The holiday season is often an emotional time where feelings of holiday cheer may be mixed with feelings of loneliness and heartache as all types of memories come to mind. The challenge for many older adults is regaining that feeling of connection and belonging associated with the best holiday memories that are so deeply cherished in later years.
Seniors staying in a post-acute facility may feel a sense of disconnection and displacement. Perhaps they used to have busy lives raising kids, baking, holiday shopping and keeping up with family traditions. It is not easy to adjust to the different seasons of your life. However, it is important and possible to make the holidays a special time for those in post-acute care.
Helping Seniors Feel Special During the Holidays
Whether the senior in your life is nearby or you’d like to volunteer to spread some cheer this year, there are many creative ways to brighten up someone’s holiday. Keep in mind, the main idea is to always center whatever you do around giving your undivided time and attention to those in post-acute care.
With that underlying thought, here are some ideas worth considering:
- Make new holiday traditions together – Come up with new holiday traditions that include your loved one in a post-acute care setting. Ask them for ideas and come up with traditions that would keep their needs and wants at the forefront.
- Involve them in making crafty holiday decorations – Spend time together working on making a special homemade tree ornament, holiday cards or any other creative holiday craft you can think of.
- Learn something new together – Become a lifetime learner with your loved one by using the holidays as an opportunity to grow more knowledgeable in something. Perhaps you want to learn how to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hannukah” in a different language, learn how to countdown to Christmas with roman numerals or pick out a new holiday recipe to enjoy together.
- Bring the party with you – Listen to holiday music together and sip on some hot chocolate or apple cider. Decorate their room and make it a lively experience as much as possible. It should be a fun and enjoyable time where your loved one has a taste of all those past holiday memories of gathering together and enjoying the festivities.
- Ask for their help – Feeling needed and knowing you have something to contribute to feels incredible at any age, but especially when you’re older. Consider asking your loved one to help you fold napkins, wrap a gift, etc.
- If possible, bring the children – Children have a way of making the older generations feel a unique sense of connection. There is something special about children that brightens up the room and lightens any tension or sadness others may be feeling.
These are just some of the many creative ways you can include your loved one in the holiday cheer this season. Making others feel wanted, seen, heard and understood is foundational to a person’s mental health and well-being at every stage in life, but especially in healthcare settings.
South Coast Post Acute is Southern California’s Premier Post-Acute Partner
Better health and healing are possible with the right professional oversight and daily nutrition. At South Coast Post Acute, we deliver the services needed to restore health, regain autonomy and reduce the occurrences of rehospitalization.
South Coast Post Acute is here for you, at any age. Our innovative care, experienced staff, and welcoming accommodations combine to bring you the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Southern California’s leading post-acute provider.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help you on your journey back to restored health.