To most of us, the holidays are a time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. Unfortunately, many of our residents in retirement homes or assisted living facilities can’t do this, due to health reasons, difficulty travelling, or not having family around. Here are some ways we can help our residents enjoy the holidays while maintaining the “family feel” in our communities.
During the holidays, some residents aren’t able to leave their home. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, sadness, and even depression, especially at a time traditionally centred around family and friends. Keep your community humming with holiday visitors in order to keep residents busy. Bringing in school groups to sing Christmas carols is a wonderful way to cheer up an entire facility. Welcome local church and religious groups into your senior living community to visit with residents and brighten their day. And of course, encourage families and friends to come and visit their loved ones, if possible.
Technology and the Holidays
If residents’ families are unable to visit in person, help them be in “virtual” contact with their loved ones. While face-to-face contact is ideal, helping residents set up a Skype or FaceTime chat with a loved one is the next best thing. As more tech-savvy baby boomers enter senior living environments, they will expect facilities and staff to be up to speed in facilitating online connection. A virtual visit can go a long way in alleviating feelings of loneliness if a resident is without holiday visitors.
Bringing in older or retired volunteers is a terrific way to help residents enjoy their holidays. With their life experience, many of these older volunteers may relate to residents more easily than a younger volunteer. Also, many seniors living on their own may not have family or friends to spend time with them. Welcoming older volunteers into your facility to offer holiday friendship and companionship to residents can bring a sense of purpose to older volunteers.
Maintaining a Culture of Courtesy
We all know how busy and frantic the holiday season can be. But this time of year is a great opportunity to remind both staff and residents of the roles they have in making senior living centres vibrant communities. One senior living facility calls this a Culture of Courtesy
and emphasizes the importance of treating everyone with dignity and respect. Maintaining this culture during the busy holiday season can end the year on a high note. It can also act as a springboard into a positive year ahead.
Above all, the holidays are about making meaningful connections between people. InTouchLink
is an easy-to-use system keeping senior community residents, their families, and staff connected throughout the holidays and year-round. Contact us today at 1-877-784-6868
and see how InTouchLink can bring your senior living community closer together.