An elderly woman resident visits and laughs with her familiy as her grandchild sits on her lap with her arms around them.

How to Create a Memorable Christmas for Seniors In Assisted Living


The holiday season may feel different if your loved one is in assisted living. Holidays for the elderly can be lonely, and seniors may feel isolated from family or disappointed that they are not able to participate in certain festivities. This year, you may be unsure whether to continue beloved holiday traditions, especially if your loved one cannot visit home. 

How can you celebrate the holidays with your loved one in assisted living? Learn more about the ways you can make this holiday special. 

Emotional Support for Older Adults 

Your loved one may feel blue this time of year. There are many reasons why seniors may feel lonely or unhappy during the holidays. They may have recently lost a spouse or close family member. If they’ve just moved into assisted living, they may still be adjusting to their new space and routine. 

Visiting your loved one in assisted living can prevent loneliness and provide the necessary support your loved one needs. Close relationships can improve seniors’ satisfaction with life and even help them maintain memory and physical health. 

Spend the Holiday Together

There’s nothing better than spending time together. When you visit, you can bring beloved family traditions to your loved one’s new abode. 

You’ve always baked cookies and watched “It’s A Wonderful Life” together, so why stop now? You can continue to do many of the things you used to do together at an assisted living facility. 

If your loved one does not feel up for certain activities, it’s time to make some new traditions! Often, just talking and listening to your loved one is the best way to reconnect and make them feel loved. 

Here are some ideas for Christmas activities for seniors to make your loved one’s holiday merry and bright.

  • Bring holiday treats. Make your loved one feel at home with a taste of the season. Whether they love gingerbread cookies or peanut brittle, a bite of their favorite treat can bring back warm memories. You may want to check with the care staff before bringing treats.
  • Decorate their room. You can help your loved one feel festive by decorating their apartment. A mini tree, sparkling lights, and garland add holiday cheer to any space. You’ll want to keep safety hazards in mind as you decorate. Don’t let cords crawl over walkways or put decorations where they might block entrances. 
  • Play holiday tunes. Does your loved one have a favorite holiday song? Music has the power to boost our moods and bring back fond memories. Browse the holiday stations together or splurge for a record by your loved one’s favorite artist.
  • Open gifts together. Your loved one may be able to come home for the holidays, but many seniors in assisted living are unable to leave the care they receive. They may miss out on activities like gift-giving. Carry on traditions by opening a few gifts at your loved one’s assisted living apartment. They’ll get joy out of seeing grandchildren and younger family members unwrap presents.   
  • Help them reach out to friends and family. Your loved one may feel disconnected from friends or family members that live far away. You can help them stay in touch with the important people in their lives. Try helping them write and send holiday cards. You can even invite their friends to a party at their assisted living facility. 

When You Can’t Be Together  

You may not be able to visit your loved one in person this year, but you can still let them know you care. No matter where you are, you can call or video chat with your loved one to wish them well this holiday. 

If you can’t see your loved one this season, send a gift or holiday-themed care package. A sweet note from family members, combined with a holiday treat, special gift, or drawing from a grandchild, will mean the world to your loved one.

Holidays & Assisted Living Programs

Assisted living communities host holiday activities for seniors. Even if you can’t visit this time of year, know that your loved one will have the opportunity to celebrate with other members of their community. 

Family members may be welcome to attend events alongside residents. If your loved one invites you to a holiday activity, it might be the perfect new tradition for this next stage of your lives.  

Do you have questions about celebrating the holidays in assisted living?

Our assisted living community in Olive Branch, MS, is a place your loved one will feel cared for and comfortable. Contact Culpepper Place today to learn more about holidays in assisted living. 

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