Putting your loved ones in a long term care facility like a nursing home is a stressful time and it can put a lot of strain on your family. Your father or mother might be angry and bitter about being relocated. They might feel alone and alienated. When the holiday season comes around it can be even tougher. You’ll need to take special steps to keep the holidays a time of warmth and caring, and help them to realize that they’re still loved and cherished.
How can you make sure that the holidays are still a happy time? What steps should you take? Read some information about celebrating the holidays in nursing homes so that your parent feels the same love and warmth they’ve come to cherish.
Celebrating Holidays in Nursing Homes
One of the biggest things that may well depress your loved one when it comes to celebrating holidays in nursing homes is that they’ve had to seriously downsize their life. That means their Christmas tree, their holiday decorations, and the like have probably been sold off or placed in storage. These decorations can represent decades of important memories that nobody wants to lose.
The first thing to do is to hold on to a few of the most important and cherished ornaments. That way you can take them along and go through them as you talk about those days past with your loved ones, and bring a feeling of warmth and family back to the holiday.
Your loved ones may well be angry, depressed and confused. The problem can be worse if they’ve got Alzheimer’s or dementia. You need to be sensitive to their needs and feelings. Be understanding about how disappointed they are, and remember that in most cases in the early stages of dementia, short-term memory is affected far more than long-term. This may mean they’re unaware that it’s the holiday, and they may be confused about where they are.
Breaking out those old ornaments can help to keep them in the moment, and give them an all-important sense of familiarity that can make the transition a lot easier.
Get Them in the Spirit
Most nursing facilities really go all in when it comes to the Holidays. They’ll decorate top to bottom and host special events for all of the residents. Many elders very much enjoy holiday celebrations, and this can help them to get into the spirit unto itself. You can help them decorate their room, and get into the spirit with them.
If they seem confused or agitated by the socializing and celebrations, again perhaps due to Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s important to help them to keep on keeping on. Do whatever you can to remind them that they are loved and valued.
Happy Holidays from Stano Law
If you’re in need of elder care, estate or end-of-law planning, Stano Law is here to help. Whether you need help with wills and trusts, asset protection, living wills, or any other aspect of your late life planning, we have the experience and knowledge to guide you through. Give us a call for a consultation today, and have a happy holiday season.