1. Spend some time outdoors.
When you arrive it’s always a good idea to take a stroll. Whether that be in the courtyard, garden, a park or around the community. This will get your blood flowing, and it’s a perfect way to catch up on recent life events. There’s also the added benefit of getting some sneaky exercise.
Make sure to be a support for your loved one, in some cases they might need some physical assistance. Or if your loved one has mobility aids, anticipate their needs, and bring those along. Also, pay attention to the weather, and make sure everyone is appropriately dressed. Enjoy the scenery, breathe in the fresh air, swap stories and keep them engaged by asking questions.
2. Decorate together.
No matter what you believe in or how you celebrate, decorating is an everlasting way to bring holiday cheer. Spice up your person’s space, and give it some festive flair. It doesn’t have to be much, and a little bit goes a long way. Decorating together is a lovely way to show your appreciation for them and to leave their apartment with a lingering sense of joy.
3. Share a special meal.
After you’ve worked up an appetite, you can either try the community’s cuisine, or you could take that extra special step and bring your loved one to a local restaurant.
Try opening up an app like Yelp, and research nearby options before your visit. This will give your loved one a chance to decide what they’re in the mood for and give you an opportunity to determine accessibility. Maybe your relative can’t do too many stairs or needs a ramp. Whatever it is, it’s important to ensure they’ll be comfortable. And whether it’s Italian, French, Japanese or American, it’ll be fun for them to peruse what’s available and make an informed decision. Everyone loves a salad bar buffet, but a bit of variety never hurts.
4. Attend a community-hosted event.
Depending on the senior living community, you’ll most likely find a lot going on in terms of festivities and events. At Brookdale, there are several themed parties you can attend with your loved ones. This is a wonderful way to get to know their friends while meeting new people.
Remember, some events are heavily themed and may require a bit of dress up, so come prepared, and be sure to get into the spirit of it. Brookdale events are known to get boisterous, so put your party face on.
5. Remember the good times.
After you’ve successfully filled your bellies and partied like it’s 1969, try breaking out those old photo albums. It’ll be fun for your loved ones to remember all the good times; it may even spur conversation and inspire some bonding.
Just remember to stay engaged, and try to get into the ritual of it. This is a good opportunity to ask questions like, “Why did Uncle Bill always wear suspenders?” Or “who said it was OK for me to wear my hair like Liza Minelli?” Going through photos helps you celebrate the life you’ve shared together — and share a good laugh.
6. Play a game or two.
Once you’ve returned from memory lane, it’s totally OK to get competitive. Everyone has their favorite game. Maybe your family has their own card game that they’ve invented, maybe your loved one has a favorite board game, but you can always introduce a new game or even learn one together.
Here are a few games that are easy to learn and super fun to play:
- Settlers of Catan (Board Game)
- Triumph (Card Game)
- Farkle (Dice Game)
- Apples to Apples (For the Kids)
7. Watch a movie together.
When visiting someone at a senior living community, watching a movie is never a bad idea. It’s a great way to spend quality time without any pressure. And now that the holiday season is here, you have an abundance of festive films to choose from. You know your loved one best, so you know exactly what will get them in the holiday spirit and what they’d find entertaining. But just in case, here’s a list of holiday classics you might want to bring along.
We hope these ideas will help you plan a warm, fulfilling and enjoyable visit that brings you closer to those you love. And if you want more info about how to make your family members get the most out of their later years, take a look at our services.
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