November is a full of giving thanks for all we have. It’s a time when families gather to share love, memories and blessings. For RT it can be a stressful with planning family dinners and residents parties, just keep a few things in mind: keep it simple, plan ahead, make it meaningful, make it fun and it will be memorable, AND ASK FOR HELP!!!
November is …
- Banana Pudding Lovers Month
- Family Stories Month
- International Drum Month
- Military Family Appreciation Month
- National American Indian Heritage Month
- National Diabetes Month
- National Georgia Pecan Month
- National Model Railroad Month
- National Pomegranate Month
- Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month
- Sweet Potato Awareness Month
- Vegan Month
- National Authors’ Day
- Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo, was opened to the public (1512)
Painting to Music
On this day that the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling was opened to the public, encourage residents to paint their own fresco or mural on a piece of clay. Play classical music in the background as the residents paint.
Encourage residents to read a book by one of their favorite authors on this National Authors’ Day.
Banana Pudding Social
Celebrate this Banana Pudding Lovers Month by encouraging residents to make and serve a delicious banana pudding for your afternoon social.
Invite a speaker to discuss living with diabetes during this National Diabetes Month.
Baking Club: Georgia Pecan Cake
Encourage residents to use Georgia pecans during this National Georgia Pecan Month to make a pecan pound cake.
Invite local venders to come to your facility to sell their wares to residents and staff. Decorate your Activity Room with a harvest theme and have vendors set up in the room.
Peanut Butter Lovers Social
Encourage residents to make their own mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during this Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month. Reminisce with residents about the kind of sandwiches they liked as kids. Serve milk.
- Panama declared independence from Columbia (1903)
- Sadie Hawkins Day
- Sandwich Day
Celebrate Panama declaring its independence on this day by playing a fun indoor game of soccer, a Panamanian favorite. Divide residents into two teams, with each team sitting facing the other. Use a balloon as the soccer ball and encourage residents to try to kick the ball past the other team.
Encourage residents to make a giant hoagie on this Sandwich Day. Supply residents with bread, cold cuts, cheese, and condiments for the large sandwich. Have plenty of plastic gloves handy for residents. Cut off small portions of the sandwiches for residents to eat.
Sadie Hawkins Day Dance
Encourage the ladies to invite the men to dance on this Sadie Hawkins Day.
- Daylight Savings Time ends
- King Tut’s tomb was discovered (1922)
Daylight Savings Time Coffee Break
Bring all the clocks in the facility that are easy to change to the coffee break and have residents help reset the time. Serve a variety of coffee to “wake up” and orient residents to the new time.
King Tut Social
Recognize this day that the tomb of 19-year-old King Tut was discovered by serving the Egyptian snack of pita bread dipped in molasses.
- Birthday: Roy Rogers, cowboy actor (1911)
Quiz the residents’ spelling skills by giving words associated with November, like Thanksgiving (with a capital “T”), leftovers, Veteran’s Day, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy.
Armchair Travel: Autumn Getaway
Show residents a short documentary about autumn in the Northeast, like Living Landscapes: Fall in New England (2006). Borrow a DVD from your local library or video store.
Gather spring bulbs, like tulips, and have residents plant them in indoor pots. Bulbs will begin to bloom during the winter and produce beautiful flowers.
Buckaroo Contest Social
Tie a rope into a lasso and encourage residents to lasso a stuffed animal in honor of Roy Rogers’s birthday today. Give the winner a blue ribbon. Serve buffalo wings with a ranch dressing dip as a snack.
- General Election Day
Election Day Memories
On this General Election Day, have fun with residents as you discuss wrong newspaper headlines, like The Chicago Tribune‘s headline that claimed Thomas Dewey won the presidency, when it was really Harry S. Truman who won.
Election Results Nightcap
Turn your Activity Room television to a news station so that residents can hear the election results live. Serve warm cookies and juice.
History in Review
On this day that Jeannette Rankin became the first U.S. Congresswoman, reminisce about women’s rights and how far women have come in society. Discuss feminism and what was considered controversial behavior for women when the residents were young. In addition, discuss interesting firsts for women.
Family Stories Social
Commemorate Family Stories Month by encouraging residents to share what Thanksgiving was like when they were growing up. Serve hot apple cider and cookies.
- Sesame Street debuted (1969)
- U.S. Marines Corps was formed (1775)
- World Immunization Day
Watching Sesame Street
Celebrate Sesame Street’s debut on this day by inviting the grandkids of your residents to stop by to watch the kid’s show in your Activity Room with your residents. Serve juice and muffins.
Semper Fi Social
Honor marines on this Marine Corps birthday by recognizing the marines in your facility and their service to our country. Serve mixed 7-up and punch.
- Veterans Day
- Washington became the 42nd state (1889)
- World War I ended (1918)
Veterans Day Parade
Create a parade atmosphere to honor veterans by having the veterans in your facility, one-by-one, speak about their time in the military. Encourage other residents to be spectators. Hand out doughnuts, coffee, and mini flags to the spectators.
Veterans Day Dedication
Invite a local high school band to play a few songs for your veterans. If the weather permits, have an outdoor ceremony in which you raise the American flag on the flagpole outside of your facility. Announce veterans’ names, branch of service, and years of service. At the ceremony, present each veteran with an origami medal made earlier today.
