Celebrating the Holidays with Loved Ones in Nursing Homes
The holidays are a wonderful time of year for so many, but for others, it can be an uncomfortable reminder that they aren’t able to enjoy them like they used to. If your loved one has transitioned from independent or assisted living into full-time care at a nursing home, the holidays can be an extra sensitive time where worry of how they will celebrate or wondering if their loved ones will even include them in their celebrations is often the focal point of their thoughts.
It’s important that our loved ones know and feel that they are still a crucial part of our lives, no matter where they reside. From personal experience in watching our residents and their families over the last several decades enjoying the holidays together, Elmhurst Extended Care Center has come up with three very important ways you can celebrate the holidays with your loved ones in nursing homes this season.
Collect Holiday Cards
While your loved one might not have an entire house to decorate for the holidays now that they’re in a nursing home, getting them into the holiday spirit is easy to do by bringing in holiday cards.
Collect holiday cards from their friends and family and find a special place for them in their room at the nursing home facility. Hang them up on the wall or display them on a nightstand or dresser. Whatever you do, make sure your loved one will be able to easily see and enjoy them on a daily basis.
Thinking of putting together a holiday card yourself? Try adding a family photo to yours this year! Having photos of loved ones on display is always a bright spot that makes residents feel that much more at home when they’re residing at a long-term care facility.
Cook Their Favorite Dishes
Is there a specific meal your loved one always looked forward to each holiday season? What about special desserts or homemade recipes passed down through the generations?
While nursing homes do provide excellent, balanced meals focused on your loved one’s dietary needs, the holidays are a time when family traditions and special meals come into focus. Nursing homes residents often feel they might not be able to partake in those traditions any longer, so bringing in their favorite dishes can really make a great impact.
If your loved one isn’t big on surprises, talk with them before you plan to get together and have them help make a menu for the celebration. That way, you’ll know the food items they’re really looking forward to and can ensure they’ll be included.
Make It a Family Affair
If your loved one was used to large family gatherings around the holidays before they moved to a nursing home, celebrating with just one or two people can leave them feeling sad and alone. Talk with the other members of your family and see if you can plan a time where you are all able to come together to celebrate and give your loved one a holiday season to remember.
Check with your nursing home facility ahead of time to see if you can reserve some extra space the day of your gathering where your loved one and guests can feel right at home in your private celebration.
Whatever you do, make sure to celebrate! Even if you’re unable to bring the normal large gathering together, get as many to join as you can, and make the holidays in a nursing home for your loved one extra special this year.
Are you wanting to plan a gathering for your loved one this holiday season and need to reserve space? Give Elmhurst Extended Care Center a call today!