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Birthday Party Ideas for Long-term Care and other Facilities

Birthday Luncheon
submitted by Barbara Konuszewski of Huron Woods Nursing Center, Kawkawlin, MI on September 16, 2009

Size of Group: 4-12

Equipment: Birthday Table Decorations, Fast-Food Menu Selection

Objective: To provide an intimate and personal social setting to celebrate and honor the birthdays of the participants.

Description: Each month, a special birthday luncheon is held for residents having a birthday in the month. The luncheon takes place in a conference room, that is secluded from the other dining rooms. A menu from a nearby restaurant is selected ahead of time and each person selects what they would like to have for their birthday luncheon. Some of the favorites has been; Long John Silvers, KFC, Chinese, Wendy's and McDonald's. The room is decorated with a simple tablecloth, a flower centerpiece(fresh when available)and decorative seasonal napkins. The dietary department provides a nice dessert, sometimes cake, cheesecake, brownies etc. Our Administrator, D.O.N. and activity staff attend the function. It is always well received by the residents.

Birthday Celebrations
submitted by Annette Smith of Anglican Retirement Villages Woodberry Village on February 18, 2009

Size of Group: 12

Equipment: Birthday Cake Ingredients & Equipment Oven birthday decorations On this Day sheet (designed personally for resident having the birthday) birthday card small chocolate

Objective: Acknowledging residents' special day and maintaining family links

Description: In the Dementia Specific Units (each housing only 12 residents) birthdays are very personal.

When each monthly program is being prepared we check who is having a birthday during that month. We then contact family/friends to find out if a family celebration is being organized. If not, a birthday afternoon tea party is programmed for the day of the birthday and family are invited to attend. Favorite foods or drinks are ordered e.g. for one resident we made a black forest cherry cake as this was her favorite. For another we offered pineapple juice as the party beverage as this was her favorite.

Birthday Party Idea
Submitted by Ruth Madewell of Summer Hill Assisted Living on January 17, 2002

Equipment: Birthday card, Balloons, Ribbon, Happy Birthday Placemat, Cupcake, candle

Description: During Lunch on the day of a residents birthday, I blow up 3 balloons and tie ribbons on the ends. I tie the balloons to the residents chair (or if in a wheelchair, I tie them to the centerpiece on the table) Put a Happy Birthday place mat on the table and put Birthday Card next to it (Birthday card is set out in living room 1 week prior for residents to sign). After lunch has been served to everyone, all the staff walk out with the cupcake with lit candle and everyone sings Happy Birthday. All the residents look forward to their own birthday celebration. We also have a monthly birthday party so that everyone gets some Birthday Cake to share!

There is something special about ......
submitted by Agneta Seeley, Activity Director at Swan Pointe Care Center, Maumee, OH on December 28, 2000

The day before a resident's birthday, have an already printed list in a questionnaire form with name (maiden name), sisters & brothers, occupation, favorite food, favorite hobby, favorite vacation, favorite holiday, "Things I can live without", and "I bet you didn't know that I.....". The questionnaire can contain all kinds of personal things about the birthday person. It is only limited to your imagination. The other residents love this and so do the nurses and aides caring for the residents. It gives them so much to talk about.

Family Birthday Dinner
submitted by Robyne Smith on October 11, 2000

Size: 2-20


large enough room to accommodate residents and staff
tables, tablecloths, napkins, utensils, etc.
birthday cake with residents' names printed on it
birthday banner

Objective: To offer socialization and time spent with family members.
To increase self-esteem and importance of self.

Description: Each month we provide a Family Birthday Dinner for those who have a birthday in that month. Invitations are sent out to family members one week in advance to invite them to the birthday dinner. A special meal is provided by the dietary staff and a birthday cake with the resident's names on it as well. The staff serve the dinner and then the cake and ice cream. Other staff and resident's gather to sing happy birthday to the participants and their families. Our local flower shop provides a corsage free of charge to each resident who has a birthday in that particular month. After the meal socialization is encouraged among family members and participants.

Birthday Balloon Bus
submitted by Celeste K.T. Brooks of Washington Center for Aging Services

In a facility of 262, every month there are quite a few birthdays. We always have a birthday party on the last Thursday of the month. However, all of the "Birthday Babies" of the month do not attend. We thought it would be a good idea if each resident could receive a couple of balloons in their room on their actual birth date. Every month we retrieve a list of birthdays from our MDS software; place the names on the monthly calendar, as well as, send some balloons to the resident's rooms. We have had some good responses from the residents and their families. Some residents have become more oriented to time (they are waiting for the day they or their friends receive their balloons). Some residents (our less responsive) more became alert on that day. I have even received smiles and a verbal "thank you" from some of our less responsive residents. We have had a few residents inform us of a new-comers birthday. All in all the Birthday Balloon Bus has been a successful program.

Macassa Lodge Birthday Parties
submitted by Cathy Donahue

We provide a monthly birthday party in the auditorium in our facility.  The second Friday of each month is set aside to celebrate.  All residents, family members, volunteers and staff who are available come to help those with birthdays celebrate.

The dietary department provides the cake and juice or punch for all to enjoy.  Volunteers who are available come and assist residents to the auditorium and serve refreshments.  Residents who are celebrating birthdays are sat at a head table at the front of the room.  About half way through the hour long program, we all sing happy birthday and give out cards (usually bought from Regal)

Musical entertainment is provided by talented family members or more often, we recruit local seniors choirs from the YMCA or senior centers.  Most do not require a fee.  Sometimes they ask for a small honorarium to help cover costs of gas or music.  We give between $20 - $30.

Certificates are requested from local politicians, our Premier and our Prime Minister.  We only request certificates for those who are turning 90, 95 or 100 years old.

The program is quite inexpensive.  We spend approximately $50 each month which covers the refreshments, entertainment, decorations(that can be used each month)and birthday cards.

At our facility, we accommodate residents from all our units including our dementia units.  Everyone enjoys the music, the social interaction and the refreshments.  It lasts about an hour and the residents always look forward to the month when it is their birthday!

Do you have birthday party ideas to share? Submit them here.

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If reprinting ideas from these pages, please give credit.



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