We love to celebrate the holidays at our center and this time of year, it’s especially important to make the holidays festive for our seniors. This season can be difficult for them because they may be thinking about family living far away or loved ones they’ve lost. Our staff go all out decorating the center and spreading good cheer, as you can see on the attached photos…
Besides having parties for Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa, trimming trees and baking delicious holiday goodies, we get the seniors involved in making cards and gifts for others. In our dementia program, the seniors participated in many art therapy related activities including making cards for the person sitting next to them. Through painting, drawing and collage, the seniors really focused on who was next to them and tailored the cards to specific people. This type of activity encouraged them to be much more observant of others in the room and provided a different kind of stimulation. They were so glad to give and receive, and then they all enjoyed a hearty helping of homemade fruit cake – it’s really delicious, no kidding!
When they baked the fruitcakes, it gave them an opportunity for reminiscence therapy. They talked about when they were kids and didn’t have machines to bake, and they did everything with spoons and hands. They said that it used to take them 20 minutes just to mix butter and sugar, and now we’re so spoiled with the invention of mixers! Fruit cakes used to soak in rum for 6 weeks ahead of time, and now we just buy dried fruit. According to our seniors, we don’t know how good we have it!
From our seniors and staff, wishing you a very happy holiday season!
[...] tips for caregivers, our personal experiences with loss, how we dealt with snowstorms in NYC, and daily experiences in our personal and work lives. We wrote about things we know or topics we enjoy talking about. We became ourselves through our [...]— A Day in the Life » Blog Archive » Gratitude and Joy / January 1st, 2011 at 2:10 pm