It’s almost the end of another year. It’s hard to believe that 2023 is just around the corner, but time waits for no-one and it will soon be time to turn the calendar over to January once more. New Year’s Eve is traditionally a time for celebrations and parties to celebrate the achievements of the previous twelve months and usher in the new year in style. While many people enjoy going out for the night, there are other, quieter ways to see in 2023 that will enable care home residents to join in the fun.
Here are some New Year’s Eve celebration ideas for care home residents and their families to enjoy together.
A year in review
A few days before New Year’s Eve, ask residents and their families to gather together a few items, photographs or memories that they can share about what their lives looked like in 2022. Ask each person to talk about their items or memories and to reflect on what they meant to them. People can share personal recollections, as well as talk about key events from the worlds of sport, music, cinema, celebrity etc. Aim to keep things positive and light-hearted to retain a party atmosphere.
Midday, not midnight
As we get older, we often prefer to go to bed earlier in the evening. So, staying up till midnight to welcome in the new year may not be quite so appealing as perhaps it used to be. Help those wishing to retire earlier join in the countdown by holding a special event at midday instead. Serve party food for lunch and have some champagne ready for a toast. Show a film of some New Year’s Eve fireworks from a previous year around 11.45am. At midday, switch over to footage of Big Ben chiming twelve for the full effect. This change of time also allows family members who have plans later on in the day to celebrate with their loved one first in the middle of the day.
New Year’s Resolutions
As the old year ends, it is the perfect time for everyone to think about what we want to change about ourselves, or strive to achieve when the new one rolls around. Hand out some pens and paper and ask residents to make a list of resolutions they might like to consider. They could be anything from trying to exercise more to picking up a new hobby or interest. If several people are keen to improve their fitness, start as you mean to go on by planning a short walk around the grounds or a local beauty spot – making sure that everyone who goes wraps up warm. Writing down some ideas for New Year’s Resolutions before the end of 31 December will help motivate people to start 2023 in the right way, looking towards the future, rather than remaining stuck in the past.
Invite residents to dress up around a theme for a New Year’s Eve party. You could choose a specific decade or an event from 2022 (Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee or the FIFA World Cup, perhaps?). Plan music, games and food around the theme. Have prizes for the most imaginative costumes. You could have an appropriate film or video playing in the background for those who need to have a quiet moment or two during the party.
Boost your residents’ cognitive skills and keep everyone entertained on New Year’s Eve with a scavenger hunt. Again, this could be themed around items depicting events from 2022, for example. Or scatter things people will need for a party later in the day, such as party hats, invitation cards, menus, drinks glasses and party favours. Staff can team up with residents to help them find everything on the list. Once they have found everything, it will be time to get ready for the main event!
Depending on where your care home is based, it could be fun to set off a few small fireworks in the grounds. Always follow safety instructions on the fireworks and set them off well away from others. If this is a little ambitious for your particular setting, try some indoor fireworks instead, or hand out sparklers for people to enjoy in the garden. If all else fails, watching videos of fireworks set to rousing music can help add to the New Year vibe.