Those in assisted living facilities can face many struggles this time of year. The holiday season can be especially difficult for your loved ones and friends who are in assisted living. Many families want to include their loved ones in their holiday routines but may not be sure how to do so. Keep reading to gain some insight into how you can bring some holiday cheer to the cherished members of your family.
Some plans and activities could always be subject to change, especially during the pandemic. Always check with your assisted living facility to ensure proper COVID-related precautions are taken.
There is nothing drearier than a plain, boring assisted living room. We want to bring the holiday spirit to our loved ones-not remind them how they are away from their family and previous homes.
Bring your loved ones’ artificial tree from their previous home if possible. If there isn’t room for a full-size tree, consider buying a miniature, tabletop tree. Be sure to fully decorate the tree with tinsel, ornaments and bright lights.
Recruit the children in your family to make homemade ornaments for the tree as well. Encourage them to make other homemade decorations to hang on the walls and other areas of the living space.
Did your grandmother have a specific décor theme that she always decorated her house in? Did she have special ornaments? Try to recreate or find some of the favorites of your loved ones to include in their room.
Most all of us realize that senior citizens love to reminisce about years gone by. The holidays are the perfect time of year to encourage reminiscing with your loved ones.
Try to pick out some family photographs to bring for your holiday visits to the assisted living center. Bring different photographs to each visit, so that your loved one has something fun to look forward to.
Consider purchasing a digital picture frame. This way, you can take family photographs with your loved one, upload them, and they can instantly have a copy to cherish for the season and years to come.
Engage your loved one in a fun, meaningful conversation about past holiday seasons. They will love talking about the memories they have shared with you.
In any relationship, communication is key! Communication is possibly even more important to maintain with those family members in assisted living. Your loved one may or may not have a roommate. Your loved one may not have many to call and speak to, besides you.
During this pandemic, communication is paramount. Some facilities may not allow visitors at all. If this is the case, telephone communication is highly important. If your loved one has an Apple Iphone, they can use Facetime with other family members who also have an Iphone. If they have computer access, help them gain a Skype account or some other service to utilize video calling.
In normal times, here are some other holiday ideas that are sure to bring cheer!
We hope you will consider some of our tips when visiting your loved ones in assisted living this year. The holidays are a difficult time for many, but you can help spread some cheer by being festive. Your loved ones with thank you for it.
Seniors are usually in assisted living communities because they need extra care. They need help doing things, that if done alone, could be harmful to their health. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t able to contribute to society.
Giving back to their own community is a great way for seniors to have something of their own to focus on. Some communities might offer group activities like knitting. Seniors can come together to knit hats for the homeless. A project like this can spark so much joy, a reason to gather with others, socializing, a meaningful job, and the feeling of helping others.
LivingPath helps people discover amazing senior living communities. To see a list of Assisted Living communities near you, head to LivingPath and start your senior living search.
A Christmas Feast For All
Although not all seniors may want to participate in activities, it’s still nice to have the option to join in. The days can seem long in the winter and over time, some might warm up to the idea of celebrating. A Christmas feast can be a fun way to involve seniors in preparing for a celebration in a way they aren’t able to do on their own anymore. Staff members of assisted living communities can give seniors simple tasks to do like setting the table, decorating cookies, mixing bowls. Making seniors feel useful and productive is a great way to brighten spirits.
Depending on your loved ones’ health and condition, it may be possible to take them away from the assisting living center for a few hours. If they are able and would like to, this could be a great way to include them in holiday festivities.
Some to consider are:
- Take them to see local Christmas light displays
- Drive them to their favorite restaurant for a holiday lunch/dinner
- Consider taking them shopping for a special gift from “Santa”
- Take them to the grandkids’ school play or band concert
- Involve them in holiday baking
If your loved one cannot leave the facility, plenty can still be done to celebrate the holidays with them. Gather several members of your family together to visit your loved one and watch favorite Christmas movies together. Bring your loved ones’ favorite snacks to provide during the movie. Be sure to bring your family member a festive wrapped gift to open while the family is there.
Some assisted living facilities have holiday gatherings for families. Please consider attending and spend this time with your loved one on their special day.