How to Celebrate the Holidays when Your Parent’s in a Nursing Home

If this is your elderly loved one’s first year at Park Crescent or another nursing home, you may be feeling a little at a loss. How should you celebrate when your loved one is no longer in their own home?

Especially when the senior in question isn’t mobile and can’t leave the facility for a family dinner, what’s the best way to keep the holiday cheer going?

Spread the Holiday Love

At Park Crescent, we decorate the public areas to share the holiday spirit, but you don’t need to limit your parent’s exposure to the hallways. Deck out their room with their favorite Christmas decor, photos of holidays past, or a cozy holiday-themed throw blanket.

For your loved one with dementia, you may want to celebrate in a more low-key manner. Too much festive stimulation can cause disorientation and confusion in seniors with dementia, so you want to stay on routine as much as possible.

You can help your parent or loved one plan and purchase gifts for their grandchildren, and wrap them together. Besides for the sheer joy of giving, choosing the gifts will get their brain going, and wrapping them will help with fine motor stimulation.

Arrange a family visit to the facility if possible, or several visits of smaller groups if your loved one can’t handle a crowd. And if the facility is hosting a holiday part, make sure to accompany your loved one.

Consider Bringing Them Home for the Holidays

Should you bring home your mom or dad to celebrate Christmas or any other holiday with the family?

It really depends on his or her condition and your ability to accommodate it. If your parent or loved one has dementia, your best bet may be to leave them in their familiar surroundings.

If dementia or Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a concern, a visit home could be really enjoyable for both you and the nursing home resident. Of course, that’s only if you can handle any medical conditions or physical limitations they may have.

You may want to discuss the visit with the shift nurses or director of nursing to find out exactly what assistance your parent requires and what arrangements you’d have to put into place to make the visit successful. If they have difficulty taking stairs, for example, arrange a bedroom on the ground floor for the duration of their stay.

You can also choose to keep the visit short and sweet, returning them to the facility after dinner.

If your parent can’t ride in a regular car, check with the director of nursing or social services for a solution. For example, at Park Crescent, our ambulance contractors provide personal rides in mobility assistance vehicles at very reasonable rates.

Speak to your mom or dad about coming over to visit during the holidays. Reassure them that you want their visit and your family is eagerly anticipating spending the time with them.

Moving to a nursing home doesn’t have to mean an end to family gatherings. With some advance planning, your loved one’s trip home can be memorable and enjoyable for all.

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