It’s that time of year again! Streets are lit up, wrapping is in full swing and there’s an undeniable feel of cheer and happiness everywhere you go. That feeling shouldn’t stop when visiting a loved one at a senior living community; in fact, if anything it should be magnified. There’s no doubt that celebrating the holidays while a family member or friend is in senior living can be sad, but it’s important to stay focused on making sure they feel included and part of the festivities. Here are some ways to do so:
- Prepare their favorite foods! Between the smells and tastes, this is sure to make your loved one feel festive and at home.
- Bring a holiday CD or playlist for him or her to listen to; Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday classics will bring them right back to their favorite holiday celebrations.
- Seniors want to share their memories but also want to hear about your family and the new traditions being created.It not only helps them feel involved but it also gives them great stories to share with fellow residents.
- Visit – this is one that can’t be encouraged enough. Unfortunately, all too often visits start to thin out after a couple months. This is understandable; we understand that life is busy, but visiting during the holidays means a great deal to residents. It’s the best gift a family member can give!
- Involve their friends in the community. Not only will it make those friends happy, it will help reinforce your loved one’s social life and sense of being part of your life.
These small gestures can make all the difference in not just getting through the holidays, but actually enjoying them. It’s important to note that it’s the family members outside the community that often struggle with this time of year. If you’re grappling with feelings of guilt or loss, you should understand that your loved one is being taken care of by warm and experienced staff. These communities become families of their own, looking out for one another, creating their own traditions and sharing laughs throughout.
Your loved one is safe and cared for, and that is truly a great holiday gift!
We wish you all a very merry holiday season.