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People singing Christmas carols at a long-term care facility.

Celebrating the Holidays with Loved Ones in Long-Term Care: 10 Heartwarming Tips

The holiday season is a time for joy, connection, and cherished memories. For residents in long-term care facilities, creating a festive atmosphere and fostering meaningful connections with their loved ones can make the holiday season extra special. 

Here are 10 tips to make the holidays special for your loved ones in long-term care settings.

1. Bring a Piece of Home

Take a walk down memory lane this season by bringing in pictures of loved ones, grandchildren's artwork, or memorabilia from the past. These items create a nostalgic atmosphere and may prompt memories and stories from the past to be shared and treasured.

A grandfather showing his granddaughter a photo album.

2. Home-Cooked Love

Share the season's warmth by bringing home-cooked meals and baked goods. The aroma of holiday food lifts spirits and brings a taste of home to our residents. 

3. Quality Time Matters Most

Time spent with loved ones is priceless. Consider a visit during the early afternoon, a perfect time for relaxed conversations and shared moments. This is particularly true during the holiday season.

4. Personalized Comfort

Gift your loved one a personalized blanket or pillow adorned with family pictures. These cherished items provide comfort and constantly remind them of the love surrounding them.

5. Generational Bonding

Whether it's reading a story together, playing cards, or watching a holiday movie or sporting event together, get the whole family there to spend quality time with your loved one. Or, if your loved one wants to get out for a bit, consider driving them around to see some holiday lights!

6. Comfort and Joy 

Choose gifts like lap blankets, non-skid slippers, or comfortable clothing. Gift certificates for hair, nail, or grooming products also make thoughtful presents. If your loved one insists they “don’t need anything,” consider buying a wreath for their door, decorations for their window, or a bird feeder to put outside their window.  Snowman craft decorations.

7. Holiday Cards

If you can’t bring everyone to your loved one for the holidays, bring in holiday cards from everyone they love instead. Collect cards from family and friends and hang them around their room or display them on a nightstand or dresser. 

8. Entertainment and Live Music

Bring your loved one their favorite holiday songs so they can listen to their favorite tunes. Many facilities also bring in live music for the residents to enjoy! Sitrin brings in live entertainment and music programs all month long. Nothing beats the joy of residents singing along to familiar tunes and reliving moments from their past.

9. Crafts and Activities

Engage in holiday-themed activities like decorating Christmas cookies, making gingerbread houses, and crafting holiday cards. These activities are great to do with children and grandchildren alike!

A grandmother decorating cookies with her granddaughters.10.  Make Lasting Memories

Do something more personal for your loved one and spend quality time together by taking photos of you and your loved one and making a collage for their room. Or, do some research, create your family tree, and put it on a posterboard that your loved one can have as a keepsake and decoration. 

At Sitrin, we carefully curate our December activities to bring back memories, encourage reminiscing, and make residents feel at home and loved. From crafting holiday cards to live music, we design each activity to evoke the warmth and joy of the holiday season. 

Join us in creating moments that matter and in celebrating the holidays with love, laughter, and cherished memories.



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