistance are listed below. Some are more serious and will need to involve senior home care or elderly long-term care. Most seniors will eventually show some of these signs and elderly issues as they age.

If you notice any, talk openly with your elderly parent or loved one or consult a professional to work with you. And above all, do not try to do or figure out everything by yourself.

Being the list type of person that I am, that is my first reaction to any challenge or crisis. Make a list. Or many.

During my Dad’s time first in assisted living and then after he moved in with me, I have observed or experienced many elderly problems that need consideration. Maybe these lists will help you too.

Important Elderly Problems

Physical Clues

  • Noticeable change in weight (gain or loss).
  • Trouble getting out of a chair.
  • Tripping.
  • Complaints of dizziness.
  • Walking with unsteadiness.
  • Overly tired.
  • Incontinence odors (urine).
  • Overly thirsty.
  • Cannot see or read even with corrective lenses.
  • Constantly asking you to speak louder.
  • Asking the same questions too frequently.
  • Too many of the so-called senior moments.

Behavioral Clues

  • Odors from food spoilage.
  • Piles of dirty laundry.
  • Personal hygiene habits have changed.
  • Neatness or cleanliness of the home has changed.
  • The yard has become unkept.
  • Not enough food in the fridge.
  • Medications are not being taken correctly.
  • Getting lost in familiar places.
  • Stacks of unopened mail.
  • Bills are consistently not being paid.
  • Missing appointments.
  • Evidence of safety problems (ex. burns in clothing or cookware).

Elderly Depression Clues

  • Ceased socializing with other seniors or friends.
  • Very little contact with family members.
  • Not interested in conversation.
  • House is kept dark, including in the day.
  • Shade and curtains remain drawn.
  • Disinterest in senior activities previously enjoyed.
  • Sleeping more.
  • Weeping for no apparent reason.
  • Talk of wanting to end it all.

Some of these signs may actually be symptoms of the onset of dementia or Alzheimers. Or depression. It is vital that elderly people receive support as soon as possible. Caring for the elderly can be challenging.

But you need not be alone. There are many local, state and national public benefits with elderly assistance that can help you. And there may come a time when you need to consider whether your loved one needs home healthcare — read about caregiver duties; vs. long term care.

Assessing signs of elderly problems is a serious matter. Make sure you get professional help to pinpoint the real underlying elderly issues, and to help you and your loved one makes decisions about senior home care or possible elderly long-term care needs.

Be sure to also read:

Care of Elderly – Don’t Be Overwhelmed — Care of elderly calls for careful planning. But what steps do you take? Learn to make your best personalized plan.
Care For Elderly In Home – Tips and Ideas — Care for elderly in home takes a lot of planning, whether a loved one is staying in their own home or moving in with someone else (perhaps you). Great tips and ideas – including having some fun!
Fundamentals of Caregiving — Information about typical caregiving, provided by either a senior home care service, assisted living, or nursing homes, even if temporarily. What to expect, what to ask caregivers, and possible sharing of caregiver duties.

to Elderly Health Care Issues

Elderly health care issues may be sudden & swift.

…To both senior citizens and their caregivers. This is what happened with our Dad when he suddenly called us from Arizona, his voice trembling on the phone. He said he could no longer live alone.

Dad had woken up that morning and what little vision he had was now so bad he couldn’t read a thing. It impacted most senior activities that he was involved in.

His eyes had had a bleeding episode overnight, from his macular degeneration.

Sometimes we are fortunate to age in place slowly. In either case, recent studies by AARP have estimated that family and friends, themselves, provide care of the elderly (unpaid) worth over $360 billion per year.

Elderly Health Care Issues

Caregiving Issues

I first learned about elderly issues and caregiving when I was a child. My grandparents lived next door (my mother was a nurse). Grandpa had had a stroke and Grandma had a heart condition. So I was assigned many caregiving duties to help out, which I enjoyed. That experienced peaked my interest in senior activities and caregiving later in life. Including becoming the primary caregiver for my father when he was 93 1/2.

Nowadays many caregivers, of course, are baby boomers who themselves have full- or part-time jobs. And often their own children at home. They’re part of the “sandwich generation.” Worrying about elderly health care and caregiver duties triggers a myriad of concerns.

Our seniors experience stress, and so do caregivers. As we know, our attitude and thinking are of utmost importance, as they can impact the very chemistry and physiology of our brains and moods, and thus our health.

