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Amei 28th Aug 2017
Hi everyone,

I'm with Life Enrichment for Memory Care and I was wondering if anyone has any ideas/suggestions for birthday celebrations in memory care. There are about 20 residents in MC currently and I was thinking either a single monthly birthday celebration for all residents whose birthdays are during the month or having a celebration for each resident on their birthday. Any ideas?

Thank you!
Mark 29th Aug 2017 Activity Director
Take a look at awesome BDay kit!
Matches monthly theme includes: 3 ft HBirthday banner(prints in 8"x11" sections), BDay card, monthly fact sheet, Invites for party, balloon graphic, matching door art, Bday poem, and different monthly bday song+ soundtrack and door knob hanger. It all matches and can be printed with personalized messages. Add some balloons and a small cake or big muffin and your are set. We wait till the residents go to bfast and decorate their door...It's a 20!
Susan 29th Aug 2017 Activity Director
I think many of your residents like celebrating their birthday because it is a day that they are special and can be treated like a king or queen. Usually you have a monthly birthday party where residents young and old born in a particular month are recognized and honored. Everyone eats cake and ice cream because of them. Who doesn’t like cake and ice cream?

Here are some other ideas for a monthly birthday party for your residents. Every month has special days associated with it. I talk about these special days discussing facts about them and asking the residents questions about them. Of course, we cheer for those giving the correct answer. I also find songs related to the special days and alternate songs with discussions.

During the month I pass out homemade, resident made or computer generated cards about a particular subject occurring that month with several questions about the topic. I invite residents to answer the questions with space provided on the card. Then I and other staff members collect the cards. During the party I have several residents pick a winning card from those that have been turned in. The more residents that turn in the cards, the more prizes I give out. I also give out certificates to those who turned in a card but did not win a prize

I have a hanging pocket organizer hanging on a wall in a central location with these special cards and various other independent activities the residents can do when no activity staff is around.

Anyway back to the party. We always serve the cake and ice cream last because it seems like once the residents have something to eat, they want to leave.

I find that I can fill up an hour of time pretty easily with this strategy. I then can have entertainment on another day thus stretching my activity budget.

Amei 29th Aug 2017

Thank you for your response! Would you suggest celebrating individual residents' birthdays or monthly birthday celebrations for all residents celebrating their birthdays during the month?

Thank you!
KATHRAIN 29th Aug 2017
Amei, I too work in the Memory Care at my facility. I do a big monthly birthday party celebrating all birthdays in the month with entertainment and cake and ice cream. Residents really enjoy the party. Also during the month, I celebrate the resident on their on individual day. When they arrive at lunch, there is a homemade card and table decorations waiting for them. The residents enjoy making the cards and getting to sign them even if they really don't know that particular resident. If we have 2 or 3 in a month, then card making is one of our scheduled activities. If it is just one birthday, then I usually just make it and have the residents sign it. To see the smile on the residents face when they arrive at lunch is worth it all!!!
Kathleen 5th Sep 2017 Activity Assistant
We have 26 residents in our memory care unit. We celebrate the birthdays individually (not as a monthly group.) Each activity assistant (one works per day) celebrates with activities of her choice. Sometimes the birthdays are celebrated at lunchtime, sometimes at a 3pm happy hour. We also have to work around the resident's ability to participate in her own celebration.

A birthday necklace is presented in the morning. I announce that today is this particular resident's (neighbor) birthday. Then it is explained that the birthday party will take place after lunch. I do this so that families don't think we have forgotten their loved one. Of course their picture is posted on the birthday board for the entire month.

The birthday party: I decorate a cart for the cake. Cover with a pretty vinyl table cloth and suspend helium filled balloons from the push bar. Have plates, napkins and cups ready on the cart. Prepare the beverage, whatever it is. Ice cream is optional. Most of our residents don't eat too much, so they are happy with a small piece of cake and hot tea.

I try to make a cute birthday hat. Think Dollar Store for a straw or cardboard hat. Use your imagination to decorate it: artificial flowers, leis, printed graphics, etc. Knowing the individual can guide your selection of materials.

Wheel the cart into the room where everyone is seated. You can have the birthday girl/guy stand with you as you introduce him/her to the guests. Present and place the hat on the person. Hand her/him the birthday card and perhaps one Dollar Store item, such as sunglasses. This is optional. Depending on the individual, this optional gift can be wrapped or not. Remove the balloons from the cart and place on the chair where the birthday person will be sitting.

Say a few words about the birthday girl/guy: past career, children, grandchildren, where they grew up- anything that would be of interest to the other residents. Do this while holding hands with the person or placing your arm around him/her. Hug/kiss the person when you finished talking, then get everyone to sing "Happy Birthday." Clap afterwards, of course.

Follow this up with music, a sing along, and dancing, if feasible. Sometimes, the normally scheduled happy hour coincides with a birthday. So appetizers and a real musician that might be on the calendar for the standard happy hour, can now become a part of the birthday celebration.

Balloon volleyball can be included in the celebration.

At any point during the day, if you 15 minutes, take the birthday person for a "Birthday Walk," if he/she is able. This personal attention is appreciated, even by the person who cannot communicate verbally.

Kathie Homan
Springwell Senior Living

Solange 5th Sep 2017 Diversional Therapist
Thank you, Kathleen, it is a lovely way to celebrate birthdays.
Amei 8th Sep 2017
Thank you all so much for the ideas and suggestions! Now I'm looking forward to celebrating the residents' birthdays and trying out some of these ideas :-)

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