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The holidays are known as a time for friends and family to gather together, make memories and spread cheer. However, if you have a loved one who resides within one of our assisted living or memory care homes, it may be stressful ensuring that they’ll be included in all the year-end festivities.
With some patience and extra planning, though, there are a number of easy ways to make sure everybody can have a holly jolly holiday this year.
1. Involve Loved Ones in Your Holiday Preparations
Even before the holidays begin, there are plenty of opportunities for including memory care and assisted living seniors in your day-to-day activities. From warm indoor activities to outdoor excursions, here are some of our favorite suggestions:
- Gift Wrapping: Visit their home here within our community and bring your gifts! Depending on the senior, he or she could help with everything from wrapping packages to tying bows to signing cards.
- Hang Up Decorations: Seniors can put up their favorite ornaments on the tree, hang a wreath on the door, place a garland on the table and more! Pick decorating tasks that they know and love that don’t require any heavy lifting.
2. Inform Family About Your Loved One Ahead of Time
If you’re planning on bringing your loved one with you to your holiday celebrations, it may be wise to inform other guests about their condition ahead of time. Updating friends and family about any changes going on in their life such as memory loss is a good way to get everyone on the same page and manage expectations.
Easy ways to tell your family about the status of your loved one include:
- Writing a letter to guests ahead of time
- Giving family members a phone call in advance
- Sending a group email to all holiday party attendees at once
3. Delegate Your Yearly Responsibilities
If you’re caring for a parent or loved one who is in memory care/assisted living, a great way to lower your stress levels is splitting up the holiday tasks for the year. For instance, if you’re the one who cooks dinner on Christmas Day, it may be wise to have another family member be in charge of the food preparation.
Other tasks that can be delegated to multiple family members may include:
- Hosting holiday parties
- Cleaning up after each event
- Purchasing and wrapping gifts
- Putting up and taking down decorations
4. Prioritize Your Favorite Traditions
Even with a loved one obtaining regular care in our community, there’s no reason why your family shouldn’t incorporate your favorite holiday traditions into your schedule. Some of the most popular yearly customs can be enjoyed right here at Water’s Edge of Bradenton!
Ideas for traditions that you can partake in with your loved one within their memory care home include:
- Listening to holiday songs
- Watching festive movies
- Decorating their room
Other common traditions that don’t require much physical activity or strain include:
- Driving around town to see holiday lights
- Attending church services
- Christmas caroling
5. Find Ways to Volunteer or Give Back
If you find your stress levels becoming higher than usual, one way to ease anxiety is by volunteering or giving back. Depending on your conditions and time restraints, this can be done both physically (e.g., volunteering at a soup kitchen) or virtually (e.g., donating to an online fundraiser).
Talk to your loved one and decide which way of volunteering is right for your family. To help you decide, here’s a list of local organizations in the Bradenton area looking for service from people like you:
- Realize Bradenton – This non-profit organization promotes economic wellness and redevelopment in Bradenton by hosting several events throughout the year.
- Alzheimer’s Association – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter – People of all ages can volunteer for this association, assisting in public education and awareness programs, office administration and more.
- Lakewood Ranch Medical Center – This Bradenton-area hospital is always looking for volunteers to offer help in a range of tasks that can be designated to children, adults and seniors.
6. Make Time to Visit Your Loved Ones
Not only is it important to involve your loved one in the year-end preparations and traditions leading up to various holidays but, if it’s possible, it would mean the world to a resident if you visited them on a given holiday.
Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s, carving out just 1-2 hours of your busy day to spend time in their home would be wonderful for the whole family.
Ways you can incorporate your loved one into your special day include:
- Coming to our community for a meal
- Stopping by to see him or her at the beginning or the end of your day
- Catching up with your loved one on the phone, if you can’t make it in person
7. Chat with Your Loved One Regularly
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do with your loved one in assisted living or memory care this holiday season is to just talk to them. In doing so, you can get a better idea of their current condition, what they want to do during this time of year, any traditions they place a priority on and more.
Quick ways to communicate with your loved one during this time of year, to let them know that you’re thinking of them, could include:
- Having daily or weekly phone calls, on a schedule convenient for them
- Sending them a seasonal card in the mail
- Video chatting nightly via a laptop, cell phone or other portable device
Looking for More Tips for Celebrating the Holidays? Check Out Our Other Blog Posts!
Whether you’re looking for places in the area to go, safety tips, or you just want to learn more about our facility, you can do so by reading some of our other blog posts:
- Traveling This Holiday Season? Here Are 7 Safety Tips to Keep in Mind
- 35 of Our Favorite Restaurants in the Bradenton Area
- 13 Tips for Caring for Someone with Dementia or Alzheimer’s
As always, if you have any questions about our community or ways to celebrate the holidays with seniors, please get in touch with us today!