How to Celebrate Christmas in a Care Home
For many, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, steeped in tradition when memories are created.
Whether residents are spending the festive season in a care home for the first time or they have had several Christmasses there, it’s important for staff and families to consider how the residents are in terms of their physical and mental health now and not in years gone by. Symptoms of physical and mental diseases, such as Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s, can mean that certain plans might need rethinking, but certainly not scrapped altogether.
It’s an opportunity to get creative and reinvent Christmas celebrations – this article will provide tips on how to celebrate Christmas in a care home so residents can feel a part of something special.
For residents who want to buy presents for loved ones themselves and are physically mobile enough to get out and about, a trip to the local shops can be an exciting outing. Residents might also want to attend local Christmas church services and fairs which can make for a fun day out. For those who are less mobile, visits from friends and family in their home can be uplifting and get them in the Christmas spirit. Here, they can take part in different festive activities together and create new memories in the comfort of the care home.
There are plenty of activities that residents, staff, and visiting family and friends can get involved in, including:
- making and writing cards
- crafting decorations
- baking tasty treats
- watching Christmas films
- singing and dancing to Christmas music
It’s important that residents are given the opportunity to suggest their own Christmas ideas and feel engaged in the decision making process.
When it comes to Christmas celebrations, it’s often easiest for family and friends to visit residents at the care home they reside in. That way, they can enjoy all the festivities while still receiving the care they require and following a routine they’re familiar with. Christmas can be a difficult time for residents who have lost loved ones or are perhaps disappointed that they can’t be in their own homes, so it’s important to keep Christmas plans flexible so that residents don’t feel pressured into anything.
It’s also worth noting that some residents may have other religious beliefs and festivals they celebrate, so this must be incorporated into planning.
Drawing on traditions the residents have previously experienced during the festive period and the ways they used to celebrate Christmas helps immensely in the planning process. Perhaps they would always stock up on particular food or drinks, or maybe they used to make a signature dish that they can now help to recreate. Whatever the tradition, there is always a way it can be incorporated into Christmas at their care home.
Playing familiar festive songs can remind care home residents of fond memories of a moment in time from their past. Their love of a particular song or artist might even be shared by one of the other residents or staff members, so it makes for a great talking point and gives them a chance to socialise.
For some live entertainment, local charities, community groups and schools often go carol singing at care homes around the festive season.
Knowing what Christmas gifts to buy for a loved one in a care home can be challenging, as it will predominantly depend on their physical and cognitive capabilities. Popular choices include:
- Nightwear or a new dressing gown
- Framed photos or photo collages of loved ones
- Magnifying glass for reading books or magazines
- CDs of their favourite music
Overridingly, the best gift a care home resident can receive is time with their loved ones, whether that is in person or via video calls, so family and friends are encouraged to find a date in their diary to pay a visit.
If you are searching for a trusted care home in your local area for yourself or a loved one, look no further than Bondcare. Our teams have a wealth of industry experience caring for the elderly from all walks of life – simply get in touch today to find out more or to book a home visit.