It makes all the difference in the world. Keeping stress down midst the issues of aging is important. And we have some really good ideas in this web site, including a special page, Creative Elderly Stress Activities.

Dealing with Changes

It is true that sometimes a sudden crisis may occur that catapults you into a series of unexpected events. Or perhaps certain conditions have been gradual, but now have become real elderly problems. We need to somehow cope. There may be many new questions (and I had a gazillion of them). They may include —

We had to ask ourselves, what type of housing is now needed? What kind of elderly assistance will be best in this situation — should we care for Dad in my home? What are the fundamentals of caregiving, and where do we get quality home healthcare information? What about assisted living? We decided on that to begin with.

As our loved ones age, we must be observant about habits and lifestyles we used to take for granted. And to listen. Seniors often “ask” without asking. I really had to learn to “listen between the lines” with Dad. I could tell he was afraid of losing his dignity or independence, so there were only hints. But if we observe, we can find the cllues that hint at special elderly problems.

Elderly problems can mean a change in routine or care of elderly. If you’ve noticed specific changes, talk them over with your loved one. One of the most startling changes that happened with Dad was his changing memory — and he knew it. And also that his vision got even worse after he decided to stop getting his eye injections for macular degeneration. These issues were tough to talk about, but it had to be done.

Communication

Express your concern, but involve them in the solution as much as possible. This is what we had to do with Dad when we moved him back here from Arizona. I tend to want to jump in and take charge, be efficient, get things resolved quickly. But if the issue was not pressing, I needed to step back and encourage Dad to participate with me. This took some patience.

Discuss the changes you’ve noticed and offer to help an elderly parent or friend in small ways at first — perhaps with grocery shopping, laundry, or paying bills. Most do want to stay independent as long as possible.

Good elderly nutrition is vital for overall well-being. Issues with nutrition are a very big factor with elderly health care. In fact, studies have shown that actual malnutrition is one of the biggest reasons elderly become hospitalized. (We go into this further in our Nutrition area). That was shocking to me.

Establishing a new routine of care for the elderly may cause resistance. Even by family members or friends. Dad had his set schedule and was forever wanting to know what time it was, so he could stick to it. Sometimes I let certain things slide a little because changes were always so difficult to deal with. It may be easier to just go into denial for awhile. To deal with it later. That may be OK for some issues, but terrible for others…

Is the Clock Ticking

Because in some instances, your loved one’s clock is ticking and “awhile” could trigger a crisis with elderly health care. Examples may involve the causes of blindness or hearing loss. There are many types of blindness for which detection and treatment are timely, including from diabetes, glaucoma, or cataracts.  Cataract treatment is very common and easy, and cataract surgery recovery involves very few problems.

A senior’s vision issues, for instance, may be the result of macular degeneration, as was the case with Dad. There are treatments now that can halt its progress, but they are timely. Macular degeneration nutrition can help – but as a preventative measure. Waiting may cause some irreparable damage, which is what happened to Dad when he had his crisis. (If you want to learn about our experience with the avastin macular degeneration eyeball shot, just click the link). Yet, we learned many great tips for macular degeneration help.

Seeking Professional Help

If you have major concerns or are unsure about discussing these elderly issues with your loved one, involve a professional. In my case, my sister is a geriatric nurse, plus I was in regular contact with our church parish nurse.

It is also extremely important to receive regular dementia screening.  The most updated world-wide dementia report was issued in the fall of 2009 (we discuss this in our Dementia section) notating that this elderly health care problem had increased to almost epidemic proportions globally. And will continue to be on the rise.

The elderly often accept directives from a professional that they would resist if coming from a family member. Giving up driving, for instance. That can be one of the most traumatic elderly problems that must be faced. Some elderly get upset to the point of becoming combative when they get their keys taken away.

Attend the appointments with your loved one, and go prepared. I’m a lover of lists, so I always made a list of questions and concerns about Dad’s issues in advance. And wrote down everything the doctor said.

You Are Not Alone

In recommending solutions, a professional may also include intervention as needed. If an acute event has already occurred and your elderly loved one is in the hospital, an expert (a social worker or discharge planner) will usually be assigned to review options. This thankfully takes us as caregivers out of the picture of being the decision maker.

There are many resources to help you. Elderly health care is not something we need to deal with alone. And shouldn’t.

