The holidays are officially here, and we’re all looking forward to gathering with friends and family. And if your loved one has recently moved from their home to a senior living community, you might be wondering about the best ways to celebrate the season together.
While your celebrations may be a little different than in years past, there are many simple and easy ways to include your loved one and make the holidays fun, festive, and memorable!
Here are some tips to help you make the first holiday in senior living extra special for your loved one:
Visit and call often
In all the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s easy to forget about the best part of the holidays: spending time with the people you care about! Be sure to call your loved one often or make short and sweet visits to their senior living community. Even a 10-minute phone call will show your loved one that you’re thinking about them.
Decorate their space
If your loved one’s home was the center of celebrations in the past, their new senior living apartment may feel like it’s missing some holiday cheer. Bring the holiday spirit to your loved one’s living space with festive décor such as potted poinsettias, stuffed animals, paper snowflakes, garlands, stockings, family photos, holiday cards, or a small Christmas tree or wreath. Make it a family activity to help your loved one decorate their new space just as you would their previous home.
Spread the holiday cheer
If you’re looking for something new to do while visiting your loved one over the holidays, consider making handmade cards together. Crafting is not only fun, but it’s also great for the mind andbody. Research shows that engaging in creative activities activates parts of the brain that protect against cognitive decline. Plus, movements like folding paper or coloring help to improve the dexterity and strength in older adults’ fingers and wrists.
When you visit your loved one, bring paper, stickers, markers, and stamps to create handmade cards. Then, send the cards to friends and family members, or give them to caregivers and other residents in the senior living community.
Perhaps the best gift you can give your loved one this holiday season is the gift of your time. Simply sitting together and sharing stories of the past is a powerful way to bring the generations in your family closer together. Encourage storytelling by looking through cherished family photographs, watching home videos, or listening to your loved one’s favorite holiday music.
Participate in community events
Many senior living communities plan festive holiday parties and events for residents and their families to enjoy together. From music, choir, and dance performances to holiday-themed happy hours, arts and crafts, games, and meals, there’s something for everyone! Some senior living communities will also schedule special religious services during the holidays, allowing residents and their family members to worship together in the comfort of the community.
The holidays might look a bit different for your family after a loved one moves to senior living, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate with traditions old and new. Keep an open mind and be willing to have flexibility with your holiday plans to include your loved one. With a little creativity and patience, you may find that this holiday season is the best one yet!
From all of us at Bethany Village, we wish you and your family a happy and peaceful holiday season!