The holiday season is a special time of year for sharing old traditions and making brand new memories with the people we care about most.
If you have loved ones in assisted living, you may be wondering how to include them in your holiday plans.
Spending time together during the holidays has benefits that go well beyond just enjoying good food and opening presents. It also enhances your loved one’s quality of life by combating the negative effects of social isolation.
- Seniors face a special risk of isolation from friends and family during the holidays, especially when physical limitations or bad weather keep them indoors.
- Social isolation can increase the risk of long-term illness, high blood pressure and even mortality.
Most assisted living communities strongly encourage family visits during the holidays, and some facilities even host events that include family members and other guests invited by residents.
Here are a few helpful ideas for making holiday plans with loved ones in assisted living.
Does your loved one plan to decorate for the holidays?
You could help them put up a small Christmas tree, a few favorite ornaments or holiday plants to liven up their room or apartment.
It’s a great way to spend some quality time together and talk about how they’d like to spend the upcoming holidays.
Buying, Wrapping and Opening Presents
Your loved one may have a list of gifts they’d like to buy for others.
Consider offering to help out with Christmas shopping — either online or at the store — and then spend time together wrapping presents.
If you have a family get-together at the assisted living community for Christmas, don’t just bring the resident’s presents to them. Have everyone bring a few gifts so that you can all experience the joy of opening them together.
Holiday Activities and Entertainment
Many assisted living communities host holiday-themed activities for residents and guests alike.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, you may be able to join your loved one for a special meal, social gathering or holiday musical performance.
In addition to these special events, other great ways to celebrate include singing Christmas carols or watching beloved holiday movies together.
Staying in Touch with Technology
What if you or other family members live far away and can’t make the trip to visit your loved one in assisted living?
With a little help, technology can help you bridge the distance and let you share the holiday across the miles. You can organize virtual visits using FaceTime or Skype, or share photos by posting them online.
Is It Okay for the Resident to Visit You?
If you live close by, it may be possible for your loved one to pay a visit to your home. You’ll want to consult with staff members at the assisted living facility in making this decision.
- Would it be safe for the resident to make such a trip?
- Would an overnight stay be feasible, or would a shorter daytime visit be better?
- Is your home equipped to accommodate your loved one’s care needs?
In many cases, it is simply easier and safer for you to visit your loved one at their assisted living community than for them to come to your home.
Are you looking for ways to plan a meaningful holiday celebration that includes a loved one in assisted living?
Get in touch with us at Culpepper Place. We understand how important it is to share this time of year together, and we’re happy to help you come up with ideas to make it a happy occasion for everyone.
From all of us at Culpepper Place, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a joy-filled New Year!