More About Elderly Health Care:

Falls in Elderly – The Game Changer — Falls in elderly are the main reason for accidents & injuries for age 65 and over. There are specific causes for falls. Do you know them? And the preventions?
Facing Elderly Stress Issues — I recently was stunned about a lack of perception regarding elderly stress issues by some people, and the many misconceptions of just what our elderly go through. Read what was said and how I responded. How will we cope when we go through these challenges?
Health, Music and Mood — Is there a correlation between health, music and mood? You may already know that music can make us healthier. Get the amazing scoop on why music and Mozart beat the blues and mend the mind and immunity.
How To Get Happy — Of course one of the important aspects to elderly health care is being positive. And we’ve learned some fun information.

Home Page


Special Resources Related To Elderly Health Care
See these other web sites:

Massage Education Guide helps you understand the great health benefits that massage therapy can provide to elderly men and women! Relaxation for our bodies and our minds!

For women — Check out this great resource for women: WomenOver40Health.com A Guide for women over 40, working together for empowerment and good health.

This towering strawberry and fruit kabob is both a craft and a food project! Fun for your senior activities. Strawberries are a versatile fruit to use for any occasion, so you can decorate this kabob for lots of holidays and parties.

Nutrition — As we’ve discussed on previous pages, the strawberry is an excellent food for elderly nutrition due to its high content of vitamins, especially Vitamin C, anti-oxidants and fiber. So use it often, and for sure try this kabob. (Also take a look at our page on easy apple recipes for more fun ideas).

For many occasions and holidays — You can change out the fruit, colors, and candy (if you are using any) depending on what your occasion is. This kabob can be used as a centerpiece, door prize, gift, or dessert. I’m sure you can think of other uses too!

Towering Fruit Kabob

You will need:

  • Plate or shallow bowl
  • 1 doily for under the apple in the dish (optional)
  • 1 long wooden skewer
  • (Optional) 1 small doily for top of apple
  • 2 red apples. washed
  • Lemon juice in a bowl
  • 2 large strawberries
  • 2 large gum drops (or you can use other fruit instead)
  • 1 raspberry for topper
  • Festive candies to surround the kabob at the bottom (or other fruit pieces)

Start by poking a hole in the whole apple with a sharp instrument such as an ice pick, which you will stick the skewer into. The pointed tip of the skewer may be able to poke a hole, but only if the apple is soft enough.

It’s easier to get a straight hole and make it stand up straight, if you use something stronger than the stick. Whatever you use, make sure it is clean, as this fruit kabob will be eaten. Put the apple into its dish. It looks nice to have a doily under the apple.

Stick the skewer into the apple hole. Then begin stacking your fruits on the stick. I started out with a slice of apple, cut out of the second apple that you have. Immediately set the slice in the lemon juice for a minute, to prevent browning. Then put it on the stick.

I next put on a gumdrop, followed by a large strawberry, and so on. Try to keep the heaviest fruits at the bottom — the fruit kabob tower can get top heavy and start to lean. Top off the tip with your raspberry topper. Or a festive candy looks cute too.

Arrange candies in the dish around the apple, or other fruit. I was making Valentines Day desserts, so I used gumdrop hearts, and my colors were red and white.

Have fun making a fruit kabob, and be sure to try new ways to enhance it!

Be sure to also see:

Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries — Learn how to make chocolate covered strawberries – the easy way! And fun decorating projects too! Makes great senior activities.
Creative, Easy Dipping Chocolate — A fun and yummy project you can eat! Great decorating ideas included. Perfect for elderly activities too.
Healthy Snack Recipes — Healthy snack recipes are becoming almost a rage these days. And we’ve got  super-delicious, super-easy, ones that to boost nutrition.

Go to: Fresh Strawberry Desserts.

to Healthy Dessert Recipes

gourd Santa craft

Santa crafts are perfect winter senior activities during the holidays. And we have several easy projects! Some are also edible holiday treats. The craft materials are easy too. Many of these could be used as elves too!

Whatever craft supplies you don’t have around. you can get most either from a local craft store or even a thrift shop. We also suggest other alternatives you could use.

A few of the ideas here are very easy crafts for the elderly to put together too (some may need extra help). Besides these Santa crafts here, we have lots of other Christmas projects on our page about simple Christmas crafts.

