Holidays in Long Term Care

Holidays in Long Term Care

For most of us, the holidays are joyous and filled with celebrations. However, for some of us the season can bring up mixed feelings. If this is your first holiday with mom or dad in long-term care, it is perfectly normal for your emotions to run a little wild. While some traditions might have to change, there is still an opportunity to make the most of it and find ways enjoy the holiday together. Our experts at UMC at Bristol Glen have put together some tips to make the most of your holiday with your senior parent:

Visit Mindfully

Now that your loved one is in long-term care, they may have adopted a new routine. For instance, they might have a midday nap every day after lunch or have a daily appointment with their physical therapist. Check with your loved ones’ main caregivers to find out if there is a best time of day to plan your visit. If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia, limiting the number of visitors at a time can help to not overwhelm them. If you have a lot of family members that are hoping to visit for the holiday, plan to have one or two visitors a day, over the course of a few days. Before visiting with your loved one, remind yourself of their state of mind. It is easiest for them if you let them lead the visit, avoid asking if they “remember when”, and just enjoy the time you have together.

Share Your Traditional Holiday Dinner

Just because your loved one can’t make the traditional Christmas dinner anymore, it doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy eating it. Even if they don’t remember what they used to make or eat, actually smelling and tasting the food can bring back fond holiday memories. We suggest bringing a small portion of each dish and definitely don’t skip out on the desserts – that is the best part after all! If possible, it is always welcomed and greatly appreciated if you bring a small treat for the caregivers too. A box of donuts is a great option and something you can easily pick up on the way to see mom.

Exploring Different Activities Together

Thinking of activities to do together with a loved one in long-term care can be challenging, but we have a few ideas that may help. Often a senior living community has many tailored activities planned, and you can usually attend them with your loved one. This is a great option because your family member doesn’t need to leave their community, but you can still enjoy an “outing” together. Always call ahead and confirm the activity’s time and location and that you are able to attend. Some more stationary options can include watching a movie together, playing a board game, reading aloud, writing out holiday cards, or even helping your loved one do some holiday shopping online from the comfort of their room!

Holidays at UMC at Bristol Glen

While the holiday spent in long-term care might not be what your loved one is used to, the caregivers at UMC at Bristol Glen go above and beyond to not only make the holidays special, but to make it a holiday they won’t ever forget. Holidays are filled with fun decor, themed activities like Christmas PJ day, lots of hot cocoa, and delicious holiday food! Even if your loved one is in long term care and has some mobility issues, our team will do everything in their power to ensure they are included in the holiday fun.

For more information about spending the holidays in long term care, please give us a call or visit our website at:

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    200 Bristol Glen Drive

    Newton, NJ 07860

    Phone: 973-300-5788

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