Christmas With COVID
5 Steps to Get the Family Involved When Mom ( or Dad) is in Memory Care
The holidays are going to be a challenge for all of us during these difficult times of COVID. For those people who have loved ones in a memory care home, it will be even more so.
With many places in lockdown or under quarantine, many people will not be allowed to visit their families. However, there are a few things you can still do to try and make the most of Christmas this year.
Christmas For Mom in Memory Care
There are still a few ways you can involve mom at Christmas this year, despite COVID. Of course, it will depend on her condition and whether you are allowed into the facility or not.
1. Video Party
It is what everyone is doing these days. Set up a video conference call with mom. It’s the best way to see everyone, especially those living out of state or country. You can time it so you call at mealtime for mom and it will feel like you are having Christmas dinner together.
Include everyone in it so mom can see the kids, the grandkids, partners, and the pets. Keep in mind not to all talk at once and she may only be able to handle one person at a time.
Let everyone take a turn to talk to her. It’s important to be patient as it might seem a bit confusing for mom. She may not realize you are not there or not understand what she is looking at.
But unlike visiting in person, you don’t need to be wearing a mask, which can be very confusing for mom and make it difficult for her to recognize you or even understand you.
2. Photo Albums
Put together a photo album of the family and send it to her. Use pictures from the old house or pictures of the adult children as kids. There is a good chance she will recognize them.
Make sure to include pictures of old pets and locations, if you have them. She may have trouble recognizing family members how they look today, but the older ones might bring back memories. Include pictures of mom, too. They will make a nice memento for her to enjoy for a long time to come.
3. Send in Her Favorite Christmas Items
Depending on your situation, maybe you can replicate one of mom’s favorite recipes she used to make for Christmas. It can be something she can share with the rest of the people in the care home or something personal, just for her.
Maybe there is a decoration that she has always loved. Send that to her for her room or even the tree in the care home, if there is one. It might be nice for her to see certain items that she used to decorate with every year.
You could also send her a certain dress she used to wear, her favorite Christmas tablecloth, or even her favorite tea or coffee mug. Sometimes smaller, familiar items can bring a lot of comforts.
4. Make a Video
You can put together a video for mom to watch. Get everyone to record a message, get clips from the kids or the grandkid’s Christmas concert or pageant, and make a great video for her to watch.
You can include old photos, make a recording of the home she was used to living in, and as always, include the pets. Get clips of the garden or her old bedroom and everyone can say hello and add their own message.
Include clips of music, as well. It can have a song she likes running in the background, of a family member playing a piano or guitar, or a quick shot of a musician she likes.
5. Send Cards and Pictures
Sending in some Christmas cards mom can keep in her room might be quite cheering. Get family and her friends to send in cards and encourage them to include a letter that she can read or can be read to her.
Pictures are also a nice touch from family, friends, and the neighbors. They can mean very much to her and she can display them around her room so she can see them every day.
Take all Precautions
If you are allowed to visit mom or take her out of the care home for Christmas, make sure you understand and follow all the guidelines for doing so. Get tested, wear your masks, and make sure everyone is safe and healthy this Christmas.
It is a difficult time for everyone, but it will likely be even more so for people living with dementia. Do what you can to make mom’s Christmas as special as you can, and keeping everyone safe and healthy.
In honor of our founder Pat Mack, we are carrying on the tradition of caring for our residents in
"The Light Heart Way"
to schedule a tour of Light Heart Memory Care.