By: Lauren Watral, MSW Geriatric Care Manager www.rgcmgmt.com

Each year that an older aging adult enjoys health and life is cause to celebrate, which makes birthdays a very special time of year for seniors. Planning a birthday party for your grandmother or grandfather takes special planning to accommodate the needs of the whole family, including the senior who is the guest of honor.

When planning the menu at grandma or grandpa’s party, be aware of allergies, diet restrictions and medical conditions that affect the food choices. This is especially important when senior citizens are attending, since many may have conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure that can be affected by food choices

Plan activities suitable for people of all ages – especially when family is in attendance, you want activities that appeal to all generations together

Have a party during the late morning or early afternoon when all guests are likely to be full of energy

Only invite those who are important to the senior – it can be tempting to include every family member or friend who has ever entered the life of the senior when making the guest list; but that can become overwhelming. Stick to the people who are most meaningful to grandma or grandpa; although siblings, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are almost always welcome

Make sure that any children attending the party understand how they should behave, especially when in the presence of a group of senior citizens.