Even if you don’t have the opportunity for in-person holiday celebrations, there are many ways to keep the family traditions alive this season. Whether you live far away from family or want to minimize gatherings due to social distancing, you can still spread holiday cheer for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s.
As you turn on the holiday music and pull out your favorite cookie recipe, it’s the perfect time to reach out to parents, grandparents, or any other family of choice who might appreciate your happy, holiday greeting.
Care for Aging Parents: Continuing Family Traditions from a Distance
Show how much you care for aging parents by proactively including them in your holiday traditions each year. Here are a few simple ideas to send seasonal wishes when your loved one is in assisted living, memory care, or independent living.
Send Holiday Treats
When you are baking treats for the neighbors, make sure to set aside a few to send to your family of choice – aging parents, friends, and anyone else you want to send seasonal cheer to. The smell of baked goods is a great way to bring back happy memories from home.
Set Up Holiday Décor
A few strands of lights, a menorah, or a mini-Christmas tree are great ways to brighten the person’s room during the holiday season. Bring your family keepsakes and share stories from past years as you are setting up the décor.
Digital Holiday Caroling
Do you have memories of door-to-door caroling or sitting around the piano to sing favorite family songs? Set up a Zoom call to share these caroling traditions through video and audio. For family members in memory care, music has been shown to improve cognitive function, so sing away!
Put Together a Music Playlist
Send a CD or a Spotify playlist with the family’s favorite holiday music. Listening to holiday classes is the perfect way to add a special touch during the upcoming weeks. Some studies have shown that music can reduce depression in seniors. So send a playlist early in the holiday season to help chase away any holiday blues.
Drop Off a Gift or Stocking
Do you have the option to visit your loved one in their assisted living, memory care, or independent living community? Check with the community to see when you can visit. Or, if visits are not available due to COVID-19, drop the gift off for delivery to your loved one’s room.
Plan a Movie Watching Party
If you can’t curl up on the couch together to watch your favorite holiday movies, many streaming services make it easy to plan a movie party. First, schedule a time for the film to start and prepare a bowl of popcorn. Then, your loved one can enjoy It’s a Wonderful Life or Elf by watching the show at the same time as you. Some options even have the option to do a simultaneous video call, so you can share reactions in real-time.
Christmas or Hanukkah Services
Some families can plan a time to pick up a loved one so they can attend holiday services. But this day trip isn’t always feasible, depending on the person’s location and health. An alternative option is to find a schedule for digital streaming to participate in holiday services from the comfort of their community.
In addition to independent living or assisted living daily activities, family members can play an essential role as they care for aging parents and help loved ones feel special through holiday traditions.
Community Engagement Activities During the Holidays
When your loved one is in an independent living or assisted living community, check in to see what community engagement activities are happening for the holidays. These groups are proactive about ideas for community engagement, which is an essential step to reduce isolation and loneliness throughout the year.
It’s easy to see why community engagement matters: reasons for community engagement focus on improving lifestyle, building stronger relationships, supporting social wellness, and helping individuals create a network of friends in the neighborhood. Even if you can’t be there in person to celebrate the holidays with a family member, encourage them to participate in community engagement activities with other people in the community.
What are the different levels of community engagement? The basic community engagement purpose is to first encourage social wellness through communication and activities. Eventually, as these neighborhood relationships grow over time, people start planning together in community-directed gatherings. These interactions bring a greater sense of purpose and connection, especially for people living on their own.
Approaches to Community Engagement in an Assisted Living Community
Our caring staff goes the extra mile to help residents feel at home during the holiday season. In addition to regular holiday activities, we are also proactive about community engagement. Contact us any time if you would like to learn more about the Cadence Living communities.
Not only do we offer support for the care of aging parents, but our full-service solutions also care for family members’ needs. Our quality accommodations include options for independent living, assisted living and memory care. Call us any time to schedule a tour and learn more!