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How To Prepare Your Nursing Home for Holiday Celebrations

The holiday season is the perfect time of year to bring special holiday cheer to your nursing home. Enthusiasm around the holidays creates an atmosphere where joy spreads and everyone in the facility, from residents to clinical staff, can feel a little more uplifted.

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, it’s simply the best time of year for nursing homes to bring residents and staff a little something extra and spread the holiday spirit. 

Let’s look at four simple ways you can boost holiday cheer.

Make Decorating a Communal Event

Celebrating the holidays in a nursing home begins with decorating far and wide. Reminders of the holidays can bring back joyful memories and associations, lifting spirits and easing some feelings of loneliness that can emerge during the holidays. Decorating for the holiday season can also include staff dressing in fun, seasonal patterns and colors.

Add to the spirit of the season by inviting carolers or helpers from local volunteer and religious organizations to your facility. Ask your residents what their favorite traditions and decorations are and bring a familiar feel to the season.

Promote a Sense of Community and Connection

Enhance connection and community in your nursing home during the holidays by coordinating visits, activities, and outings. The holidays are a great time for residents to try something new or revisit a favorite hobby or activity. Decorating cards and writing letters to loved ones is a way for residents to reconnect with family and friends many time zones away. 

If in-person visits aren’t possible for some residents, organize a video call with an iPad or computer, so residents don’t feel forgotten during the holidays.

Give Families a Wish List of Thoughtful Gifts

The simple fact is your staff is spending more time with residents than their families can. This gives them better insight into what could help your residents feel more comfortable and connected to family. 

Here are some examples of tailored gifts that can bring extra cheer to a loved one in your nursing home:

  • Stationary and letter-writing supplies with pre-stamped envelopes
  • Calendars pre-filled with important family anniversaries
  • Framed pictures or digital picture frames of memories, friends, and family 
  • Warm, comfortable clothes—who’s their favorite team? What brand did they always love? 

Address the Challenges, Listen for Opportunities

For new residents, in particular, their first holiday in a nursing home can be a unique moment in their life. Take this time to learn about the resident’s holiday traditions and customs they are used to in their own home and try to sprinkle in some of this among your facility’s decorations or activities. 

Everyone in a nursing home can have moments of hardship during the holidays. Addressing this openly and earnestly will let residents know they are heard and valued and opens the door to greater trust and a wider sense of community within the nursing home. 

Nursing Homes as the Gateway to Greater Holiday Cheer

While you may not be able to bring every resident’s favorite family traditions into the nursing home, you have tremendous opportunities to enhance the holiday season and give your residents extra support. Similarly, most nursing homes cannot afford the best gifts and decorations for their residents, but a little can go a long way in bringing holiday cheer to your nursing home. 

This holiday season, do your best to bring the holiday spirit to your nursing homes.

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