As the Christmas season approaches, families with a loved one in hospice care might be struggling to make holiday plans. If you find yourself in this situation this season, know that this year will be different than years past, but you can still enjoy the holidays with a little planning. Whether your loved one is receiving home hospice or in an assisted care facility, here are a few things you can do to make Christmas special for the entire family.
Spending Christmas with a loved one in-home hospice care is a balancing act between maintaining traditions and not overstimulating. It’s important to continue traditions and let everyone, including those getting hospice care, enjoy the traditions that are important to your family. However, overstimulating hospice patients with lots of people, sounds, and activity can cause your loved one to tire quickly and feel uncomfortable.
Assisted Living Facility
Although your loved one might not be celebrating Christmas in their home, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it feel like home. Bring some decorations over for them and add some holiday touches to their living space. If there are special decorations like an angel tree topper or snow globe collection, make sure to bring those over. For the morning of festivities, it might be best to limit the number of people who come over or plan shifts so you don’t overwhelm them. Their living space might not be able to handle a big group of people and large groups can also overstimulate the patient.
If different family members are coming in shifts, this can be a great opportunity for each group to cook a favorite dish and bring it with them. This lets everyone still have a meal with your loved one and lets them maintain a consistent nap schedule.
It might not seem like Christmas and hospice mix, and this might still be an emotionally difficult year, but you can still make this Christmas special. Whatever you plan on doing, check with your hospice medical team to make sure it won’t interfere with treatment. Your hospice team might also be able to help you with a few things, so it never hurts to check.