The elderly won't stay up until midnight to wish each other a 'HAPPY NEW YEAR'! Don't let that stop you from celebrating the passage of the year.
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Elderly residents may not stay up until midnight to usher in the New Year, but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate the passage of the year together!

A countdown to noon or dusk will allow staff and residents to welcome the New Year in style.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Decorate with New Year's Eve-themed items.
  • Provide finger food and dips
  • Offer champagne and orange juice or sparkling grape juice
  • Give everyone a Party Hat!
  • Hand out Party Poppers or other Noisemakers
  • Play happy music and sing along to Auld Lang Syne
  • Organise a Balloon Drop!
    • Attach the four ends of a large bedsheet to the ceiling of the recreation area where residents will be seated;
    • Fill with balloons of all colors.
    • Ten seconds before the chosen hour, start your countdown: 10 – 9 – 8 – 7...
    • When you get to '1', pull the sheet away so the balloons fall on the crowd
  • Watch a movie starring Elvis Presley (his birthday is in January) or other movies such as: Rocky – The Bishop's Wife – It’s a Wonderful Life.
    Related: Holiday Movie Recommendations for the Elderly
  • Invite family members to join you for the celebration!

Happy New Year!

We'd love to hear your feedback and ideas!

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Comments   Post a Comment

Lifestyle 29th Dec 2022 National Registrated Diversional Therapist
what a great idea, easy pezy
Laura 11th Nov 2022 Manager
How easy is this idea!!!! Brilliant... its happening here this year!!! thank you
Gale Parsons 30th Dec 2019
I had actually planned to do all this (noon, finger food, mock-mosa’s, live entertainment, party hats, tiaras and noise makers), except the balloon drop, at our community. I did get some complaints from a few residents that our party would not be at night. So glad to have stumbled across this article as support and confirmation for my decision.
Talita 30th Dec 2019
Thank you for your feedback Gale! All the best!
Susan 30th Dec 2019 Activity Director
Remind this resident that it’s midnight somewhere even though it’s noon time where you are
Susan 28th Dec 2019 Activity Director
I know it’s a little late but can you get an entertainer for the residents who are not going out
Sharon 27th Dec 2019 Activity Director
Great ideas. We have Bingo weekly here so on the 31st we're skipping Bingo and having cheese, crackers and pizza from 7-9pm. I advertised that residents can come down to mingle with neighbors or play card or dice games. I'm the Activity Director of a 150 person senior living apartment complex. About 1/2 can drive and will go out or have family visiting on New Years Eve but I love to offer things to do for the others that can go out. This Golden site is really helpful!
Talita 30th Dec 2019
This sounds lovely Sharon. Thanks for kind words - wishing you all the best for the new year!
Lydia 19th Dec 2018 Program Director
you tube has great countdowns
Susan 26th Nov 2018 Activity Director
I love the suggestions here go to the forum to see more of my ideas
Sheri 31st Dec 2016 PCAP/OTA
I'm so excited for new years.... the residents were a little upset they don get to go out .. so I came home and brain stormed .. hopefully they will love me tomorrow... this site is awesome for late minute ideas... and others of course....didn't realize i was on due to holidays earlier
Talita 1st Jan 2017
I hope it went down well Sheri! Happy New Year!
Heather 31st Dec 2016 Life Enrichment Aide
Thank you so much for sharing. My entertainment was cancelled on the 1st and trying to think of something different to do to bring in the new year. That will be fun.
Talita 1st Jan 2017
Thanks for your feedback Heather! Happy New Year!
Sherlene 29th Dec 2016 Activities Coordinator
Thanks for the ideas! I will be using most of these for our New Year's celebration! We will be having ours on Friday the 30th being that New Years eve is on a Saturday this year! I especially like the Balloon drop idea!! Thanks again and Happy New Year!! You guys are the best!!
Talita 1st Jan 2017
oh thanks so much Sherlene! Happ New Year!!
Dawn 28th Dec 2016 Diversional Therapist
Great idea, fantastic site for new ideas.
Talita 1st Jan 2017
Thanks so much Dawn, Happy New Year!
Marion 5th Jan 2015 Diversional Therapist
It was a great event with the count down. The staff let off party poppers and we sang Auld Lang Syne and raised a glass of bubbly grape juice and wished everyone Happy New Year.
Marion 5th Jan 2015 Diversional Therapist
We did this. We had poppers at the end of the countdown, sang Old Lang ... and had sparkling grape juice for the Happy New year toast. A great idea.
Helen 1st Jan 2015 AIN
Well our NYE part at noon went off well. They enjoyed the finger food, drinks, old time music, disco ball, party blowers, balloons and the countdown. We had all the residents, from low care through to the high care and dementia wing too. We had mobile and non mobile residents dancing in chairs, beds etc. They also loved the treat of pizza and ice cream for lunch after the party.
A Huge Success for our home. Thank you for the wonderful idea.
Lynne 30th Dec 2014 Lifestyle Assistant
I've just read this and going ahead with the balloons tomorrow. Thought to bring a large fitted sheet. I must admit we have many pylons and cross beams within our main lounge area. Tie each corner of sheet cross ways with fishing line, post a staff member on each corner and tip in unison at appropriate time. I hope this sounds accurate as sometimes it is hard to image other peoples instructions. This will be done after our live entertainment and will include low, high and dementia units. Happy New Year to All and thanks for sharing your ideas. Lynne
Alexandra 30th Dec 2014 Lifestyle Coordinator
We are having a new years day party with most of the suggestions here being used.

We are also prompting residents to write or for us to write down their wishes for the new year for themselves or their families and pinning them to our noticeboard.

We're also going to prompt a "year in review" discussion on topics of events and happenings over 2014. Focusing on the good news! We'll see how it goes!
julie 30th Dec 2014 diversional therapist
I make a dvd of all the events, concerts, special nights, birthdays etc which residents have done through out the year and in the afternoon we have nibbles, drinks and watch it together. Families now come in to share that time with us.
Gail 30th Dec 2014 Personal carer
I have organised this as well for tea time with some games like bingo - I am just not sure how to attach the sheet to the roof so it pulls away
Helen 17th Dec 2014 AIN
Well our party is going ahead. I have all the decorations organized, have the music and light show sorted and am planning a special lunch for the residents after our Noon party. Will post the results after the party. Everyone is very excited, both residents and staff.
Helen 20th Nov 2014 AIN
I think this is a great idea? Has anyone done anything like this before? I am filling in as the DT at my nursing home over Christmas and New Year and was thinking this would be a great thing to try this New Years Eve. Anyone have any ideas, my home is all High Care.
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