Holiday celebrations, especially in December, often become family traditions, with the same activities and get-togethers occurring each year. Moving to a senior living community may alter these traditions, leaving residents and family members curious about how future celebrations will look.
You may be wondering, what do residents at senior living communities do on Christmas? Many of the traditions you have cherished for years with family and loved ones may actually be part of the lifestyle and culture at a senior living community. That is why it is key to go on community tours and ask important questions before making the big move.
While a move to senior living is certain to change some family traditions, it can be a great opportunity to rethink some of the things your family has been doing for years. It can be a time to eliminate clutter and truly value each other’s presence, spending time together instead of stressing over your typical holiday to-do list. If you or a loved one are new to a senior living community, here’s what you can expect during the holiday season along with ideas for new traditions.
Living an active and engaged lifestyle is important at any age. The good news is that seniors today have a plethora of opportunities to enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle. Did you know that senior living communities provide a variety of life-enrichment activities to explore, especially during the holidays? Not only do they help you find more purpose in each day, but life-enrichment activities also improve quality of life.
Many senior living communities spend hours of time and energy in planning holiday activities for all to enjoy. This includes group activities with friends and neighbors that keep residents social, active and engaged. Seasonal activities offered in senior living may include:
Live music and entertainment are customary at many senior living communities. To get into the holiday spirit, some communities welcome carolers from the local elementary school or a live band to perform holiday favorites. Residents can also look forward to parties with special themes, exciting Christmas games and delicious treats.
While December holidays can be a time of joyous festivities and happy gatherings, it can also be a time of increased anxiety and depression, also known as the holiday blues. These celebrations and activities benefit residents by keeping them engaged in the community and help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.
For many families, food is the focal point for holiday celebrations, and senior living communities are no different! Around the holidays, many senior living communities will adjust their regular menus to include holiday-specific meal options and special gatherings. This could include roast dinners, new dessert options like candy cane fudge or even dishes from residents’ family recipes!
December holiday celebrations hold a special place in the hearts of many. While moving into a senior living community may change how holidays are celebrated, they offer a unique opportunity to create new traditions with families and loved ones.
One of the greatest gifts that becomes available to us in retirement is the ability to give more of ourselves to our favorite causes. With more free time, we can finally take up those things we put aside to do “one day.” The holidays are a time of year many people think of giving back.
From food drives to toy donations, the opportunities to support one’s community are endless.
Some senior living communities make it their mission to give back, and the residents are ready to support them. At Hawthorn Senior Living, giving back is part of our philosophy, and our residents and team members make it their mission to make a difference.
Groups of residents often come together in support of a cause. Residents of Orchard Heights in Clermont, Florida, showed their support for Operation Christmas Child, a project of The Samaritan’s Purse. This project collects shoeboxes containing toys, school supplies and hygiene items to give to children in need around the world.
Thirty residents came together and set a goal of 50 boxes and exceeded that number! Sixty-two boxes filled with toys, games and lots of love were made and donated to children around the world.
If you are states away from your loved ones during the holidays, you can take away the pain of the miles with a little help from technology. Video chats via FaceTime or Skype can be scheduled to plan a virtual gift exchange, family dinner or even a movie night. Seeing the faces of your loved ones in real time can ease the loneliness of being separated from them throughout the holiday season and add to their joy this year.
However you interact with your loved ones during the holiday season, it is always heartwarming to bring out the old photos and reminisce together. Preserve those irreplaceable photos by compiling them into a digital photo frame that your loved one can display on a slideshow in their home. This would make a perfect gift!
Not only does reminiscing with your loved ones help improve and preserve memory function, but it also feels good for both of you and helps strengthen your bond.
At Hawthorn Senior Living, you’ll enjoy life and live well. There are so many activities, events and special occasions that it’s a party every day! Especially during the holidays, Hawthorn communities come alive with holiday spirit, with residents creating gingerbread villages, knitting items for those in need, crafting winter wonderland decorations and gearing up for holiday parties.
Find a Hawthorn community near you and come by to see how we celebrate the holidays!
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