With a little planning, you can bring holiday cheer to your loved one wherever they reside. The way you celebrate may change, but the sentiment behind it can remain.
If your parent or another family member has recently relocated to a long-term care community, do not ignore the fact that this will be his or her first holiday away from home. He or she may be feeling depressed, and it’s important to acknowledge this major change.
First, it’s a good idea is to ask your loved one what he or she would like to do for the holidays, according to aPlaceforMom.com, and give that person the opportunity to be involved in decision making.
Make sure to consult with facility staff before bringing your family member home for the day to be with other relatives. They can help determine if your loved one is doing well enough for a home visit.
If your loved one is staying at the facility, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate. Many facilities are open to the idea of holiday parties for residents, as long as they are planned in advance.
“The family can request an area to have a private party and invite other family members to come to the celebration,” said Angela Hurst, recreation coordinator at Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill. “Or, they can simply bring their loved one some holiday food, or just bring family to visit, especially if they are from out of town.”
Kelly Weaver, executive director at Masonic Village at Warminster, said her staff “love a good celebration” and will decorate a room so that family members can come and celebrate the holidays or a birthday with their loved one.
When you visit the facility, you can potentially decorate your loved one’s room with a small Christmas tree or Menorah, gifts, holiday cards and lights (check with facility staff in case some items are prohibited) or set up a device to play holiday music. Stay engaged with your loved one by sharing photo albums from holidays past and talking about old memories.
While you may not be able to recreate those family holidays you’ve enjoyed for decades, don’t let this stop you from starting new traditions with your loved one. He or she will appreciate it, and you’ll feel good inside as well!