Every family has its own set of traditions that make the holiday season special. Typically, those traditions involve the whole extended family gathering under one roof for the holidays. When a member of your family is in assisted living or memory care, that might not be possible. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up holiday traditions when a loved one moves to assisted living. Holiday traditions remain as important as ever. They might just look a little different.
Here are some ideas for how to share holiday cheer with your loved one when celebrating the holidays in assisted living.
Take Children Caroling
Are there a lot of young children in your family? Gather them into a choir of little carolers and take them to your loved one’s senior living community to spend an afternoon caroling for the residents. Your loved one will love seeing the little ones perform, and will be thrilled to share the holiday cheer with their friends in the community.
Attend a Holiday Service
All ABHM communities hold religious services during the holidays. If faith is an important part of your family’s holiday season, join your loved one for a holiday service at their community. They’ll appreciate being surrounded by family while they worship, even if they can’t make it to the usual family church.
Cookie Baking Party
When it comes to holiday cookies, the baking process matters as much or more than the final product. Almost every family has certain cookies that they make every holiday season. Pack up your recipes and the essential ingredients, and have a cookie baking party at your loved one’s community. If your loved one doesn’t have their own kitchen, ask about renting the community kitchen for a couple hours.
Holiday Card Workshop
Putting together the family holiday cards is a big undertaking for anyone. Make it fun by turning it into a group activity and having a holiday card workshop. If you’re a crafty bunch, you can design the cards together. When they’re ready to be mailed, make it an assembly line and give everyone a task: writing addresses, stuffing and sealing envelopes, and adding the stamp. With holiday music playing in the background, you’ll all enjoy a festive and productive afternoon.
There are always festive activities going on at each ABHM community throughout the holiday season. Ask your loved one to take a look at the schedule and offer to join them for any events they think look particularly fun. Visiting your loved one in their community allows them to show you around and introduce you to their friends. The joining of those two communities – friends and family – is what holiday spirit is all about.
Happy holidays from all of us at American Baptist Homes of the Midwest!