Tips for Hosting a Family Reunion for SeniorsJuly 12, 2023
After a few years of being unable to see our loved ones, many families are making up for lost time by hosting family reunions. They are the perfect opportunity to bring generations under one roof and create new memories. Planning a family reunion is challenging for anyone, but as an older adult, these challenges are more prevalent. Whether you are planning on hosting your closest family members or your entire extended family, following these tips for hosting a family reunion for seniors will help you be able to enjoy the festivities.
Don’t leave anything to the last minute
Organizing a family reunion can be daunting, but it will only be more difficult if you don’t start early. First, determine how many guests you’d like to invite. Then, you’ll have a better idea of how much time you need. You could save planning a smaller event for two or three months before. However, if you’re planning a larger gathering for fall, for instance, it isn’t a bad idea to start planning in the prior winter.
The ins and outs of organizing a larger event could be overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask your nearby loved ones to assist you with event planning. This is especially pertinent if you have problems with technology or running errands. The amount of help you need may change based on where you plan on hosting the event. For instance, planning will look different if it’s at your home or at a local park.
Send a questionnaire to your family
Once you’ve determined a location and a rough date for your family gathering, consider sending a questionnaire to your family. There is no way you can please everyone, but having everyone fill out a short survey will help build an event that works for the largest amount of people. A few great things to include are:
- A list of three dates to choose from
- Whether someone has any food allergies
- Ideas for reunion events
You can send a paper invite along with the questionnaire, but these days, filling out a questionnaire is easy online. Collect everyone’s email and send them the questions via a Google Form. The process of using this service is quite simple. However, if you have any questions, a loved one should be able to help.
Collect the family story
In planning an event that brings the whole family together, how can you not touch on your family history? Talk with a wide range of family members to gather the full scope of your family story. Find out when you came to the country, where the family came from, and what the family is up to now. Each member of the extended family may have something slightly different to share, so it would be exciting to gather it.
Encourage the family to bring old photographs that you can put on display. Set them on a table that is out of the way, but easily accessible, so extended family can spend time reminiscing and perhaps learning a thing or two.
You could even make a game of this. Put a piece of paper underneath a few family photos, and have your guests name each person in the picture. Alternatively, create a slideshow of these photos for all to enjoy.
Another fun activity is printing out or purchasing a large, family tree poster. Starting from a common relative, have everyone fill in their information with a marker to see how the family has grown and where it is going.
Create activities, but don’t forget to budget in downtime
You’re likely to have family members of all age groups in attendance, so don’t forget to have something to do for everyone. Have outdoor games ready for children, trivia for some of the other members of the family, and maybe even golfing events for those who love the sport. This will all naturally depend upon where your reunion is held, but still talk to your family about what sort of events they would like to enjoy together.
However, a weekend full of back-to-back events is exhausting— especially for the older members of the family. Among all the fun, make sure you reserve some time for rest. Attendees can do what they’d like with this time period, of course, but budgeting time for no plans will help people feel relaxed throughout the entire reunion.
Have a backup plan
While you and your loved ones likely want to spend your time together outdoors, the weather is not always what you want it to be. When the event approaches, you may be disappointed to see it is going to be rainy all weekend, or maybe colder than you expected. Make sure you have a plan B just in case.
If your home is big enough to accommodate your relatives, move some of the games and activities indoors. If you were planning on renting out a park, see if there is a pavilion you can hunker down before you book anything. In doing so, you won’t have to sacrifice anything because of the weather!
For help at home, consider home care
Your loved ones can help ensure that the event moves as smoothly as possible, but when all is said and done, who is going to support you? As you age, the activities of daily living often grow far more laborious than they once were. Cooking for yourself, doing laundry, and even dressing yourself might be difficult due to physical conditions. However, you don’t have to suffer in silence—a caregiver can help.
At Home Care Powered by AUAF, it is our pleasure to provide caregivers the support they need to age in place. Our dedicated staff offers compassionate help with medication reminders, light housekeeping, personal care, and so much more. To learn more about how our staff can support you, give us a call at 773-274-9262.
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