How Do I Help My Loved One Who Lives in a Nursing Home Celebrate the Christmas Holidays?

Although the Yuletide season is a joyous time, as the Christmas holidays draw near, our stress levels increase dramatically.Elderly Woman Spending Christmas in Nursing Home

Creating gift lists, spending all that hard-earned money, wrapping and shipping presents, filling out and mailing cards, and trying to attend all of those holiday festivities…it is enough to make anyone go a little bonkers.

Did you know that those that live in nursing homes and other types of long-term care facilities are also feeling this stress? This is especially true for those that spent a lifetime with holiday traditions, friends, and relatives.

Since the holidays are a time to make everyone feel happy and loved and not forgotten, it’s good to learn a few steps on helping your loved one who resides in a nursing home enjoy and celebrate the upcoming Christmas holidays.

Start with the Decorations

It is common for individuals in nursing homes to share rooms with other residents; however, each resident has their own space – even if it consists of just half of a room.

To help celebrate the upcoming holidays, you should help your loved one decorate their portion of their space. You may integrate either a small Christmas tree or a light-up ceramic Christmas tree.

You may enhance the decorative appeal of the room with figurines, bows, and other types of items. This is an especially important endeavor if your loved one decorated for the holidays when they lived in their own home.

Collect Holiday Cards

We all enjoy receiving Christmas cards. Chances are, your loved one does too. Simply encourage relatives, friends, previous neighbors, and past coworkers to fill out holiday cards and address them to your loved one. Then, delivery all of the cards so that your loved one may open them and enjoy them.

Once they have all been read, you may then arrange them all in a decorative manner in their room. This will really warm the heart and will make your loved one realize that even though they are absent from the life that they once had, they are still present in the hearts of those that they have come to know and love throughout the years.

Arrange Gift Buying Tasks

Despite being in a nursing home, chances are, your loved one still wants to purchase gifts for others. You should consult with them on this task. If they are not able to leave the facility, you may want to sit down, create a list of people to buy for, and take note of any special gift options that your loved one has.

If your loved one is able to leave the nursing home, you should arrange to take them on a shopping trip. Once you return, help them wrap the gifts and place them under the tree that you put up in their room.

Then, inform those that have a gift to visit the facility to pick it up. In most instances, those that stop by will also bring a gift. Not only does this encourage a gift exchange, but it gets people in the facility to see your loved one!


There are many measures that may be taken to help a loved one get through the holidays – full of joy and cheer. Just because they no longer live independently does not mean that they must be alone for the holidays. In addition to the ideas listed in this brief guide, you may also contact the nursing home for additional ideas.

We here at Beacon Senior Advisors may also be able to help in coming up with ideas on how to make the holidays great for your loved one. For more information, simply contact us today by calling: 973-713-0096

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