Fall Activities for Short-Term Care Facilities
Fall is here, and while you wouldn’t know it from the San Diego weather, you can still celebrate the idea of the season with pumpkin spice lattes, harvest décor, and cozy sweaters on those rare chilly nights. It’s also a great excuse for fall-themed activities at short-term care facilities, so if you or a loved one is eager to get into the autumn spirit, check out these festive ideas.
Fall Foliage Tour
You might spot a color-changing maple tree or two in most San Diego metro and inland areas, but a field trip just a short drive east will offer plenty of fall foliage and outdoor activities to enjoy. Julian in November is ideal, when vibrant autumn colors are at their peak and there’s an actual crispness in the air. It’s the perfect complement to a steaming cup of the quaint town’s famous apple cider.
Whether you collect leaves of deep red, fiery orange, or glorious gold on a fall foliage tour or at the silk flower section of your local craft shop, there are infinite ways to utilize them in festive fall crafts. Leaf wreaths and garlands, leaf-print t-shirts, decorative banners, and more will stir up creativity and promote engagement, which is invaluable to those in short- and long-term care facilities.
‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice everything, so if you’re visiting someone in a short-term care facility, you can round up recipes for pumpkin spice cookies, muffins, breads, and pies to share with everyone. And the season doesn’t need to be limited to dessert. Many varieties of squash are available now, perfect for warm and cozy soups and stews.
Apple Pie Bake-Off
Nearly every baker out there has “the best” apple pie recipe, so put those claims to the test! Gather up a selection of apple varieties (Granny Smith and Honeycrisp are excellent for pies) and the rest of the basic ingredients for the filling and crust. Judging can be done by a select few or chili-cook-off style where everyone participates. This is a wonderful festive activity for a short-term care facility. And regardless of the outcome, everyone gets delicious homemade apple pie so everyone wins.
Trick or Treating
Obviously this doesn’t mean sending seniors out in costume knocking on doors, but it does mean bringing costumed trick-or-treaters to them. Care facilities often contact a nearby elementary school, preschool, daycare, or recreation center and invite a group of adorable little ghosts and ghouls for a “bonus” trick-or-treat at the facility. Residents get a kick out of handing out candy or small toys to the little ones. For many, it brings back wonderful memories. It also promotes a sense of belonging in the larger community.
Who says dressing up is reserved for kids? Scour thrift stores for actual Halloween costumes and pieces that can be combined into costumes and let residents pretend they’re something or someone new for a night. Add music, festive treats, and some “witch’s brew” punch, and you’ll have a party everyone will be talking about until Easter.
Classic Monster Movie Night
Horror flicks today are often too scary for most grown adults, but everyone enjoys classic monster movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Scare up a few like Frankenstein, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and more—a perfect addition to a costume party.
Knit Hats and Scarves
It might not be that cold out yet, but as soon as November or December, San Diego will be much nippier at night. Supply yarn for residents who knit (they can also teach others as well) and whip up a batch of cozy hats and scarves for the other residents. As a bonus, they can knit extra to donate to local homeless shelters or schools for disadvantaged kids.
Celebrate the season at Bella Vista
At Bella Vista Health Center in Lemon Grove, we understand the importance of offering a variety of activities and opportunities for our guests, and we love to see the joy on their faces when the festivities get underway.