Enjoying the Holidays in Senior Living
The holiday season is here! Time to enjoy your favorite holiday traditions – or create new ones – with everyone we hold dear. Whatever your plans may be, there’s plenty of joy to go around celebrating the holidays in a senior living community, and Three Pillars is certainly no exception!
For those who may be new to our community, or for family members looking to plan festivities for their loved ones, we have some advice that can help you have a fun, joyful, safe holiday.
Holiday Events and Activities
November and December are some of our favorite months around Three Pillars! Our activity calendars see an extra boost of events and spirits are high. Between guest presentations, concerts, classes, parties, and plenty of extra-special holiday events, there’s plenty of fun to be had in senior living.
Between all the fun we have planned, of course, residents create their own celebrations too! They share dinners, gifts, and holiday treats in gatherings with friends, family, and neighbors. These are great options for residents who prefer to stay on campus while enjoying the holidays. Be sure to check out Three Pillars’ events page for new activities that are open to friends in the community, too.
What About Celebrating Holidays Off-Site?
Yet another fun option is to head out to a friend or family member’s home or another gathering location to celebrate! Residents are encouraged to enjoy the holidays in whatever way is best and most enjoyable to them. For some residents, heading out on a group outing, driving themselves, or being picked up by a family member are great options. For others, a trip offsite may require more involved planning to ensure care needs are met before, during, or after. The care team is always available to discuss options and make sure going off-site can be safe and enjoyable.
Medical needs can always change, so it’s a good idea to keep plans flexible. It’s important to consider the state of COVID-19 in your community, being considerate of your own health, and the health of fellow residents. Your safety and well-being always comes first, and family or friends will be open to accommodating those needs.
Holiday Tips for Families of Senior Living Residents
If you’re making holiday plans that include a resident at Three Pillars or any senior community, consider the following factors as you make your arrangements.
Stay connected and visit!
The holidays are a joyous time for many but can be lonely for some senior living residents. Feeling connected to family can have a substantial impact on a resident’s well-being at any time of year. During the holidays, when others may be receiving gifts or visitors, feelings of isolation can be especially pronounced.
Whether your loved one is celebrating on campus or not, be sure to include them in your holiday plans. If you’re up for it, see if you can even include a neighbor or friend of your loved one who may not have plans or visitors that day! Visitors are always welcome, provided they adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines and other care need considerations.
Honor the resident’s plans
Your loved one is part of their own community within their senior living apartment. That community might have their own plans for the holiday that intersect with typical traditions.
As you would with any loved one, allow the resident to choose for themselves how they’d like to spend the holidays and honor that decision. Connection to family is essential, but so is their connection to their friends in senior living. They may decide to prioritize on-campus connections this year to try and strengthen those bonds and form new memories.
This is a good thing! Solidifying their connections to peers they see each day only helps residents feel closer to their community. Try not to take it personally. Instead, work with them to find a compromise that connects them to family and allows them the freedom to connect with friends.
Be mindful of health limitations
Depending on your loved one’s level of care, they may not be able to participate in the same holiday celebrations as in previous years. Health needs can change rapidly, requiring more special assistance than your family can reasonably provide. That may mean that staying on campus is the best way for your family member to spend the holidays – and we promise, it can be just as festive and fun!
If you’re not sure what may be best, speak to your loved one or their social worker and care team. A holiday visit, in whatever format works best, can work wonders for the well-being of senior living residents.There’s always room for new holiday traditions that involve the whole family in ways that feel special!
Happy holidays to all of our residents and their families! If there’s anything we can do to make your holiday more joyous, please let a staff member know!
Do you have holiday ideas or activities you’d like to share? Leave us a comment below.