Creating a Happy Holiday for Someone Living in a Senior Community
For many, the holidays are the best time of the year, but they can also come with added stress. Shopping, getting ready for traveling, or welcoming visitors can seem overwhelming during what is usually already a busy time.
If you have a loved one living in a senior living community, trying to include them into your holiday plans can become challenging with all you have on your plate. But including them is particularly important during this time, as they may be mourning the loss of good health, beloved traditions or being around family and friends. Here are some tips to make this holiday one that you and your loved one will remember forever.
Let go of expectations
Accept the fact that normal traditions may need some adjusting and that you can still have a wonderful holiday. Be grateful that your loved one is still around and enjoy simply being together. Make the time you do spend together festive and fun. Let friends and other relatives know that you may be cutting back on certain activities in order to help ensure your loved one has an enjoyable holiday.
The best gift is always spending time with your loved one. Pick a day and put up some holiday decorations while playing holiday music. Take some favorite holiday cookies and some hot cider or hot chocolate. Talk about cherished memories of past holidays and encourage them to share their favorite holiday stories. Bring along the grandkids and have a little gift exchange.
Take part in the facility’s activities
Most senior living communities – like Charlesgate – have a lot going on during the holidays: guest carolers and choirs, special meals and celebrations, and volunteers stopping by to spread lots of holiday joy. Join your loved one in one or more of these events and encourage them to take part in all that their facility has to offer.
Bring your loved home for the day
If your loved one is able to safely leave the facility for a day, consider including them in the Big Day. It’s always a good idea to consult with the staff to see if this is feasible. You’ll also need to ensure your home is a safe environment for your loved one and that they will be comfortable while visiting.
Giving gifts is often one of the most enjoyable parts of the holiday season. But choosing the perfect present for someone who lives in a senior living community can seem like a challenge. Try to make your gift one that’s personal, like framed photos of the grandkids or a preloaded iPod with some of their favorite songs. Special soaps, shampoos and lotions can make your loved one feel special. Stuffed animals are something that your loved one can cherish without having the responsibility of a live pet. If you live far away and spend most of your time with your loved one on the phone, give them a prepaid phone card, so they can call you anytime.
With a little planning and a few adjustments, celebrating the holidays with someone living in a senior living community can be a joyous time – for both you and your loved one.