How To Celebrate Christmas In A Care Home
How to celebrate Christmas in a care home is all about making the festive period special for those residents who need support with various aspects of their daily lives. Everyone has a different history and experience, so getting to know your residents, their likes and dislikes and how they prefer to celebrate Christmas will be really important for planning your seasonal activities.
How to Celebrate Christmas – Keeping in Touch
Some residents will be able to visit their family and possibly spend Christmas Day with them, but others may need help to keep in touch with family and friends. Christmas shopping trips can be valuable for care home residents who want to buy presents for loved ones, and some people will appreciate help with writing and sending Christmas cards. Communicating with family members through Skype can be wonderful for those residents with loved ones in other parts of the world, and staff can help with this.
Staff or volunteers may be able to support residents to attend parties, church services or Christmas Fairs, and those who are unable to get out will enjoy an opportunity to invite friends and family to share a meal in the private nursing home with them.
Community groups and schools will often be willing to come into the home and entertain the residents at Christmas with carols or concerts.
Knowing how your residents used to celebrate Christmas will help to ensure that your plans fit in with their needs in terms of menus and activities. Bear in mind that how to celebrate Christmas in a care home can be a difficult time for some people who may be grieving for lost loved ones or sad that they cannot be in their own home, so staff need to be sensitive to their emotions. Some residents will enjoy reminiscing about past Christmases, and memories can be stimulated by smells, sounds or images of Christmas. Activities such as making their own Christmas cards, decorations or even mince pies can help people rekindle the Christmas spirit. It is important to remember that not everyone will want to celebrate Christmas, and people of different faiths may need support during their special festivals.
Staff Matter Too
Your staff are valuable, so try to keep rotas as flexible as possible over the Christmas period. In addition to supporting their residents, care staff will be juggling their working hours with their family time. Some people prefer to work over Christmas and have New Year off, whilst others, particularly those with young families, would rather have time off at Christmas and work over the New Year. If you can manage to arrange shorter shifts for the important days, this will show staff that you are sensitive to their needs as well as those of the residents.
Christmas can be a challenging time of year for people in care homes but good planning can ensure that residents enjoy a lovely family atmosphere surrounded by people who care about them.