4 Tips for Celebrating the Holidays After Moving to an Assisted Living Community

November 15, 2022 | Assisted Living
Woman and daughter giving gifts during holidays

The holiday season is upon us! With a little over a week left until Thanksgiving, most of us are thinking about family, gatherings and the upcoming gift-giving season. 

Every family has their own holiday traditions that make this time of year special, but if you or someone you love has moved to an assisted living community, the holidays might feel different. The traditional dinner destination may change and some family members may take on some extra holiday responsibilities. 

However, we encourage you to look at this holiday season as an opportunity to create new memories and maybe revise some traditions. It’s also the perfect time to really value the true meaning of the season: spending time with the ones you love.
We know the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, and we love making the holidays at Astral at Auburn as festive as possible! As an assisted living community in Auburn, Indiana, we want to help your family navigate this new chapter by sharing tips for celebrating the holidays after you or a loved one has moved to an assisted living community.

1. Re-Think Holiday Values

During the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in the material and monetary aspects. For instance, everyone can relate to scouring the mall for the perfect gift, spending a little extra on string lights to make sure your house is picture perfect, and of course, travel. In fact, it was reported that over 161 million Americans traveled for at least one holiday in 2021 alone! 

Bringing the family together, decorating your home in the style of Clark Griswold and spending weeks shopping for the perfect gift are nice ways to enjoy the holidays, but when a loved one moves to an assisted living community, it can be a challenge to figure out the logistics of keeping them involved. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to think about what really makes this season special. Prioritize being together this year and value the presence of your loved ones by getting together to watch your favorite holiday movies, playing a board game or even going out to eat at a local restaurant.

2. Plan Special Excursions

If your relative has moved to a community that’s close by, plan on attending local holiday events together. Pile into the car with to-go cups of hot chocolate, switch the radio station to some Christmas carols and drive through your surrounding neighborhoods to look at all of the holiday lights. 

If your family loves going to movies or shows, check to see if any local theater will have a holiday production or a Nativity scene you can attend together or if your local movie theater is showing any classic holiday movies.

3. Bring Old Traditions to a New Community

Sometimes, certain traditions are non-negotiable: the holidays wouldn’t feel the same without them. If this is the case for you and your family, there’s an easy and simple fix. Find a way to “move” these traditions to an assisted living community. 

For instance, if you always decorate the Christmas tree together as a family or gather each night of Hannukah to light the candles on the menorah, move the tradition to the community. Get a fake Christmas tree, or buy a special menorah that everyone can gather together for each year; not only does this continue your family’s tradition, but it ensures that your loved one will feel included and comforted, knowing that your family is willing to bring holiday cheer to their new space!

4. Get Involved at the Community

Senior living has many social benefits, and the holidays are no exception! Special activities, meals and events are planned around this time of year so residents can enjoy holiday cheer with their neighbors. 

That being said, consider getting involved at the community. This a great way to introduce yourself to your loved one’s fellow residents and familiarize yourself with the living spaces, staff members and community traditions.

Here are some fun and festive ideas to think about planning:

  • A tacky holiday sweater party
  • Cookie decorating, or gingerbread house building 
  • Gathering together to sing Christmas carols
  • A fun holiday movie night 

Moving to an assisted living community is a new chapter and a chance to continue, add or tweak your family gatherings. If you or someone you love is considering senior living, we invite you to discover assisted living in Auburn, Indiana, by visiting the Astral at Auburn website.


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