Planning a movie marathon for seniors in independent living is not very different from planning one for seniors in high school. You’ll need plenty of snacks, good volume control, and a few sideline activities to keep the energy going.
8 Tips to Make Your Independent Living Facility Movie Marathon a Success
At Westminster Point Pleasant, we love planning special events at our independent living in Bradenton, FL. We hope these tips for a fun-filled holiday movie marathon will help make your holidays a little brighter.
1. Invite Family Members to Join the Fun
The holidays can be especially difficult for older adults who are isolated from their family members. Your loved one’s health or location may make it impossible to be with you or your children for traditional celebrations. Making a special effort to get family members to join their loved ones for movie night will make the event even more fun.
2. Start Early
You may be able to watch your favorite holiday movies into the wee hours, but chances are most residents can’t. Consider starting early—perhaps right after breakfast—to fit in as many movies as possible and accommodate different schedule preferences.
3. Choose Family-Friendly Classics
Movie selection is crucial to the success of a marathon event. It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas are enduring favorites, but you shouldn’t be afraid to branch out a little. Include movies that celebrate other holidays besides Christmas as well as films that represent diversity. As long as you keep the movies family-friendly, everyone will be happy.
4. Plan Alternative Activities
Even the most devoted cinephile is bound to nod off if they sit around for too long. Have a few other activities going on as you run the films to maintain energy in the room.
You might set up a crafting station a bit removed from the action where folks can make personalized ornaments. Residents may also enjoy a table where they can address holiday cards. Having a holiday-themed raffle or a visit from Santa Claus would also be fun.
5. Take Breaks
You know what it’s like to sit in the theater, debating whether you should use the bathroom and risk missing an important part of the movie! Plan your movie event around regular dining hours, and include at least one scheduled break for trips to the restroom during each film.
6. Don’t Forget the Snacks
Popcorn is essential for any movie, but it’s not the only movie snack you need. Keep in mind the different dietary needs of those at the independent living facility. Choose healthy options to go along with all of the cookies and platters of candy that are sure to appear.
7. Have Singing Intermissions
A 10-20 minute break between movies is essential to give everyone a chance to use the bathroom, but you don’t want the enthusiasm to weaken too much between films. Print out (large print) lyric sheets to everyone’s favorite holiday tunes to sing together during breaks.
8. Play Movie Bingo
Make up specialized bingo cards based on items you’re sure to see in any holiday movie, such as someone wearing a Santa hat, a plate of cookies, snow, a menorah, or a Christmas tree. Have prizes ready for the eagle-eyed participants who manage to fill a line on their Bingo card.