Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Seniors

happy st patrick's day

This weekend brings one of Chicago’s biggest celebrations: Saint Patrick’s Day! For over 175 years, this Irish holiday has been a point of pride for Chicagoans with brilliant parades and, of course, the iconic river dyeing. While St. Patrick’s Day is a time of great fun, many older adults may not wish to contest with the overwhelming crowds. If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with seniors, wear green and consider one of these festive alternatives to the hustle and bustle of downtown.

Celebrating St Patrick's Day with Seniors


Any opportunity to decorate with your elderly loved one is a great one. Making and displaying seasonal décor is not only a fun activity to get them moving, but one that promotes brain health. Making crafts and decorating the home inspires creativity and problem-solving, both of which have a positive impact on one’s cognitive health.
For a few crafty ideas, consider these:

  • Felt shamrock garland. Cut out little shamrocks (or four-leaf clovers) out of felt, then use a thread and string to join them together. You can ornament your garland with little pom-poms, hats, or whatever else excites them.
  • Festive shadow box. Whether you purchase an empty shadow box or make one yourself, these statement pieces are easy, cute ways to get into the holiday spirit. Fill your box with gold coins, shamrocks, rainbows, or little flags. Consider decorating the outside with a St. Patrick’s Day-themed phrase.
  • Pot of gold. An empty flower pot from the dollar store is the perfect vessel for your pot of gold. Paint it however you see fit, and then fill it with gold nuggets (but really, chocolate pieces wrapped in gold foil).

Cook traditional Irish food together

Irish cuisine is well known for its hearty dishes, which are perfect this time of year. While you could go to an Irish restaurant or pub to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, they are bound to be crowded. Instead, you can spend quality time with your elderly loved one cooking some of the most iconic Irish dishes. A few great options include:

  • Bangers and mash. Sausages, potatoes, and cabbage come together on one plate for a warm, hearty, and flavorful meal.
  • Shepherd’s (cottage) pie. More meat, potatoes, and vegetables—what’s better than that? The difference between shepherd and cottage pie is the meat used. Traditional shepherd’s pie uses ground lamb, while cottage pie uses ground beef.
  • Barmbrack. For the perfect treat alongside a cup of tea or coffee. One part fruit cake, another part bread, barmbrack is the perfect way to transport your loved one to classic tea time.

St. Patrick's Day Fun with Seniors

Attend a parade

If your elderly loved one wants to see a display of Irish spirit, attend one of the Chicago area parades. There are three across the city with the major downtown festivities taking place on Saturday, March 16. There are also parades on the actual holiday (March 17) on both the South and Northwest Sides of the city.

Downtown Chicago is bound to be the most bustling event of the three. If massive crowds are a problem for your loved one, consider attending the South or North parades instead. Get there early to secure a spot, and if space allows, bring a chair so they don’t have to stand the entire time. It may be wise to pick a spot that allows for an easy exit, should your loved one want to leave before the festivities are over.

Support at home throughout the year

If your elderly loved one requires help at home to enjoy life to the fullest, they are not alone. As they age, many older adults find they need help with activities of daily living. That is nothing to be embarrassed by. Instead, they should embrace their needs and hire the help of a compassionate at-home caregiver.

At Home Care Powered by AUAF, our staff is trained to provide their clients the personalized care they require to live out their life in comfort. For more information on our services, give us a call at (773) 274-9262.

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