As a caregiver, you may find celebrating St. Patrick’s Day a fun and simple way to bring joy into your life and the life of your loved one. For most of us, this holiday doesn’t come with the stress or expectations of major American holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
This fun-loving holiday can be celebrated with food, beverages, Irish music or song, and heaps of green all over the place.
Celebrate with food – An Irish-themed supper is an engaging method to get your care recipient into a festive mood, be social, and observe St. Patrick’s Day. If your loved one would like a traditional meal, you might want to try Irish stew with Soda Bread, or corned beef and cabbage with a side of potatoes or carrots. Desserts can include anything from mint chip ice cream or lime gelatin, or cupcakes/cookies decorated for the occasion. Regardless of what you choose to serve, preparing the table with Irish-themed paper plates and serving green punch is a basic method to carry some cheer to the dining experience. Sprinkle some paper shamrocks and green dabs on the table for some additional Irish cheer.
Celebrate with music and singing – This is a great activity to do at home. Here is a free, 2-hour, playlist on YouTube of St. Patrick’s day music and songs. Or, if accessible to you, visit a nearby senior establishment and take part in its meetings. This fun activity can help a senior with Alzheimer’s stay on good behavior as well.
Celebrate with clothing – Wearing green is a tradition on St. Patrick’s Day. Treat yourself to a festive St. Patrick’s Day shirt celebrating your role as a caregiver. (Search term: St. Patrick day caregiver shirt).
Your care recipient may also enjoy wearing something green. It can be as simple as a felt shamrock pin, a fun hat, or even a green socks.
Celebrate with Decorations – Check your local party supply store for low-cost disposable decorations. Or, you can make shamrocks from construction paper and decorate them with popular Irish sayings and gold glitter. If your loved one has the ability, encourage them to participate. Craft projects help older adults use the emotional and creative parts of their brain, instead of over-focusing on the parts centered around memory and logic. This can help seniors with Alzheimer’s experience feelings of well-being and less pressure or nervousness.
Celebrate with a Parade – Many larger communities celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by having a procession down main avenues. Consider taking your loved one to see the parade if weather permits and your neighborhood offers such an event. Otherwise, certain cities may televise the parade, which enables you and your loved one to enjoy the procession from the comfort of home.
Celebrate with Irish Sayings – Here are a few of our favorite Irish sayings. We’ve found the sentiments to be quite meaningful and can have a powerful impact well beyond the holiday.
“A good friend is like a four-leaved clover; hard to find and lucky to have.”
“May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.”
“Luck is believing you’re lucky!”
“May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.”
We hope these ideas give caregivers some relief from their usual stressful schedules.