Santa Crafts Selections:

Pear or Apple Santa

apple or pear Santa craft

This cute Santa can be made with either a red pear or a large red apple. I liked the shape of the pear so used it in this sample. I included him in a centerpiece.

These Santa crafts are very simple and are all edible. Well almost – except for the googly eyes! But you can get candy “eyeballs” at most craft stores.

Materials:
Red pear or large red apple
Small Santa hat (craft store or thrift store)
…OR make a hat from a red felt cone shape – see template below
Frosting in a can, or squirt tube frosting
Small spatula or craft stick to apply frosting; or toothpick
Googly eyes, or candy eyeballs (craft store)
Candy for nose
Edible black marker (baking aisle)
Small jar lid for the small Santa stand (I used red)
1 chocolate wafer candy, or peppermint patty, for shoes
2 small candies to decorate shoes
Doily
Candle holder for a base, or a jar, etc.
Large bow with ribbon
Small ornaments or other decorations for the base

I like to use squirt frosting in a tube as “glue.” Or if use frosting in a can, you can apply the frosting/glue to your pieces with a small spatula, a toothpick or even a craft stick.

With the squirt frosting, I attached the googly eyes and the candy nose to the fruit. Then I drew on a smiling mouth with the edible black marker, which you can get in the baking section of the grocery store. I applied several coats so it shows up.

Then I took a very small spatula and applied the frosting from the can to form the beard and sideburns. A half circle of frosting was also applied around the mouth to form the mustache. Now put the Santa aside

Next I made the stand. I just put an old CD on top of a candle holder as a base. You could use a jar or even plastic glass instead. On top of that I laid down a doily. On top of the doily I put the red jar lid to hold the Santa so it doesn’t roll around.

Then I set the Santa onto its red lid and base. Next the feet were put in place. This was simply a flat chocolate candy cut in half. Each half forms a shoe. And each shoe has a small green candy attached to it with squirt frosting.

Lastly, decorating the base. I arranged a large red ribbon with bow around the bottom of the stand, and added a few small ornaments.

These Santa crafts look really cute in the middle of a large candy bowl, a dessert plate, or snack plate too.
P.S. – We also have lots more cute apple ideas on our apple craft page.

Santa Hat Template

Use this easy template pattern to make a cone hat from red paper or felt. Cut at the dotted line, and use the upper shape to form the cone, gluing the edges. Then just decorate it with cotton. Or fake fur if you have it. I white pom-pom is ideal for the top.

santa hat patten

Santa Decoupage Ornament


Santa Gourd

Get ornaments inexpensively from dollar or thrift stores, garage sales, or have people bring in old ones. Ones with a hanger on top work best.  (The one used here did not have a hanger).

Materials:
Ornament (best if it has a hanger on top)
Santa wrapping paper, or magazine image
Decoupage medium, or glue/water mixture
Scissors
Brush
Water container
Damp rag (optional)
Cord or ribbon
Small bottle caps or egg carton, for drying

Cut out many squares from the Santa wrapping paper, or magazine images – enough to cover the entire ball. Use paper that is thin; not, for instance, a greeting card picture). The main Santa image will go in front.

Brush a coating of decoupage medium or glue mix (4 parts glue to 1 part water) onto an area of the ornament. Then brush some on the back of the image piece.

Position the image onto the ball and press gently with your fingers to get out bubbles and most wrinkles. Sometimes wrinkles can make an interesting texture. Press it gently again with a damp rag if needed, but don’t rub. Do this with all the pieces until the ornament is covered. Paint a very light coat of medium over the whole ornament.

Dry for a couple hours. I like to rest them on a small spice bottle type cap, as a stand. An egg carton may work too, depending on your size. Or if able, hang them to dry. When dry, give it another final coat of medium; then dry again.

Finally, tie on (or glue on with a glue gun) the ribbon or cord.

This whimsical Santa could also pass as an elf. Its head is made from a small white gourd, but it could also be made from a Styrofoam ball, or even an ornament. A wine glass was used for the “body.” Or a basic drinking glass works, including plastic.

Using a glass jar is a fun idea too, because you can put treats in it, decorate it like this Santa, and then give it away as a gift. Or use it as a centerpiece, a game prize, or raffle item.

