Make Sure to Boost Morale for Assisted Living Relatives During the Holidays
By using your imagination, creativity, and love of the wonder of the season, you can make sure to boost morale for assisted living relatives during the holidays.
Baking cookies. Putting up festive decorations. Singing traditional carols. Or lighting candles that illuminate the reason for the season. Holidays are a time when people go the extra mile to make sure everyone’s days are merry and bright – especially for relatives and loved ones who are spending the season in an assisted living community.
However, it can sometimes become a challenge to residents in assisted living since they tend to be in good enough shape to get around their community, but because of age or health issues they may not be able to get out on their own. Families are often faced with the dilemma of whether they should bring their loved ones home or take the festivities to them. Plus, they may also be concerned about how much time they will be able to spend with their senior, especially if they live far away.
The good news is there are some easy and enjoyable activities you can do to boost morale for assisted living relatives during the holidays. The trick is to strike a balance between sharing good times while creating special memories and dealing with the realities of health issues and busy schedules. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do to make sure everyone feels happy, relaxed, and joyful during the most wonderful time of the year:
- Join in the fun – Most assisted living communities devote a lot of time and effort to creating engaging and entertaining holiday activities that lift spirits and bring people together. If you live close to your loved one’s community, check with the activities coordinator to see what they have planned and then pop in to join them. Most are family friendly, so whether it’s a holiday concert, carol sing-a-long, afternoon tea, or even a craft activity, bring the grandkids along and enjoy the event together.
- Deck the halls – Whether you bring in a small tree, a wreath, or electric candles to brighten their apartment, or you have your loved one join you at your home to listen to holiday music and help put up decorations, you can make sure they are surrounded by the familiar sights, sounds, and scents of the season.
- Get crafty – Engaging with your senior is even more enjoyable when you introduce the creativity of making a holiday craft together into the mix. Creating a wreath, crafting homemade ornaments, or creating a painting or artwork for holiday cards can be a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and come away with a memento you’ll cherish for years to come.
- Take your time – Don’t feel like you have to spend an entire day with them at their community or your home. Keep in mind many seniors tire easily and may be happiest spending just a few hours together (experts say 6 hours max). And you don’t have to make it a one-time event. If you can, drop in for as little as 20 minutes to bring cookies, share news from greeting cards, or just have a cozy cup of coffee from time to time during the holiday season. When it comes to visits, the more the merrier.
- Open presents together – While getting a gift is fun, watching others get excited about opening presents makes it feel more like a shared experience; Bring some gifts for your loved one, but also bring some for you and the kids to open. Few things are more fun than watching a child’s eyes light up with delight when they open a long-wished-for toy or treat.
- Put on a show – Bring along a large-screen laptop or a slide projector and screen to look at photos and videos of past holidays together. Reminiscing about all the fun with family and friends they’ve had over the years can be uplifting and very meaningful, especially if your loved one is beginning to experience memory loss (saying experiencing the early stages of memory loss sounded somewhat sad to me).
- Say cheese! – Many professional photographers offer holiday portrait packages that capture the spirit of the season in the smiling faces of family and friends. Gather family and loved ones from near and far for a group session that can be set up in your senior’s assisted living community lounge or public gathering space. You can also simply recruit amateur talent from your group to do a portrait or create a keepsake album of casual fun shoots from your holiday visit.
- Have a virtual get together – Thanks to Zoom calls and FaceTime, families who are spread out around the country or globe can log on, laugh, and visit from wherever they are. Many assisted living communities are equipped with Wi-Fi and technology that can help connect your senior to all the people they love without leaving their community.
By using your imagination, creativity, and love of the wonder of the season, you can come up with all kinds of ways to make sure to boost morale for assisted living relatives during the holidays.
MorningStar Senior Living — Assisted Living Community
If your loved one lives far from family and friends, it could be time to move into an assisted living community near their adult children where they’ll have the companionship of fellow seniors and a compassionate service team. At MorningStar Senior Living, a 24/7 team is dedicated to offering care and hospitality services that meet each resident’s social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.