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We’re celebrating my grandmother’s 95th birthday soon and getting some help from American Greetings. They’ve got cards for every occasion and I found the perfect one, along with a beautiful gift bag and decorations from Walmart. Now, I’m here with tips to help you celebrate the birthdays of the senior citizens in your life. Whether it’s their 70th, 80th, 90th or somewhere in between, these ideas will help you plan an awesome party.
Ideas for Planning an Elderly Birthday Party
Grandma has given us lots of opportunities to celebrate her over the years. We were last together for her 90th and if she follows in her father’s footsteps, we’ll still be partying with her at 107. We’ve done a number of things, from picnics to personalized t-shirts and always decorating everything in her favorite color (red!). Here are a few ideas that are on my mind as we plan Grandma’s 95th birthday party.
Get everyone to pitch in.
In most cases, your older relative will have enough kids, grand kids and great grand kids to help plan the fun. This should not be the job of just one person and definitely shouldn’t fall solely on the shoulders of the primary care giver.
To help facilitate this, create a private Facebook group for your family. It comes in handy when you need to set dates, plan menus and coordinate travel among lots of people. Set up one for your family or designate one person who will make phone calls to organize the party details. Just make sure everyone is involved and contributing either time, money or energy to make the birthday party a success.
Keep it simple.
As our elders get older, our birthday party plans should get simpler. There’s no need for complicated themes, rich foods or overly detailed programs. If you do decide to use a theme, consider centering it around the time they were born (in our case, the Roaring 20s), a favorite movie or a favorite past time. Find some simple ideas on Pinterest. Just don’t go overboard or make things too hard to manage.
Consider the guest of honor’s needs.
When my grandmother turned 90, she was in better health and we were able to take her from the Assisted Living Home to a local park. This year, we’ve reserved a room in the home because it’s best she doesn’t leave. Factor these kinds of things into your planning. Make sure the location, environment and menu cater to the guest of honor first. You’ll also want to think of him/her when you determine how many people to invite and how long the event will last. You don’t want anything to overwhelm your honoree and when it’s clear he/she has reached the partying limit, go ahead an shut things down.
Focus on memories.
Talking to my Grandmother about her past is one of my favorite things to do. It helped me pull together our family history and family tree on Ancestry.com and I love hearing her tell her stories. Give the guest of honor a chance to reminisce at the party, while you make and chronicle new memories. Here are some ways to do this:
- Include a note card in the invitation and ask everyone to write a special memory. Read these aloud at the party.
- Turn the greeting cards into a keepsake. I love going back to read old cards that people have given me and I’m certain this is something many seniors would enjoy too. Make it easier by bringing two metal rings (or string) and a hole punch to the party. Use them to make a book of greeting cards and maybe let the littles sit and read the cards to Grandma or Grandpa during the party.
- Decorate with photos. Find pictures of the honoree, both alone and with family members. Hang them from fishing wire or on balloons or buy tons of frames and display them throughout the room.
- Take lots of pictures. All it takes is a plastic table cloth, some American Greetings roll wrapping paper and a little creativity to make a photo booth. It’s one of my favorite things to do at parties. Set Grandpa up in front of it for a while and allow everyone to take pictures. He’ll feel a bit like a celebrity and everyone will have a fun memory to take away. Just watch for fatigue–again, you don’t want your honoree to be overwhelmed.
I’ll try to remember to update you on Grandma’s party and if you use any of these ideas, please let me know. I’ll leave you with one last fun thing you can do while shopping for cards and decor for your party.
Practice Random Acts of Cardness
I love that American Greetings is encouraging random acts of cardness. It’s a great way to brighten someone’s day with a “just because” card and let them know you love them.
While I shopped for Grandma’s card, I grabbed cards for International Day of Friendship (7/30) and Just Because Day (8/27). Visit the American Greetings section at Walmart to find a few you can send, and now through August 31st, you can earn $1 on Ibotta when you buy any card.
Now, go forth, plan a great party and buy great cards. Get everything you need at Walmart and for more ideas, visit SendHappyBeHappy.com.