Materials:
Small white gourd, Styrofoam ball, etc.
A glass or jar for body
Markers to make face
Santa hat (craft store), or make one from felt or colored paper
1 red pom-pom for nose
2 green pom-poms for on the shoes
3 to 4 cotton balls for beard
Decorative holiday paper napkin
Black construction paper or felt for shoes
Glue gun, or craft glue
Scissors
Candies to put in glass or jar (optional)

These Santa crafts (or elves) are very easy to assemble. First I cut 2 shoe-like ovals out of black paper, and glued them together at the heels. Then I glued a small green pom-pom onto each shoe.  I placed my wine glass (or glass or jar) on top of the shoes. Depending on what kind of stand you’re using, you could also use a dab of glue to attach the shoes to the stand.

At this point you can put the candies into your glass or jar, if you’re using them. Next I draped a decorative holiday paper napkin over the glass. The type of napkins you use can really change the look of your Santa crafts.

Now the head. I took three cotton balls and stretched them out a bit, then glued them around the chin of my small white gourd. After that I drew on a cute face with red and black markers, leaving room in the middle for the nose. Then glued on the red pom-pom nose.

Lastly, I put on a hat (for my Santa crafts I get hats from the craft store), and secured it in the back with a corsage pin. Now it’s finished!

If you like working with gourds, be sure to see more on our page all about gourd craft ideas.

Wooden Spoon Santa

wooden spoon Santa craft

These simple Santa crafts could also be elves. I show two versions – the second has a felt Santa hat from the craft store added on for fun. (But you can see that he can easily be made without one).

The materials are easy – paint and a pointed wooden spoon. After the varnish is thoroughly set and dry, it is food safe according to FDA government standards (Code of Federal Regulations Title 21)  and can be used for serving. Or use him as a decoration: a planter stick, in a centerpiece, or as a gift. A Mr. and Mrs. pair of these Santa crafts would make a great serving gift. And you can make them as any ethnicity that you like!

Materials:
Wooden spoon with point (point not necessary if you’re using a hat)
Acrylic paints: red, green, white, skin color (pink, tan, brown, etc.)
Black fine tip marker for eyes and mouth
Water based polyurethane craft varnish (VOC of 50 g/L or less)
Water container and rag
Paint brushes: pointed tip and flat tip
…Optional for just a decorative Santa:
Red pom-pom for the nose
White pom-pom for top of hat
Googly eyes
Cotton balls or roll cotton for hair and beard
Ribbon and small buttons
Glue gun or craft glue (like Tacky Glue)

With a pencil, generally block out the various areas you will be painting: face, hair, beard, hat, hat rim, the bottom, etc. Then just begin painting in the areas. You may need to do 2 coats, drying thoroughly in between. When the face color was dry, I drew in basic eyes and smiling mouth with the black marker.

Varnish – If you’re just making a decorative Santa and not using it for serving, you don’t necessarily need to apply varnish.

Otherwise, when your spoon is all painted and completely dry, the varnish can be applied. If you are going to use these Santa crafts for serving, I suggest at least 2 or 3 coats (I used 3) to make it durable. Be sure to follow the product directions, and allow the appropriate amount of drying time between coats.

Before using for food, the varnish must be allowed to set for one or two weeks until any solvents are gone and the varnish is polymerized. (If you can smell the finish, it is not completely cured yet). Then gently wash the surface before using. Again, be sure to follow product directions!

Santa Marshmallow

For festive yet easy Santa crafts, decorate marshmallows! This one could also be an elf.  And he’s all edible (except for the hat of course). The face is made with edible marker.

He stands in a very easy-to-paint small clay pot. Or put several of these Santa crafts in a small, narrow vase, ready to serve.

Materials:
Jumbo marshmallow (jumbo size is easier)
Long kabob skewer
Mini Santa hat from craft store
…or made from felt or paper
Edible dessert markers for face
Squirt or tub frosting
Toothpicks or craft stick to apply frosting
Red or green ribbon
Stand: clay pot to paint, or narrow vase
Acrylics, if painting: red and white
Brush, water container, rag

If you’re painting a pot, do it first and set it aside to dry.

Paint any decorations on it that you like (I just made white dots), or add holiday stickers.

I like to keep the faces for my Santa crafts basic. I drew easy eyes and smiley mouth on the jumbo marshmallow with the edible markers.

Then I applied the frosting hair and beard all around the bottom and sides of the head like a U-shape.

