While your days of making the game winning tackle on the field or cheering into the megaphone on the sidelines may be long gone, that doesn’t mean football season is a thing of the past. In fact, sports are one of the best ways to come together with others in your family or community to celebrate and have a good time. With football season officially in full swing, we encourage you to join in the festivities and enjoy one of America’s favorite pastimes.
There are countless ways to partake in the fun, even if you aren’t on the field. Being a part of football season can appeal to people of all ages and abilities, whether you’re a fan of the sport itself, or not. We are sure that you’ll find at least one of these ideas to be a TOUCHDOWN!!
Cook Up a Good Time
What’s a tailgate without a table spread that’s worthy of rivaling a Thanksgiving feast? Preparing a dish or appetizer before the big game is a great way to get involved and stimulate the 5 senses, especially for those with dementia. Familiar smells, sights, and tastes can trigger our memory and help to keep our minds focused and engaged. Additionally, making a dish to bring along and share with others can provide our elderly loved ones with a sense of pride and accomplishment. If cooking alone in the kitchen is not a safe activity, encourage another family member or friend to join in to make it a group activity. This could even be a wonderful opportunity to pass along a family recipe or tradition to a younger generation!
Your Presence is Your Present
Sometimes just being a guest and gracing others with your presence is the best contribution to a party. If family and friends are getting together to watch the game, join in for the socializing, cheering, and merriment! If you don’t know the difference between a blitz, sack, rush, or fumble, we can guarantee you that you won’t be the only one! There’s usually a handful of people at every tailgate party that don’t know the first thing about football and are just there for the socializing. Pull up your chair and mingle with your tribe! Socializing with others creates a sense of belonging and boosts your self-esteem, which is very important for seniors, especially those who live alone.
Get into the Game
Sure, everyone is there for the “big game”, and for you, that may be enough! If you can talk football all day long, and spend your Saturdays and Sundays glued to the game, then there’s no need for anything else. However, for those who are there for other entertainment, try your hand at a yard game or other activity! You’ll often find games such as horseshoes, cornhole, washers, or darts set up at a tailgate party. These give you a little opportunity of your own to actually be an active part of the game. All of these activities provide a great opportunity for you to fine tune your hand eye coordination, a skill that slowly declines as you age. Learning a new game with a new set of rules is a great way for you to sharpen your cognitive skills and keep your mind engaged… all while having a bit of fun! Yard games are a great way to let loose, socialize, and interact with others; you’ll find yourself cheering on your partner and sharing a lot of laughs along the way.
Front Row Seats
Skip the party and go to the game! It doesn’t matter if you’re going to cheer on your local alma mater under the Friday night lights or sitting at the 50-yard line for a pro game. Being in the action, wherever your energy level and budget fits best, is a guaranteed way to have a good time! If a big game has you overwhelmed, we’re certain that toting your tailgate chair to a peewee football game will have your little quarterback beaming with pride! The activity will allow you to step away from the television. Too much television has negative effects on the mind too!
Dress the Part
Leave the bulky pads and heavy helmet behind but get a little festive with your attire. Dress up for the occasion and deck yourself out with your favorite colors; when in doubt, you can’t go wrong with purple and gold on a Saturday or black and gold on a Sunday! Taking pride in your appearance and dressing up for an outing can help seniors to feel more confident and comfortable when interacting with others. Next time you don’t know what to get Grandma or Grandpa for Christmas, consider a festive top for a local sports team!
Football season is always a welcomed excuse to celebrate and mingle with others. It doesn’t matter what your motive is, just get out there and have a good time! Root for the home team, put your money on the team with the best colors, or cheer for the chips and queso… we don’t care who you are pulling for, as long as you are there and enjoying yourself!