The first holiday season your parent or family member spends in a senior living community is significant. The holiday traditions that you and your family have created are special, and spending the holidays apart may provoke a variety of emotions.
Although this year has posed new challenges, you can still make this holiday season memorable for each of your family members. With retirement communities located throughout Colorado, WellAge Senior Living wants to share some ways that you can honor your family’s holiday traditions, even if your parent or family member is residing in a senior living community.
1. Decorate Your Family Member’s Living Space
If decorating your home is a valued tradition in your family, keep the tradition alive! Just because their address has changed does not mean they cannot get into the holiday spirit through decorating.
First, check with the community staff and team members to see if any limitations are in place, and second, get decorating. Bring holiday decorations and items that are sentimental or have little ones make new, homemade decorations; play some holiday music and make their space look like a winter wonderland!
If visiting in person is not an option, set up a video call through FaceTime or Skype, and decorate your home alongside your parent or relative. If possible (or necessary), coordinate with the staff and caregivers at your relative’s community, and see if they can help with the decorating process. This way, you can still honor the decorating tradition and spend quality time together.
2. Make Holiday Crafts
Making paper chains and snowflakes, decorating tree ornaments, and creating homemade holiday cards are great ways to get into the holiday spirit and honor long-lasting family traditions. Fortunately, this group activity can be achieved through virtual connections or in-person visits.
Establish which crafts you and your relative will be making together and gather all of the necessary supplies. Set up a video call, share stories, and spend quality time together while you make your favorite holiday crafts.
3. Watch Holiday Movies
Is there a specific holiday movie that you and your family watch together every year? This tradition can still be carried out even when your parent or relative has moved into a senior living community. Thanks to technology, you do not need to be in front of the same television, or even in the same household, to achieve this.
Teleparty, formerly known as Netflix Party, makes holiday movie nights with friends and family possible when you cannot all be together. This new application “synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to Netflix, Disney, Hulu, and HBO.” Honor your holiday movie watching tradition by utilizing this fantastic program.
4. Host a Christmas Morning Celebration
Many families anxiously wait for the arrival of Christmas morning. Everyone gathering in their pajamas, cooking a big, delicious breakfast, and opening gifts are all a staple of Christmas morning celebrations. Waking up in separate houses should not keep you from honoring this tradition.
You can set up video calls with all the members of your family that cannot be with you in person. Zoom lets you host video calls with multiple people regardless of their location! If your parent or family member needs assistance or access to a smart device, team members of retirement communities, like WellAge Senior Living, can help to facilitate the call and provide support.
The holiday season is an important time of year for family bonding and keeping long-lasting traditions alive. Maintaining strong connections with family members, even if we cannot be physically together, is crucial for individuals to Live Well and Age Well.
WellAge Senior Living has senior living communities throughout Colorado, and we understand the importance of family, connectivity, and making the holiday season special. We aim to provide the residents and guests of our communities with the tools and care they need to connect with those they loved. For more information about our communities, services, and amenities, we invite you to visit our website or contact a member of our WellAge team.
From all of us at WellAge Senior Living, we wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season!