It’s easiest to use a toothpick or craft stick for applying. Also add a little mustache if desired.

Tie a ribbon onto the skewer. Slide the marshmallow head onto the skewer.

If you’re going to add a hat on top, slide the marshmallow down so that about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of stick is above the top of the head. This will hold the hat on.

Place the Santa crafts in your stand(s), and you’re done.

Ribboned Santa

ribboned Santa craft

Having several of these Santa crafts of different heights together in a display or centerpiece is very attractive. The secret is in the ribbon.

Materials:
Cardboard tube (toilet tissue, paper towel, oatmeal box, etc.)
Styro ball for head
3 to 4 balls of cotton
Googly eyes
Red pom-pom for nose
Wide, wired holiday ribbon
Several flat thumb tacks and straight pins
Glue gun or Tacky Glue
Acrylic paint: black and red
Small paint brush, water container
Small Santa hat, or red felt to make one
2 pinecones for feet
Real or artificial evergreen

First I made the head. Glue on the googly eyes and nose. Then paint on the eyebrows and cheeks. I chose not to make a mouth. Instead, I glued on a lot of cotton. I pulled several cotton balls and stretched them out before gluing on the beard and hair.

Santa crafts can either have a hat from a craft store, or make your own with a small cone out of red felt or paper. Instead of gluing on the hat, I kept it on with a couple of straight pins, front and back.

Next I took a toilet tissue sized cardboard tube and wrapped it with a length of my wide holiday ribbon, which had the wired edges. I used thumb tacks on the back to keep it in place.

Now it’s time to attach the head to the tube body. I made a line of glue around the top rim of the cardboard tube covered in ribbon, setting the head onto the tube. Let the glue dry well. Also attach the pinecone feet with glue, if you are using them.

You can also make these Santa crafts in a taller size using a paper towel tube. Or a make a wider, larger Santa using an oatmeal box. It’s fun and eye-catching to have a variety of different ribbons to wrap them in. I got my ribbon cheaply at a thrift store. Put your Santas on display in a grouping with evergreens or other decorations around them.

Wrapping Paper Santa

These whimsical Santa crafts are made similar to the example above, but do have a few differences. This time I did use a tall paper towel tube; an oatmeal box would also look great.

Materials:
Paper towel tube

Fake spider webbing, cotton balls, or roll cotton
Small piece of white paper
Black and red fine markers
Red pom-pom for the nose
Piece of colorful holiday wrapping paper
Glue gun or Tacky Glue
Larger sized Santa hat, or red felt to make one.
Decorations for base of Santa (i.e. bells, little ornaments, evergreen, tinsel, red beads, etc.)

First cut a length of wrapping paper to size to wrap around the paper towel tube, then glued it on.

Next make the face. Cut a large oval shape from the white paper (or use tan or brown for different ethnicity) and draw on easy cartoon type eyes and a smiling mouth.

Glue the face onto the wrapped tube about 2 to 3 inches down from the top, leaving room to add the hat later. Attach the pom-pom nose too. 

Santa crafts could have several possibilities for the beard. I used some fake spider webbing from Halloween – I wanted a wispy look. But you could also use cotton, stretching it out. Glue on the beard and hair around the sides of the face. Then just put the hat on top of the head.

Then I made an arrangement around the base of the Santa, standing him in a small glass dish and adding colorful bells all around. You can use whatever you have.

Pinecone Santa

Learn to make a cute Santa or elf similar to the one here. Depending on the shape of your pinecone, you can get a variety of looks. Make several and do a grouping.

This one also uses basic craft items, a cardboard tube, and colorful paper such as wrapping paper. Complete with a long, trailing beard. And bells on his toes. See the details at Easy Pinecone Crafts.

Chocolate Strawberry Santa

These cute little Santa crafts or elves are both treat and decoration all in one. They’re simply strawberries dipped in melted white chocolate, with coconut added on the beard, a few candies, and be also added googly eyes for fun.

But you can make him all edible by using candies for eyes instead. Learn all the details on our page about how to make chocolate covered strawberries.

Our Craft Books!

“Easy Crafts and Gifts”
…With more Santa crafts, ornament and other holiday ideas! Why hunt all over our web site. Get them consolidated in this e-book, PLUS dozens of new projects too!

More than 120 projects. Plus, it’s bundled with a FREE booklet of template patterns.
Two books for one!

