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Countdown: 7 Fun Ways to Celebrate New Years in Senior Living

December 18, 2020

It should come as no surprise that New Year’s Eve 2020 – just like all the other big events in 2020 – is going to look quite different this year. Gone is the big Times Square celebration. Many annual New Year’s Eve gatherings are being canceled.

“It’s really too bad, because I think most of us really want to celebrate the fact that 2020 is finally ending,” says Mary Ellen Thieroff, Marketing Director of Royal Oaks, an established Life Plan Community in Sun City, AZ.

Mary Ellen recognizes that this year may be especially hard for residents and families because they won’t be able to celebrate in person. “In order to keep our residents safe, we’re still not allowing visitors to meet inside our community, and we’re urging our residents to stay on site unless it’s medically necessary to leave,” she says.

It can be difficult to set aside beloved traditions and celebrations, especially at a time when we want nothing more than to surround ourselves with celebration and the ones we love. That doesn’t mean that we can’t still celebrate, though. If you’re a retiree in senior living, if you have a loved one in senior living or if you’re simply looking for inspiration for your upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration, we’ve listed a few tips to get your creative juices flowing.

  1. Decorate.

Sparkly banners, streamers, party hats, table decor and all the trimmings instantly make any event feel festive – even if it’s just you and your spouse. Thanks to the wonders of online shopping, you can go all-out this year without ever having to step foot in a store. Go hog wild and sprinkle some festivity wherever you look, or – if you’re considering doing a virtual event – make sure your background is on point so you’re in the spirit while you’re on camera.

  1. Make it an event.

Sure, you may not be able to actually go out to a New Year’s party. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it up right. Break out the fancy dress – you’ll look and feel great, and best of all, you can wear your slippers because no one will see your feet. Get some champagne, splurge on your favorite finger foods and cue up the music.

  1. Set up a virtual event (or three, or four).

Depending on the tech level of your friends and family, you can party-hop all night if you have access to Wi-Fi and a smartphone or tablet. Video chatting platforms allow you to invite multiple people to events these days, so be creative. Facetime with family during the New Year’s Eve countdown, or throw a virtual cocktail party with your friends down the hall. Or both. The end of the year is a perfect time for connecting, reminiscing and sharing laughs with the ones we care about, and it’s never been easier thanks to the wonders of technology.

  1. Play games.

Board games and group activities are always a great addition to a New Year’s Eve party. With a little bit of coordination, you can play virtual charades or, if everyone has the same board game, you can play along together. You can even do an online-based game like Words with Friends and video chat while you’re doing it – allowing you to really play the game together.

  1. Send care packages.

This also requires a little coordination and planning, but the effort can definitely be worth it. Do a Secret Santa-esque drawing and have every participant put together a care package and send it so that the recipient gets it by New Year’s Eve. You can all open the care packages together on video chat, or it can be something that you do individually. Be imaginative – you could put together a “2020 survival package,” a “DIY New Year’s Celebration” package … the options are endless.

  1. Feast on the same foods.

One great way to feel like we’re connected with our loved ones is by enjoying a meal together. Since we can’t do that in person, why not do it virtually? Have your family members all make the same dish or special finger food and then set a time to gather around the dinner table.

  1. Hold a watch party.

Got Netflix? Then you can host a watch party through Teleparty, formerly Netflix Party. Teleparty synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to Netflix, Disney, Hulu and HBO. Gather with friends across the country and enjoy watching favorite movies together, even if you can’t be in the same room.

Mary Ellen says to keep in mind that the important thing isn’t what you do together, it’s the fact that you’re doing something together. “No doubt about it, this will be a New Year’s Eve to remember, whether you throw a virtual party or you choose to go to bed well before the stroke of twelve,” she says. “So do something special for yourself. Connect with those you love. Take pictures and document it. Years from now, we may all look back at this time and think, wow – wasn’t that a special opportunity?”

A vibrant oasis in the heart of Arizona.

If you love the idea of living in a community that sees the world a little differently – welcome home to Royal Oaks. Come discover the extraordinary when you reach beyond the familiar. You’ll have the time of your life in our Life Plan Community, exploring the almost endless possibilities.

Conveniently located near Phoenix in Sun City, Arizona, our upscale senior living community is an oasis of 50+ lush acres featuring a myriad of plants, trees and rose gardens. We are a nonprofit community that offers a full continuum of senior living services and care to older adults, including independent living, assisted living, memory support and complete supportive living. Continual improvements to the campus have resulted in state-of-the-art communal and private areas. Our main building bustles like Grand Central Station, complete with all the amenities of a small city.

With state-of-the-art technology, beautiful residences and engaging programs and amenities, Royal Oaks was designed with a focus on the future and all its potential. We invite you to visit our vibrant retirement community near Phoenix and get a taste for the good life. Call 623-377-7663 today to schedule a personal tour.

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