The holiday season is often referred to as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, but for many seniors and older adults, it feels like the opposite. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can worsen as the days get shorter and the nights get longer. While assisted living communities can help reduce feelings of isolation, there is no replacement for quality time with family and friends. What are some ways you can celebrate the holidays with your senior loved ones in assisted living?
It is never too late to carry on family traditions, but as family members age and move into assisted living homes it often becomes necessary to pass the generational torch to the younger generations and create new family traditions! This could become one of your favorite family gatherings that revolves around the senior in their assisted living home while surrounding them with family and loved ones. One suggestion is to have a pre-holiday party that involves the whole family discussing new holiday decorating ideas for the senior. Do some brainstorming among siblings, pull out family decorations to take to the senior’s apartment and make sure to include any children in the preparations who will add excitement to the new tradition. Make sure to give them free rein to unharness their imaginations and creativity in a way that only children can do! Even if your loved one is living in a relatively small space, there are still fun ways that you can decorate it as a group. String up some lights, play music, make decorations, create a display of holiday cards, read stories out loud, share a memory of holidays past. Remember to make sure that you confirm that the assisted living facility has no restrictions on certain decorations ahead of time.
This could soon become a fun cherished holiday tradition while at the same time teaching all generations in the family that as you age, you are still loved and valued as an important part of the family tree and its history.
Another thing that some seniors miss when they move into an assisted living facility is being able to easily join in on events like family movie nights. Grab some of your loved one’s favorite movies, popcorn, and some fun homemade treats, and spend the evening watching movies together. A family movie night is also a great way to include some other people in the assisted living facility that might not have a family to visit as well.
Many assisted living communities have some community-wide activities where seniors can invite their family and friends. Pay attention to the calendar at your loved one’s home, confirm that family members are welcome, and make sure that your loved one is interested in you coming. Attending one is a great way to show that you care and that you want to continue to spend quality time with your loved ones.
Finally, we realize that some people live too far away to realistically visit their loved ones in assisted living facilities. There are still fun ways to keep in touch. Schedule video chats together to chat or when you are doing things at the same time. For example, you could both set up a camera and video chat while you bake cookies or decorate your trees.
Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion, and respect.
For help or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website www.seniorcarelifestyles.com.