Also see:

Holiday Treats for Seniors – Besides Santas, see trees, snowmen, gift and cookie ideas.
Winter Senior Activities – By the Month
— Lots more to do than just for the holidays! Complete with calendar dates and special monthly commemorations. For all winter months.
Winter Holiday Activities for Seniors
– Lots of things to do throughout the winter holidays, no matter what your traditions.
Perfect Party Theme Ideas – Try something new for your holiday parties. See lots of possibilities on this page.

to Easy Craft Ideas

Thinking up creative planter ideas is a really easy and fun activity for all ages and ability levels. Either indoors or out, doing planters is an excellent addition to your senior activities – and also can be done as a group project.

They make wonderful gifts and give-aways too, ways to show off heirlooms and vintage items, or can be used in easy craft ideas including for party decoration and centerpieces.

There are easy enough options that are also suitable for elderly activities in which some may need more help.

Easy Planter Ideas

Painting a barrel with designs in acrylics (and then a few coats of outdoor grade sealant), makes an excellent project for the garden area. The empty barrel was first put on top of the project table and then painted. This is a perfect activity for using stencils of patterns too, unless you or your group are good at making your designs free-hand.

If you need some design ideas, see our free template patterns for flowers, leaves, animals, etc. Start out at the flower templates page.

Fun planters are an excellent way to recycle things you may already have around, or things you find at a thrift shop. Perhaps you have a great old hat, a fancy handbag, an antique vase, jar or pot. Even an old boot, shoe or colorful rain boot.

The leather of the boot we show has a pattern stenciled in acrylic paint of ivy and stars.

Using old-fashioned high-button shoes or fancy evening shoes is fabulous too. On this page we show some examples of unique planter ideas. Then see what you can come up with yourself.

Plants

Anything involving working with plants make very popular elderly activities. You can plant the seeds from scratch and watch them grow, putting them into their fancy planter when ready. Or go down to the local nursery and pick something up that already well on its way. Perhaps try something flowering, or even edible that can be used later in cooking and salads.

Another option is putting plant cuttings into a jar of water, which goes into your decorative planter item while they’re rooting. (And after they’ve been planted in soil later). I happen to love to root plant cuttings in jars of water.

In fact, I had some philodendron cuttings in the same jars of water for over four years! They just never died. They actually did far better in their water jars than when planted. Philodendrons are perfect for people who have no green thumb. They’re practically impossible to kill.

And if you really have no green thumb, these planter ideas also work well with artificial plants (and of course they’re much easier to take care of).

Preparing The Planter

We always first line a nice item with a plastic bag to protect it. Then inside of that we put a plastic container or pot with its plant. It’s best to have a pot with a hole, and with a drainage tray underneath it on the bottom, if possible. And depending on your container too.

Otherwise, line your container with a layer of gravel or pebbles first, to help drain excess water.

When you water the plants in fancy containers, just put in a little water at a time, let it absorb, then add a little more. This will help alleviate over-watering and possible spillage.

If you have a very tall “planter” and your pot with plant seems too short to work, you can first insert an upside down plastic container to use as a stand to elevate it. And at the top you can always add a little moss for a more finished look.

So if you or your loved one has a charming hat, shoe or vintage item or two that are just sitting around collecting dust, consider turning them into creative planter ideas.

They make wonderful keepsakes and gifts. I happen to think all kinds of hats (new or old) make fantastic planters. Just turn them upside down and put in your plant. Got an old top hat, military hat or an old costume? Some will make great party centerpieces.

Other very easy planter ideas involve using decorative tin cans, especially the vintage sort. You can often find them at garage sales and thrift stores. Or those in your group may already have something to use. These are very suitable for either indoors or out.

To enhance an outdoor area with something unique, just take a look around you and see what types of old items may be sitting around ready to be re-purposed…

Like an old bathtub (see below) or bicycle. The more character, the better. You can also paint the outside of an old tub with paints from the craft store suitable for porcelain, then a few coats of waterproof sealant to protect your designs.

If you like the traditional clay pot look, and are like to paint, see our page on painting clay pots – we do include some very easy examples.

Pumpkins and gourds are also very fun when in season (especially late summer of fall). Just hollow them out an insert a container with a plant, real flowers, artificial flowers, or holiday decor. They  make excellent centerpieces!

