Spending Christmas With Your Loved One When They Live in an Aged Care Home
Is it your first Christmas in which your family member in permanent aged care? If so, you’re probably worried about how you’re going to manage Christmas day. Some of your loved ones might’ve lived in residential aged care for some time, and you still find the festive season hard. This is especially challenging if your loved one requires continual care due to their health condition. It mightn’t be so easy to arrange for them to visit on Christmas day if this is their situation. This leaves many people feeling really emotional and often guilty.
When Your Loved One Can’t Leave the Aged Care Facility at Christmas
Your family member’s health status is only one of the challenges presented to you at Christmas time when your loved one is in care. Other reasons might include distance and complex family dynamics. If you live far away, it’s hard to manage the time to visit your family member in care on Christmas day. Especially when you’ve already got so many commitments between children, in-laws, friends and other relatives. It’s important that your loved one in care knows that they aren’t forgotten, but it’s equally important that you don’t feel guilty.
There are some options to consider to ensure that you don’t miss out on Christmas celebrations with your loved one who’s in care. Firstly, consider taking Christmas to them. This could be on Christmas day but it doesn’t have to be. Many aged care homes have areas where you can host a family Christmas. This won’t necessarily be on Christmas day but that doesn’t matter. The joy that it’ll bring to your family will be worth it. But also be mindful that as people get older they get tired quickly. The celebrations are best kept short and sweet. Dragging them out will exhaust your older family members.
Bringing Your Family Member Home for Christmas Celebrations
If you can bring your loved one to your home for Christmas, it’s important to show respect by not sitting them in a corner to watch on, rather than participating. And it’s also important to let them leave when they feel like they need to do so. A lot of loud noise and chaos can prove to be too much if it goes on for too long.
Spending Christmas Alone at the Aged Care Home
On the other hand, if you just can’t get to the nursing home to visit for Christmas, and you can’t bring your loved one to your house, a couple of phone calls to them over Christmas also brightens their day. If they know how to Skype or Facetime, even better still. Christmas at an aged care home can be enjoyable for your loved one too, so there’s no reason to feel guilty about not being there. Although it’s not the same as a big family Christmas lunch, the aged care facility staff are typically so thoughtful and try to make Christmas time as pleasurable as possible for residents.
At the end of the day what’s important is that aged people in a nursing home want to know that you care and that you’re thinking of them, especially on special occasions.