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

A bauble on a Christmas tree


As the festive season approaches, we at Churchfields 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 end-of-year holidays are often a time to celebrate with family and friends but it can be difficult to enjoy festive traditions when loved ones aren’t able to be at home for the holidays. That being said, there are many ways to celebrate with your loved one in a care home, even if they’re not able to leave.


Planning a visit


The first step to making the holidays special for your loved one in a care home is to plan your visit. Communication is key. Talk to your loved one and the staff at the care home to find out what their plans are for the holidays. This will help you determine when is the best time to visit and what activities you can do together. 


Remember that it’s important to be flexible, life can sometimes be unpredictable, especially so during the festive period and well worth keeping back up plans in mind should a visit get cancelled or your loved one doesn’t feel up to the activity you’d planned. 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


When you’ve figured out when you’re visiting your family member or friend, you can start to make their surroundings feel festive for them. 


You could consider decorating their room for them or bringing in some personal items from home that remind them of festive memories of yesteryear. Festive foods or music can also help to provoke happy memories, and partaking in some festive-themed activities are also often fun bonding experiences.


Engaging in meaningful activities


In addition to decorating and playing music, there are many other ways to engage in meaningful activities with your loved one during the holidays, including: 


  • 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 care home resident 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’re interested in learning more about our care home and how we celebrate the festive season with our residents, feel free to contact us on 01865 881440. You are always welcome at Churchfields!


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