If you have a senior parent or loved one in assisted living, the holidays can also be a tough time for you. You might remember mom as a young woman, prepping for the holidays and baking in the kitchen. Just because those years have passed doesn’t mean celebrating can’t continue to feel just as special. Consider these tips to celebrate the holidays and bring the feeling of ‘home’ to assisted living.
Decorating Your Loved One’s Living Space
Start off by offering to bring decorations so your loved one can decorate their room. Brightening up your loved ones living space can help them to feel festive and cozy. If you have any decorations that were passed down through the family, it might help to bring those for your loved one.
Helping to recreate old memories and trigger happy thoughts is a great way to reminisce with loved ones. You can also bring in a mini Christmas tree to decorate, if other family members are able to help, it’s a great way to include the family and recreate old traditions.
Looking At Old Photos
Looking at old photos is a great activity to do with a senior loved one any time of the year. But during the holidays, it’s extra fun to dig up some old photos of past holidays spent together. It’s fun way to bring up conversation, memories, and talk about family. It’s also a fun way for seniors to tell stories to grandkids or great-grandkids about their own moms or dads as kids.
Include Loved Ones in Family Activities
If you have a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, sometimes taking them out of their own environment can be risky. Sometimes taking them out of their routine, in large crowds, or noisy places. However, if you think your loved one will do well with a few hours out, it’s a great way to include them in family outings and holiday festivities.
If your loved one is capable of being out of their environment here’s a lot of fun things to do.
- Include them in on school plays or concerts
- Set a day to bake together
- Take them on a holiday hopping outing
- Help them wrap gifts they might have gotten for family members
- Have a “pre-holiday” feast with family
During the holidays families usually have a hard time seeing one another. If possible, plan on a day that’s not the holiday itself to get together with family. If some family live out of state or are unable to make it, include them anyway and do a video call!
Making A Family Favorite Meal
Whether at their assisted living home or if you invite them to your own home, choose a family favorite meal that your senior parent made frequently. Help them to get the ingredients and make the meal together. It’s a great way to bond but it’s also a great way to make your loved one feel useful and like themselves. Familiarity is something that helps make them feel safe.
Celebrating The Holidays
With senior loved ones in assisted living, the holidays might feel different from how they used to be. Don’t let that stop you from feeling festive. The holidays help to bring out the best in people. Consider some of the tips from this article to bring the holiday spirit to the assisted living facility.
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