Turning one century old is a huge accomplishment, and more people in the U.S. -- especially women -- are living to see triple digits. In fact, about 55,000 Americans are age 100 or older.
An event like a 100th birthday is definitely worthy of celebration, but there are some factors to consider when you select party supplies that you might not be concerned about with a child's birthday. Here are three things to consider when you pick out party items for a 100th birthday -- or, for that matter, a celebration of any senior birthday.
1. Pick a classic theme with bright colors and high contrast.
You're unlikely to find a lot to choose from in the "It's Your 100th!" category, because so few people hit the century mark. Look for a theme and supplies that incorporate one or two bold, bright colors.
That's because as people age, color perception can change. The lens of the eye gets harder and thicker, and it can turn just a bit yellow. This makes colors look more gray and subtle shades don't stand out much. As well, cells in the retina of the eye become less sensitive, and it can be more challenging to differentiate between colors. High-contrast designs work well for seniors' eyes. Avoid shades of blue and purple that are close together, as well as greens and yellowish greens.
You might consider a theme with colorful flowers or a high-contrast pattern to ensure that the birthday celebrant -- and older guests -- can fully enjoy the look.
2. Keep party favors simple.
You want your guests, especially the guest of honor, to enjoy any favors that you provide. Small containers that require manual dexterity to open are best avoided, as are items with knotted ribbons or tough-to-tear packaging.
Think about edible favors -- perhaps candy that is easy to eat or has an element of nostalgia. Another idea is to incorporate something that is useful around the home, such as a tape measure or ruler with large numbers or a door knob grip that glows in the dark. Plants are another option, depending on the guest list.
3. Make signage easy to read.
If you put up banners and signs, keep the typeface in a sans-serif style that is easier to read at a distance. Make the letters black or a very dark charcoal gray and avoid having white letters on a dark background. Be sure to leave plenty of white space between the text and any borders or images.
There are more things to consider for a senior birthday party than the party supplies. Entertainment can reflect the times when the celebrant was born; posters or sheets can show images of the birthday person through the years. But you want to make sure your party supplies are simple, attractive and interesting to the guest of honor and the other guests at the party. Visit a party supplies store to get started.