Celebrating the holidays with a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility can be challenging. The warmth and joy that comes with this time of year is something that people often look forward to. However, it can sometimes be hard for everyone to feel that same joy when a family member cannot be present in the same capacity that they were in the past. However, even though your loved one may have to celebrate in a different location this does not mean that the holidays can’t be enjoyable for them. There are a variety of ways to include your loved one in the traditions they know and love in a way that will help you both get excited for the holidays:  

  • Talk About It: knowing that the holidays might look differently this year can be hard to process, but ignoring this change will not help the transition. Talking with your loved one can help you both understand the best way to celebrate this year. This will allow both you and your family member to express their feelings, expectations, and needs for the season. Together you will be able to find a way to adapt to this new phase of life. 
  • Send Cards: Few things are as meaningful as a handwritten note. Sending cards and asking others to as well is an easy way to bring a smile to your loved one’s face. They can be displayed on bedside tables and hung on walls as reminders to your family members that they are still loved and valued even though celebrating will look a little different this year. The wonderful thing about cards is that you can include drawings from your children, family photos, and little mementoes that can help your loved one reminisce on the memories they have made during holidays past. Another gift to consider is an electric picture frame that automatically scrolls through photos and can be updated easily to keep your loved ones up to date on what is going on. 
  • Celebrate Traditions: there are milestones that we must pass each year in order for it to truly feel like the holidays. These could be listening to Christmas music, baking special treats with friends, or setting up decorations. No matter what this looks like for your family, do what you can to involve your family members who cannot be there in person. You could bring decorations to their room to put up together while listening to Christmas music, bring them baked goods, or facetime with them while you take part in traditions at home.  
  • Visit: though you may not be able to celebrate every aspect of the holidays together visiting can still bring some of the cheer associated with the season to your elderly loved one. Bringing family and friends will allow everyone to bring the holiday to them. You can bring delicious food and exchange gifts. Even if you are not able to bring anything with you when you visit your presence will be gift enough. Being there for your loved one will help them see that they are not alone on this special occasion.  

To see the sources that we used to gather these ideas Click Here and Click Here. However you and your family choose to celebrate this holiday season we hope that you and your loved ones enjoy making wonderful memories together. To see more of our blog posts Click Here.