As the holiday season approaches, families gather to spend time together in their homes to enjoy holiday traditions and other activities like decorating the house with lights and cooking their favorite meals. While the holidays are meant to spend time with family, it can can also create some challenges for family members who are in assisted living. Below are some tips for family members on how to make the holidays merry and bright for those in assisted living:
- Additional Visits: At the top of most seniors’ wish lists for the holidays is spending time with their families. If your loved one is unable to leave their assisted living home, making time for additional family visits can be particularly meaningful. If possible, bringing the whole family, including children, can brighten the visits even more.
If you don’t live in the area to visit your loved one, lots of letters, calls, and FaceTime technology can serve as ways to show you’re sending lots of love during the holidays.
- Deck The Halls: Decorate (or send decorations to) your loved one’s room with holiday cheer! Use decorations to make them feel at home or bring homemade crafts from family members.
- Shop for Them: Often times seniors cannot leave the assisted living facility to buy holiday gifts and cards for family members. By offering to buy their presents, they can still feel like they are a part of the holiday despite being in assisted living.
- Give Meaningful Gifts: Knowing what to give your loved one can be tricky, but a good idea is to give gifts that are meaningful and make him or her remind them of family. Some examples include framed family photos, a calendar with important family dates on it, a warm robe or slippers, homemade cards or crafts, and an address book with family and friend’s contact information.
- Communicate with Assisted Living Staff: Many facilities have holiday activities, community events, and charity benefits. By knowing about these events, you can encourage your family to participate. Lastly, before celebrating the holidays with your loved one, check with the staff to make sure your plans comply with the facility’s rules.
Having a family member in assisted living can be tough to juggle during the holidays, however it is important to ensure they receive the same attention and love as the rest of the family. But by making time, a little creativity, and a lot of love, your family member will feel at home during the holiday season.