How to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones living in a care home


As the festive season approaches, we at Rosebank Care Home are committed to ensuring that our residents have a truly magical Christmas experience. We believe that this time of year is an opportunity to cherish loved ones, create lasting memories and spread joy and cheer.


The Christmas period can be an exciting time for all but it can be hard to navigate if you’re concerned that someone you love will be missing from the celebrations. However, loved ones in residential care don’t need to miss out on all of the festive fun with a little bit of planning and some open communication.


Planning a visit

The first step to making the holidays special for your loved one in a care home is to plan your visit. Carve out some time to chat with your loved one and those responsible for their care and find out what plans the home has for the holidays. This will help you determine when is the best time to visit and what activities you can do together. 


Flexibility in planning is key. Life can sometimes be unpredictable, especially during the festive period so it’s worth keeping backup plans in mind. 


It’s also vital to bear in mind your loved one’s individual needs when planning – not just their likes and preferences but taking into account things like their emotional or physical needs. For example, multiple shorter visits may be better than a long visit or simple, familiar activities might be more appropriate for someone with memory loss.


Bring the festivities to them


Once you’ve finalised your visit plans, you can start transforming your loved one’s surroundings into a festive haven.


Consider decorating their room or bringing in some personal items from home that evoke cherished holiday memories. Festive foods or music can also help to trigger happy memories, and partaking in some festive-themed activities can create fun bonding experiences.


Engaging in meaningful activities


If the visit is looking to be going ahead, here are some ideas for activities to get you feeling festive:


  • Sharing holiday stories: Tell your loved one stories about past holidays or traditions. Looking at old photos can also be a fun way to reminisce
  • Watch holiday movies or TV shows: Find some holiday movies or TV shows that your loved one enjoys and watch them together. This is a great way to relax and spend time together
  • Crafting: If your loved one is able, do some holiday crafts together. This is a fun and creative way to spend time together and crafting can help maintain cognitive function.
  • Attend holiday events at the care home. Many care homes host holiday events for their residents. This is a great way to socialise and celebrate with other residents and staff


Gifting and gratitude


Gifting is an easy way to celebrate not only the holidays but also your loved one. When choosing gifts for your loved one, think about what they would really appreciate. A personalised gift or a gift that reminds them of a happy memory is always a good choice.


It is also important to express your gratitude to your loved one, especially if you don’t get lots of opportunities to see them. This can help to remind them that they are loved and will help combat any feelings of loneliness or isolation.


Involving other family members


Making the holidays special for your loved one in a care home is not something you have to do alone. Try encouraging other family members to visit or let them know that you would love for them to visit your loved one during the holidays.


If they’re unable to attend or if multiple visitors would be distressing for your loved one, encouraging family members and friends to send Christmas cards or letters is a great way to get them involved and remind the individual in your life that they are being thought of.


Staying connected via video call is another fantastic way to see each other’s faces and have a more personal conversation and many care homes can help to facilitate this.


The holidays can be a difficult time for families with loved ones in care homes. However, with a little planning and creativity, you can still create special memories and celebrate the holidays together.


If you would like to learn more about how we celebrate Christmas with the residents here at Rosebank Care Home, please feel free to call us on 01993 850308 or contact us here. You are welcome at any time!


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