5 Tips for Celebrating Holidays in Assisted Living

A new living situation doesn’t mean the holidays can’t still be fun, festive, and meaningful.
Posted by The Ivy

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You know it’s time for Mom or Dad to move to assisted living, but you really want to celebrate one more holiday at home. It sounds nice, but what happens when Mom accidentally leaves the stove on long after the gravy was done simmering or Dad trips over a string of Christmas lights?

A new living situation doesn’t mean the holidays can’t still be fun, festive, and meaningful. Celebrating the holidays in assisted living means that your loved one will be safe and healthy, you’ll have peace of mind, and your family can keep old traditions while making some new ones.

The Holidays at The Ivy at Ellington

Walk into The Ivy at Ellington in November, and you’ll see pumpkins, straw bales, and other harvest décor. You’ll smell aromatherapy scents — cinnamon and pine — in the entryway. And you’ll hear Cindy, the receptionist, greeting families and socializing with residents.

In December, there is a Christmas tree and a menorah in the lobby and stockings over the fireplace. Residents gather by the fire to talk about their favorite holiday movies and sing their favorite Christmas carols. And a local girl scout troop and a school chorus swing by to sing carols. This year, residents will also participate in Ellington’s annual Winterfest and Tree-lighting Ceremony. The community is also traveling to Springfield, Massachusetts to enjoy Bright Nights at Forest Park, the northeast’s premier holiday lighting experience featuring more than 65,000 lights along a 3-mile tour.

“Around the holidays, The Ivy at Ellington feels warm and welcoming,” says Marketing Director Bianca Syriac. “But it’s the residents who make the holidays special here. They love this time of year because it brings back so many cherished memories with their families.”

Every year, The Ivy at Ellington hosts a holiday celebration so families can celebrate with their loved ones and make new memories in the community.

“We have live entertainment, passed hors d’oeuvres, sugar cookie decorating, and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus himself,” Syriac says. “This event helps foster relationships with our residents and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well.”

Adds Executive Director Lindsay Redin: “It is a beautiful celebration for our staff, their families, our residents, and their families.”

Tips for Celebrating the Holidays in Assisted Living

No matter what holiday you celebrate, it’s all about spending quality time with the people you love. So, if your loved one will be celebrating the holidays in assisted living this year, bring the festive family fun to them. Here are five tips and ideas.

1. Celebrate How You Celebrated at Home

“It’s important to celebrate holidays similar to how you celebrated at home,” Syriac says. “One of our residents has a family-favorite fudge recipe she has made every year. So she prepared it in The Pub last year and shared it with residents and staff.”

2. Decorate Their Apartment

Bring some extra holiday cheer to your loved one’s apartment by decorating their space together. “Bring your loved one’s favorite holiday décor, and set up a tabletop Christmas tree with their favorite ornaments,” Syriac suggests.

3. Help Them Purchase Gifts

Help your loved one think of and purchase gifts for kids or grandkids and wrap them together. “Our Activities Director, Lorelei Dubowski, goes on weekly shopping trips and can help residents sort and purchase their Christmas gifts for the family,” Syriac says. Then arrange a family visit and open presents together.

4. Watch Holiday Movies

If your family has a tradition of watching holiday-themed movies together, bring some of your favorites over for movie night. If this isn’t one of your family’s traditions, consider making it one. Some holiday-themed flicks include It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Miracle on 34th Street.

5. Celebrate with the Community

Find out about the events being planned at the assisted living facility, and encourage your loved one to take part in the festivities. If possible, join them for a holiday event or meal hosted. From ornament making to caroling and special meals, there is something for every resident and every family member.

To learn more about The Ivy at Ellington’s holiday events and celebrations, subscribe to our newsletter.

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Topics: Assisted Living