Friday, 21 December 2012

Guest Post: How to Keep Your Elderly Relatives Entertained at Christmas

Christmas is a magical time of year; it draws families together, gives you the chance to catch up with each other and reaffirm bonds with people you don’t get to see often enough. However there is a problem with bringing different generations together; our elderly relatives are bored with us!

They’ve been around for a lot longer than we have, and have seen all the excitement and celebrations many times before. They’ve seen their children and grandchildren grow up, and now find our antics so dull that they usually nod off or feign sleep, just to avoid having to sit through another Christmas/Boxing Day.

This post contains just a few ideas on how to keep your elderly loved ones entertained during the festive season!

Grandfather has the mandatory Christmas Day Snooze



Older relatives will appreciate a creative approach to Christmas dinner. They’ve had a life-time of roast turkey with all the trimmings, so this year how about branching out with your culinary efforts? A festive Turkey Vindaloo with plenty of Popadoms, Pakura and maybe a few Bhajis, is guaranteed to provide a memorable Christmas dinner.

Elderly people are renowned for their love of unfamiliar exotic foods. They will doubtless appreciate your efforts (or those of your local Indian takeaway). Under no circumstances are you to provide boring traditional fare like mince pies or Christmas pudding, and hide the chocolates.


The last thing that your elderly relatives want to hear about is your life, or the lives of their children! Nothing could be more boring, and why would they care anyway? Instead talk endlessly about new technology.


Older people must be fed up of playing old fashioned games at Christmas, so mix it up a bit this year! Instead of trivial pursuit or charades, sit your venerable relatives down with the latest games console MMO FPS RPG!

No need to explain the controls to them, older generations are accustomed to learning things quickly, but don’t be afraid to sit nearby and shout out encouragement or point out (loudly) that their performance is less than impressive.


Do not, under any circumstances, let your more venerable relatives watch the Queen’s speech. Nothing could be less enjoyable that sitting there watching our nation’s head of state rattle off comforting platitudes and heart-warming messages to the whole country.

Introduce some real excitement into their lives with a horror movie marathon! Nothing is more likely to keep your elderly relatives more wide-awake than watching all of the Saw movies in order, with the additional scenes of blood and gore filled violence included (of course). And remember to turn on the subtitles for those who’re hard of hearing.

Virtual Reality

Since the oldest members of the family have endured countless Christmases, give them something new to experience; a virtual reality world! This is guaranteed to keep even the most hardened-cynic entertained as they live an extraordinary life in a programmed universe with easily identifiable baddies, linear plots and the reassuring features of an earlier time.

Don’t worry if budget is an issue; my granddad once achieved a similar experience by cheekily imbibing a bottle of red wine while watching The Great Escape.

* Disclaimer: The above blog post is all completely wrong and should in no way be construed as actual advice. It was written (in a very ironic way) on behalf of Maria Mallaband Care Group, one of the UK’s leading Nursing and Care Home providers. I received a payment for hosting this post.


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