Also see:

Fancy Purse Planter — See one of our reader’s idea on how to turn a fancy old purse into a fabulous planter.
Outdoor Elderly Activities — Some of the outdoor activities can be done throughout the year. And also be moved indoors for more options. (Likewise, many of our indoor activities can be moved outside!)
Easy Make A Gift Basket Ideas — It’s easy to make a gift basket, and a very satisfying project. See many possibilities, whether making money or helping others.

to Elderly Activities

Welcome to our central Senior Activities page – by the month, for all 12 months.

PLUS, more for each season to do anytime throughout. Games, crafts, parties, recipes and food ideas, field trips, and general activities. You’ll be sure not to run out of ideas!

MonthsEvery month has its own special commemorations, as well as specific and unique calendar dates around which to plan something fun or meaningful. (And we give lots of suggestions of what you could do). Some may surprise you!  Lots of these can be done either individually, or in a group. And with kids too!

Some seniors are very active and live independently, participating in church groups and senior centers. Others reside in nursing homes and memory care. See how you can modify these activities for your needs. There’s something for everyone. Be sure to also see our page on elderly games too.

Seasons — In addition to the individual months, we also have a page for each season. The seasonal page gives more general things to do, that you can mix and match throughout its three months.

So just click on a main seasonal heading, or jump right into whatever month interests you.

Senior Activities – For Each Month

Winter ActivitiesGeneral activities for the winter season. (And the months of January, February are still included on this page, soon to each have their own pages. December does now have a page of its own. See below).

Most of us really look forward to the winter holiday season. But when that is over, then what? You may already have ideas that you have used in the past to fill up these months. But take a look at some of these other options.

December Senior Activities – There’s much more to do besides the winter holidays! (But we have something for those too). Get some unique ideas!

January Activities – Now that the bustle is over, it’s time to move on. Get some new ideas to relax, contemplate, get creative, and yes, party too!

February Activities – Winter is coming to a close, but not quite yet. So we have to find ways to keep interested, besides just Valentine’s Day.

Spring ActivitiesGeneral activities for spring. At last! Spring is coming! And there are lots of ways to get ready. Find ways to help with that spring fever, especially if you can’t get outdoors yet. Launch projects that will take you through spring, and even into summer.

March Senior Activities – Now is the time to start getting back into action. You can also start preparing for when it’s time to go outside. Are you getting antsy yet?

April Activities – Gardening, flowers and plants are definitely popular. But there is so much more to consider. Especially when it’s rainy out.

May Activities – Balmy weather is more consistent now, so we can take things outdoors more. And there are all kinds of new food options too.


Summer Activities
General activities for summer. It’s a perfect time to bring many activities outdoors, whether doing crafts, socializing, having special presentations, celebrations, or parties. You will see that the lazy days of summer may not be so lazy at all!

June Senior Activities – Our summer season starts with this month. And there are all kinds of things to do beyond picnics, grilling, and sitting outside. There are interesting themes, and we have crafts and games to go along with them.

July Senior Activities
– Summer is heating up, and so are activities. Of course there is the 4th of July, picnics and parades, but there are some great month commemorations too, that lend themselves to activities. And very intriguing calendar dates. And July has lots of foody themes.

August Activities – Summer is in full speed and then starting to come to an end (too bad)! Find out all kinds of unusual dates and commemorations, and our activity ideas to go with them.

Fall Activities General Activities for Fall. Seems like suddenly summer is over and the seasons definitely change. And there’s always that something in the air. So fall is a favorite, and some of our most popular activities happen now. They’re sure to perk up your autumn.

September Senior Activities – Several patriotic themes this month, and loads of variety in commemorations and calendar dates. You may not be able to do them all!

October Senior Activities – More than just Halloween, colored leaves and pumpkins! Halloween, though, is the second most popular holiday after Christmas. But lots of fun commemorations too (especially about foods), and a nice array of calendar dates for something different to do.

November Senior Activities – Besides Thanksgiving, what else? No matter what you’re interested in, you’re sure to find something novel in November to fit your fancy.

Do check back – we’re always adding new ideas to our pages!

Also see:

Top Senior Activity Ideas – This highly visited page has loads more of general activities that can be done at various times of the year, not just seasonally.

Fun Elderly Activities
– One of our most popular pages! Easier ideas for those who may need more help.

Field Trip Activities for Elderly & Seniors -  Something for every season and interest.

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