The holiday season is a special time to share with those closest to you and celebrate fun family traditions. However, loved ones in senior care settings can easily feel out-of-touch and left out of important family rituals, especially if it’s their first holiday in a new community.
At this time of year, it’s more important than ever to make your loved one in a senior living community feel included in family traditions, says senior expert and Executive Director Tonya Cox, of The Homeplace at Midway in Midway, KY. “A sad reality of the holiday season is that many residents in senior living communities often feel forgotten or displaced when they can’t spend time with their families,” shares Cox. “They might suffer from holiday blues or feel the pain of isolation. Despite the effort spent by most communities to make the holidays a festive time for residents, there’s really no substitute for your own family.”
Fortunately, we have a whole list of ideas to share and inspire you to bring the holidays to your loved one. From adapting family traditions to their senior living community or creating new ones, we’ll help you find ways to celebrate together.
Bringing Holiday Cheer to the Community
The senior living experts and caregivers at The Homeplace at Midway are happy to share some creative ways to include your loved one this season. We hope that these ideas and tips will allow you all to maintain important traditions and share time with one another in a special way!
Bake cookies – If you and your mom have always baked Christmas cookies together, don’t let her new home keep you from continuing the tradition. Many senior living communities have expansive, open kitchens that residents can utilize. Bring the ingredients and start baking some memories!
Watch favorite movies – Traditional holiday films are a special way to spread cheer and reminisce about our childhood. Have a movie marathon in your loved one’s apartment and enjoy the stories that you grew up with. This is a great activity to share with young kids, too. If movies aren’t your genre of choice, read Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol
See a show – Take your loved one out on the town for a special holiday performance. Whether you see a traveling tour of The Nutcracker or attend a holiday band or choir concert, make the day special by dressing up and going out to dinner beforehand.
Go caroling – Gather a group of friends and family members to sing Christmas carols at your loved one’s community. If you have school-aged children, have them invite their friends from their school choir to join. You’ll give a special gift to the entire community, and your loved one will feel the warm glow of pride.
Spread the love – Gift-giving is an important tradition for a lot of families. Help your loved one participate by taking them shopping or helping them wrap gifts for friends. If your loved one has a heart for volunteering, think of some great ways they can give back. Help them do some random acts of kindness for their fellow residents, or take them to a local community center for a volunteering event.
Tips to Remember When Getting Together
Whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering or bringing one to your loved one, keep these helpful tips in mind:
Plan ahead – Plan extra time into your day’s schedule for transporting your loved one to and from their community. Make sure you or the host makes any accommodations necessary in advance (e.g. wheelchair ramp).
Take advantage of their venue – If your loved one’s health conditions make it hard for them to leave their community, why not host your family gathering there? If they feel up to it, let your loved one make the arrangements with their community’s private dining room and services so they can “host” the event.
Stay social – Take advantage of the fun holiday events and activities hosted by your loved one’s community. Contact the event coordinator to see what their holiday event schedule looks like, and plan to attend a few parties or events with your loved one.
Visit on the day – Plan to visit your loved one on Christmas day, the first day of Hanukah or whichever day holds the most importance to your family. While it’s nice to celebrate holiday traditions in advance, your loved one shouldn’t be alone on the holiday itself.
Make Each Day a Celebration
We hope our list will help you get started on making special holiday plans with your loved one this year. No matter what traditions you are able to continue, the time you spend together is really what counts.
If you would like to learn more ways to celebrate holiday traditions with your loved one in a senior living community, reach out to the team at The Homeplace at Midway. “As Kentucky’s first Green House® Residence, we’re committed to creating an environment that feels and functions just like a real home,” says Cox. “While we try to make every day in our community worth celebrating, we go all out for holidays and special occasions, so our residents feel like they really are home for the holidays. And because we emphasize such a strong family connection, our home is always open to the ones who love our residents most.”
The Homeplace at Midway accommodates residents at all levels of care within four comfortable, homelike cottages. Along with our Assisted Living, Memory Care and two Skilled Nursing Care cottages, the Lucy Simms Lloyd Gathering House – our community cottage – is just a quick walk down the road. Here you can find our Administrative Support offices as well as space for social gatherings, worship services and engaging activities.
And of course, every level of care is delivered with the Best Friends™ Approach, ensuring each resident at The Homeplace at Midway is cared for at a deep, personalized level and their days are filled with meaningful, life-affirming activities.
The Lifestyle You Deserve
Cottage-style living at The Homeplace at Midway reinvents senior living, offering a lifestyle of care and comfort that everyone deserves. The Homeplace has been designed to provide our residents with the most fulfilling lifestyle possible, from our vast array of services and amenities to our delightful dining experiences and engaging activities. We celebrate each person’s individuality by creating a relaxed, customized environment, where they are free to express themselves in the comfort of their home.
Contact us today to learn more about the many unique advantages of The Homeplace at Midway!