Decorating a nursing home room for Christmas with¬†Independent Living Products¬†for an elderly parent may be difficult, as well as sad, as realize your loved one won’t be with you and the rest of the family for Christmas. However, with a little creativity and thought, you can bring some yuletide joy into their room if you select the right items. Here are some helpful tips for decorating your elderly parent’s nursing home room…

A Small Refrigerator—Tip #1 for Decorating a Holiday Nursing Home Room

Ask the nursing home staff if a small refrigerator is allowed in your parent’s room and then stock it with his (or her) favorite holiday cookies and drinks. When it’s snack time, the nurses can serve them. This helps your parent think of you and how you’ve baked it just for them, rather than eating what’s been prepared at the nursing home. Or, if you’re worried about your parent eating too much sugar, you can just give the attending nurse the food to give out at the appropriate time. Hopefully, this simple jester will help your elderly mom or dad with the transition of not being home with the rest of the family for the holidays.

Photo Collages—Tip #2 for Decorating a Holiday Nursing Home Room

Ask family members to supply a picture of themselves to be made into a collage. Then, using your creativity, arrange the pictures in such a way that it ministers to your loved one. For example, you could shape your collage into a Christmas tree or candle. As a person grows older, there’s nothing more precious than photographs, reminding them of loved ones.

Family Heirlooms—Tip #3 for Decorating a Holiday Nursing Home Room

Gather up favorite family heirlooms, such as quilts, needlework, pictures, dishes, etc, and create a beautiful area to remind you elderly parent of the family, as well as dress up his bed with some warm, cozy blankets that have been in the family for years.

Family Photo Albums—Tip #4 for Decorating a Holiday Nursing Home Room

Set aside a small table filled with not only framed photos of family members but also favorite family photo albums. Besides photo albums of grandchildren and recent pictures, also include albums of your parent’s own childhood. For example, have some old pictures, dating back decades ago so your loved one can think of his immediate family, remembering pleasant memories of your grandparents, as well as great-grandparents. If your loved one battles dementia or Alzheimer’s’ disease, chances are he (or she) can’t remember what he had for breakfast. However, just the glance of a photo from long ago and the long-term memories begin to flood her mind.

Small-Decorated Tree—Tip #5 for Decorating a Holiday Nursing Home Room

Buy a table-stand-sized Christmas tree and select ornaments that bring back special memories for your loved one. Be sure to include decorations and ornaments that depict family members that your loved one cherishes.

Additional Suggestions…

Be sure to make regular visits, especially on Christmas Day. I remember having Christmas dinner with my late father-in-law only months before he died. Suffering from advanced dementia, he even had trouble eating his food. However, after a few minutes, he still realized who we were, and I’m our presence there helped. What’s more, encourage the rest of the family to not only call but stop by and visit, bringing in snacks and meaningful gifts.

Finally, if your loved one shares a room with another nursing home patient, remember to only decorate your loved one’s side of the room. You don’t want to cause any problems, forcing your tinsel and garland on someone else. However, if your loved one’s roommate asks to be included, then, by all means, decorate the other side, too.

Just by using a little thought and imagination, you can create some Christmas cheer in a room that normally would not be that festive.