Decorating your home for the holidays is one of the most fun parts of the season. Not only is the decorating itself a wonderful tradition, but the end result is something you can enjoy all season long. Making your home a holiday haven helps cheer spirits and bring merry into your life, and if you have a senior in your life, decorating for the holidays is a great way to help them connect, feel joy and be a part of the season in a big way.
“Decorating together can bring back a lot of fond memories and is a great way to bond with your loved ones,” says Lynda Marino, Marketing Director for Canterbury Woods Williamsville. “In order to make sure the holidays remain merry, it’s important that your decorations are appropriate for your senior loved one’s abilities and needs as well. There are many adaptations you can make to ensure safety in your loved one’s home so that the season is happy.”
Whether your senior loved one is celebrating the holidays in their own home or yours, here are some tips for decorating for seniors, adapted from Christmas decorating ideas for nursing homes.
Safe Decorating Tips
- Avoid clutter in walkways. Avoid using decor that sits on the floor that could potentially trip your loved one. Make sure that there is plenty of space to walk.
- If you’re using extension cords to light up your decorations, be sure to keep them against the wall and out of walking paths – these can be a real tripping hazard.
- Opt for flameless candles or alternate lighting options instead of using real candles or fire. This will drastically help reduce the chance of fire.
- Make sure that the house is properly lit. Although mood lighting is calming and peaceful, it also makes it hard to see objects in the room, which could result in tripping and falling.
- Be sure that any holiday rugs are nonslip or have a nonslip pad underneath.
- Avoid twinkling lights or decorations that move on their own. Twinkling lights can cause disorientation (which, again, can lead to a fall), and movable decorations can startle your loved one.
- If your loved one doesn’t have a fireplace, look for alternative places to hang stockings. Coat racks, coat trees, bookshelves, ladders, bedposts and windows are all bright, cheery places to display stockings for Santa’s arrival.
Simple Christmas Crafts for the Elderly
If you’re looking for holiday crafts to do with your senior loved one, here are some excellent options adapted from care home Christmas activities.
- Decorating cookies. What’s more traditional than that? Decorating cookies can be done whether you make the cookies yourself or buy premade ones. If your loved one enjoys baking, be sure that’s on the menu. Whether you bake or buy, decorating cookies with frosting, sprinkles and other candies is a tasty way to celebrate the season.
- Homemade Christmas cards. Sure, you can buy boxed cards in the store, but it’s a lot more fun and meaningful to give your Christmas cards a personal touch. Get some card stock from your local office supply store, grab some glitter, decorative paper, stickers and bows, and create one-of-a-kind cards that friends and family will love to keep.
- Holiday heating pads. Heating pads are a great way to keep feet and fingers warm in the cold weather months, and they’re also useful for melting aches and pains away. Pick up some holiday towels from the dollar store and stitch them full of uncooked rice (and maybe a soothing, holiday-themed ingredient like cinnamon). When needed, pop them in the microwave for a minute or so and get ready to say “ahhhh.”
- Cookie-cutter ornaments. Making ornaments, like baking cookies, just screams “Christmas.” Buy a bunch of cookie cutters from the dollar store, pick up some pretty ribbon and get started. Use your creativity to figure out ways to make each ornament unique and different. For example, you could fill them with modeling clay and add holiday accents (then bake the ornaments to preserve them for years to come).
- Paperchain garlands. Garlands add a festive touch to a tree, mantel or any other spot that could use some festive cheer. Brightly colored craft paper, cut into strips, is easily linked together to make a chain as long as you want. For added meaning, encourage participants to write holiday wishes on each link.
Find Your Fulfillment
Canterbury Woods Williamsville is a Continuing Care Retirement Community like you’ve never seen. Canterbury Woods Williamsville is not only the perfect location for rest and relaxation, thanks to 62 tranquil acres, but there’s also easy access to Buffalo’s urban location. Offering the highest quality independent living lifestyle and security, you’ll be part of a welcoming community consisting of both friends and neighbors while experiencing gracious living, first-class health care and the freedom to create the lifestyle you desire.
Continuum of Care
As a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Canterbury Woods Communities provide a comfortable environment and first-rate services to support every level of need. Assisted living apartments allow Williamsville residents to benefit from additional support while maintaining their independent lifestyle. If skilled nursing, rehabilitation or memory care is ever needed, residents can experience the support they require. They can also enjoy all this and more at our sister community in Buffalo.
Contact us today to discover more about Canterbury Woods Williamsville!