Celebrate the end of World War I on this day. Reminisce about war times and the celebrations at the end of both world wars. Serve grape juice & cheese.
- Birthday: Robert Louis Stevenson, author (1850)
- Walt Disney’s Fantasia premiered (1940)
- World Kindness Day
Coffee & Beethoven
Play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to recognize Walt Disney’s Fantasia premiere on this day. The film included Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Serve coffee and doughnuts.
Invite residents for a kindness walk. Encourage residents to pick up trash around your facility on this World Kindness Day.
Treasure Island Social
Recognize Robert Louis Stevenson’s birthday today by hosting a social that pays tribute to his popular novel Treasure Island (1883). Serve tropical drinks as you play fun Caribbean music.
- Geography Awareness Week (November 11-17)
- Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was published (1851)
- National Educational Support Professionals Day
Autumn Photo Shoot
Encourage residents to start a Photography Club to take pictures of the holiday events coming up in your facility. Supply a digital camera to residents. Upload pictures onto your computer or a digital frame to showcase to residents.
Reminisce with the residents on this National Educational Support Professionals Day about their elementary school teachers. Ask the residents whether their teachers had aides in the classroom to help.
Where Is It?
For this Geography Awareness Week, quiz residents about geographic locations.
Moby Dick Social
Recognize Herman Melville’s book Moby Dick on this day that it was published by serving cheddar goldfish crackers as a snack.
- America Recycles Day
- Elvis Presley’s first movie Love Me Tender opened (1956)
- National Bundt (Pan) Day
Apple Bundt Cake
For this National Bundt (Pan) Day, encourage residents to make a delicious Apple Bundt Cake.
On this America Recycles Day, have residents start a Recycling Club to help recycle trash. Contact local and county environmental departments for more information on how to start a recycling program in your facility.
Love Me Tender Social
Reminisce about Elvis Presley’s first movie Love Me Tender that opened on this day. Play some of Elvis Presley’s songs as you serve peanut butter and bananas.
Red Hat Ladies Volunteer Project
During this National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week, encourage the red hatters to collect donations (food or money) for a local homeless shelter.
- International Men’s Day
- National Game & Puzzle Week (November 18-24)
- President Abraham Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg Address (1863)
- Soccer great Pele scored his 1000th goal (1969)
Celebrate Brazilian soccer great Pele scoring his 1000th goal on this day by having residents sit in a circle and kick a balloon to one another. This is an excellent way for residents to get exercise without calling it “exercise.”
Quiz residents on this day that Abraham Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg Address. See who knows the words, or at least the first line.
The Price Is Right Social
During this National Game & Puzzle Week, encourage residents to play The Price Is Right. Invite residents to play fun games like the Clock Game in which residents must guess the price of two items within 30 seconds. Serve pretzels and ginger ale as a snack.
Men’s Poker Night
On this International Men’s Day, encourage the men in your facility to kick back and have fun playing poker
- Thanksgiving Day
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Encourage residents to come to the Activity Room to watch the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television.
Football Game Social
Watch the Dallas Cowboys or the Detroit Lions play football this Thanksgiving. Serve pigs in a blanket and root beer.
Thanksgiving Dinner (Happy Turkey Day!)
- Birthday: Billy the Kid, outlaw (1859)
- Black Friday
- National Game & Puzzle Week (November 18-24)
Meet with Dining Services to coordinate turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, or other leftovers for lunch.
Question residents about what they would do on this Black Friday, if they had $1 million dollars to spend. Pass out catalogs from local department stores to see what they would put on their wish list. Ask residents to compare prices of items today to the prices of yesteryear.
Remembering the Old West
Discuss some of the famous outlaws of the Old West on this birthday of Billy the Kid.
Use your trivia book to test your residents’ knowledge during this National Game & Puzzle Week as you play Jeopardy. Serve chips and salsa as a snack.
Autumn Science Project
Can you grow an apple tree from apple seeds? Invite residents to work on this autumn science project. Serve apples to the residents and have them save the seeds to plant in small containers with soil. Encourage residents to water their seeds daily and to set them in the sun.
Autumn Poetry & Prose
Invite residents to listen to famous poems about autumn like Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem The Autumn or John Keats’s poem To Autumn. Encourage residents to bring and read any poems that they have written.
Crossword Puzzle Social
Make copies of a crossword puzzle and hand out to residents for this National Game & Puzzle Week. Try to solve the puzzle together. You can also enlarge the puzzle for all to see. Serve veggies and dip as a snack.
Start recruiting residents to join in a facility choir. Have a regular meeting for participants to practice singing together. Schedule a Holiday Concert in December so the Choir Club can sing for other residents.
- Cyber Monday
If a computer is available, host a computer class for your residents on this Cyber Monday. Show them how to surf the web and Google themselves.
Apple Paring Contest
In preparation for the apple pie to be baked by the Baking Club later today, invite residents to help participate in a fun apple paring contest. Simply, give each participant an apple and an apple peeler and see who can peel off the longest piece of apple peel. Award a fun prize to the winner. Use the peeled apples for the Baking Club’s activity later today.
Baking Club: Apple Pie
On this fall day, encourage residents to bake a delicious all-American apple pie to be served at this afternoon’s social.
Letter of Thanks Social
During this Thanksgiving season, encourage residents to write a quick note giving thanks to someone they want to thank. Supply residents with stationery and pens. Serve the apple pie that was baked earlier by the Baking Club.