The holidays are a time for people to come together and celebrate the blessings that they have in their lives. It’s also a time to share our hearts and high spirits with those who may need it more. People living in nursing homes have to learn new ways to experience the joy of the holidays. Here are four Christmas nursing home activities to bring patients holiday happiness.
Christmas Nursing Home Activities
Enjoy music together
One of the most cherished traditions throughout the holiday season is playing classic songs that have been carried on from one generation to the next. The songs that we celebrate during the holiday season are known to many, creating a beautiful connection between people who might be strangers during this time of giving.
Music often brings comfort and joy to nursing home patients that suffer with cognitive challenges and memory loss such as dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Playing music that patients grew up with throughout the holidays may be a way to bring back the warm feelings and happy memories of being surrounded by the people they love. If you have musical gifts, like playing the guitar or piano, it would bring a smile to nursing home residents faces to hear the beautiful sound of holiday music.
Every family has different celebratory traditions as they ring in the holidays. Some exchange presents and hang bulbs from a tree, some enjoy traditional foods and games, some read the same stories before bed each year. Sharing these rituals and traditions with nursing home patients is a beautiful way to bring them holiday joy. Bringing traditions from your home into theirs creates the important human connection many nursing home residents want.
Maybe it can become a new tradition to volunteer or decorate the nursing home in your neighborhood every year during the holidays to deliver high spirits and cheer!
Fill the home with decorations, lights and cards
If people in nursing homes are unable to decorate, you could bring the decorating to them! Stringing lights, hanging handwritten cards and delivering approved treats could really turn around the patients spirits during the holidays. It’s important to remember to be inclusive of all faiths. Bringing decorations that celebrate different holidays from around the world or keeping lights and decorations neutral is a great way to show love and joy throughout the season.
Make a new friend
The holiday spirit brings strangers together. There is a no price you can put on genuine human connection and love. Many nursing homes have “Adopt a Grandparent” programs or volunteer opportunities. Creating lasting connections with nursing home patients is rewarding on both ends. Creating new relationships with residents could extend beyond the holidays into the new year, a new start with new friendships.