How to Have a Jolly Holiday Celebration in Assisted Living

How to Have a Jolly Holiday Celebration in Assisted Living

Holidays bring to mind the coziness of home. Sitting around a familiar kitchen table or fireplace, cooking favorite dishes in your kitchen, or gathering around the tree in your living room – these kinds of memories make getting used to the new reality of an assisted living home seem especially difficult around the holidays.

But being in assisted living doesn’t mean you have to give up the joy of holiday celebrations that feel personal and special. You can have a Thanksgiving, Hannukkah, and Christmas that are just as full of cheer as those in past years. Here’s how:

Take Time to Plan

You’ve got the family you know and love, but you’ve also got the new family of assisted living neighbors surrounding you. You all want to have amazing and memorable holiday experiences, so talk to each other and plan what you want them to look like this year together.

Find out some of the holiday traditions that the people living with you hold most dear. You’ve got your beloved traditions you can contribute to the plan and now you can embrace some new traditions that your neighbors have long loved.

Figure out which games, songs, dishes and other activities will make this holiday season feel more like home for everyone there and then work to make it happen.

Make Decorating an Optional (but Encouraged) Group Activity

Holiday decorations can immediately transform your everyday living spaces into microcosms of celebratory fun. The decorations should be a communal activity, something you all pick out and work on together. At least those of you who enjoy it – there may be some among you who insist that the best thing about moving out of their home was never putting up Christmas lights again. They can sit it out.

Probably between the decorations various people at your assisted living community have in storage and a few fun crafts, you can fill the halls, rooms, and communal spaces with holiday cheer with little expense and effort.

Eat Well

If you have dietary concerns you have to stay on top of, you can’t let those slide, but you can find delicious recipes and treats that will feel seasonally appropriate. Talk about food in the planning stage. What’s everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas dish?

How many of the favorites mentioned can you reasonably make, and which will need some slight alterations to account for peoples’ dietary limitations? Having food that people love and associate with the holidays is one of the best ways to make somewhere new feel like home.

Celebrate Together

When the day comes, give in to the celebration. You’ll probably have some family visitors to welcome into your planned activities. Enjoy their company and each other’s.

The games you play, the songs you sing, and the food you all eat together will be the beginning of new holiday traditions and memories. It’s never too late to embrace new family members and traditions. Any place can feel like home when you’re surrounded by people you care about.

Are you a resident of an assisted living community in Minneapolis or another city? Consider writing a review today.

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for


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