Tips on Celebrating the Holidays in a Nursing Home
When you think of past holidays you might go back to when you were younger and see your mom frantically putting up last-minute decorations, baking pies, stirring pots, or yelling at your dad for sticking his fingers in the cookie batter. Whatever your family tradition is, it probably included food, gifts, laughs and beloved friends and family. With your loved ones in assisted living/nursing homes, the holidays might not seem as simple as before.
Older adults in assisted living/nursing homes will feel loved and included when you find ways to bring the holiday spirit back to them. You can make the holidays in assisted living/nursing homes fun, festive, and meaningful even if it means embracing new traditions. With the right approach, you can bring the holiday cheer to your loved ones in assisted living. Below are some helpful tips for celebrating:
Consult Your Parent First
For a parent in an assisted living/nursing home, the holidays can be a bit depressing. Your mom was always the one who planned and put everything together and now she no longer can. Holidays tend to be a reminder to your loved ones in assisted living of their loss of independence. Ask your loved one in assisted living what they would like to do for the holidays and allow that person to be involved in the decision making.
If you have a loved one in assisted living who wants to celebrate the holiday, start planning the get together as early as possible. Most facilities enjoy the idea of holiday parties for the residents as long as they are planned in advance. ElderCarelink says, “assisted living centers and nursing homes generally go all out for the holiday.” Participate with your loved one in some of the activities offered there. Maybe bring some holiday music if there isn’t already and try to include their friends at the facility to celebrate with you! Maybe even ask them if there is anyone who wasn’t invited that they’d like to attend. If there are any new babies in the family or young children who your loved one hasn’t seen recently, bring them along to visit! The more people that you can get together, the more holiday-like and festive it will feel.
While some facilities are easy going when it comes to the holidays, some are a little stricter. Make sure, before celebrating the holidays, to check with the nursing home staff.
If it’s an option, invite them to celebrate at home with you and the rest of the family. Decorate the home and prepare the holiday meal, celebrating them being home for the holidays! Make sure the home in which where you are celebrating is comfortable for them. Before you move your loved one to a different location for the day, consider some of these factors:
- Make sure your home is accessible
- Plan ahead in case of an emergency
- Meet with the facilities caretakers and go over the medical problems that may need special attention
- Do your loved ones have any cognitive issues that may be intensified by a change in location?
However, you decide to celebrate, base your decisions on what’s best for them.
Give the Right Gift
Knowing what to gift a loved one is already hard as it is, but with someone in an assisted living/nursing home, it can be all the more difficult. Some great gift ideas include:
- Stationary or note cards
- Calendar with important family dates marked off
- Address book filled with friends and loved ones contact information
- Comfortable and warm clothing
- Framed photos of loved ones
- Favorite books or magazines
- Favorite movies/tv-shows
Rosewood Care Center is a nursing center that cares. We are structured to meet the lifestyle and healthcare needs of its residents. We pride ourselves on being the healthcare choice you can feel good about – especially during the holidays. We want you to enjoy them with your loved ones. For more information on how to celebrate the holidays with a loved one in an assisted living/nursing home, give us a call today. We are very accommodating and will try to work with you every step of the way!