The holiday season is a traditional time for families to come together and celebrate. For many families, it’s often the one time of year when everyone is reunited. While this is a wonderful opportunity to catch up and spend time with those you love, it can also be shocking for adult children who may not have seen their senior loved one for quite some time.
“We always expect that the holidays will be joyous events and that we’ll pick up our family traditions like we’ve done for years,” says Winsome McLeod, Executive Director at YourLife™ of Stuart, a new memory care community in Stuart, FL. “But many times, the holidays are a wake-up call for family members with aging adults. They may realize suddenly how much their parent is struggling with the tasks of daily living, or be stunned by their appearance. Sometimes it’s easier for faraway family to see those changes than those who live close by, because changes can happen gradually.”
Even for families who call or Skype several times a week, a senior parent may be hesitant or unwilling to talk about any issues they’re having, McLeod says. “We get an influx of calls around this time of year from anxious children and families whose holiday plans are suddenly hijacked by the need to find a senior living community for their loved one while everyone is at home.”
Choosing a senior living community is best done when you’re not in a rush, but sometimes it’s not possible. But don’t fret, says McLeod. The holiday seasons are actually the perfect time of year to tour and look into senior living communities for yourself or a loved one.
“With the seasonal decor, the busy calendar of events and the festive atmosphere, the holiday season at a senior living community like YourLife™ of Stuart is incredibly lively,” she says. “If the idea of finding a new home for mom or dad has been in the back of your mind, why not make some plans to tour communities when you get together this season?”
Here are three reasons why visiting senior living communities during the holiday season makes so much sense:
- The atmosphere is holly, jolly and homey.
Atmosphere is a big deal for senior living communities any time of the year. The goal is always to make the community feel homey and welcoming, and at the holiday season, they go all out. Décor, lights, trees, visiting choirs, holiday parties – the cheer is in full swing, and the staff and residents are always excited and happy to see and make new friends at this time of year. Visiting a senior living community around this time may make things less intimidating for you or your loved one. You can visit for an afternoon or schedule something with a holiday event or activity as the focus, which makes the experience seem a little more casual. It can also be a great starting point for a conversation, especially if your senior loved one isn’t quite sold on the idea of moving to a community just yet.
- Everyone can be involved in the visit.
Touring a senior living facility during the rest of the year may seem like a lonely or high-pressure event, since generally the senior and one family member would be involved. However, at the holiday season, the entire family can be part of looking at places and giving their opinions about the community. It’s always good to have an extra set of eyes, or three, when looking at new places. One family member may notice a benefit or compatibility issue that another person may not notice, for example. By bringing the whole family together for the visit, it can also help everyone feel more comfortable about the eventual decision, since they’ll have had the opportunity to check places out themselves and give their two cents.
- There’s always something fun going on at the holidays.
As mentioned above, senior living communities have an abundance of holiday-themed activities, including but not limited to holiday performances by local (or visiting) artists, hanging of the greens, decorating Christmas trees, crafting classes with a holiday twist, socials and parties and so much more. Most, if not all, of these events are open to the public. You may need to make reservations, but they’re usually free and the communities are always happy to see new faces.
Bonus reason: You beat the rush.
Here’s a very practical reason why touring a senior living community during the holiday season makes sense: you may get a good deal. The first of the year is when many families choose to tour and visit senior living communities, so it’s a little more difficult to schedule a visit, and you may run the risk that all the residences are full. However, in December and November, your senior loved one may find more availability and a wider range of places to choose from. Oftentimes communities run special holiday pricing at this time of year, with new incentives like discounted rent, rent freezes, a free month of rent or something else. So, if you or a loved one fall in love during a visit, you can score an unexpected Christmas gift and get moved in before the ball drops to welcome in 2019.
At YourLife™ of Stuart, we invite you to live your life just as you choose. For more information, please contact our staff at 772-207-4191. We’d be delighted to see how our Memory Care community can cater to your or your loved one’s needs.
Designed for You. Defined by You.
YourLife™ of Stuart was created with one purpose – to provide the most exceptional memory care and uplifting lifestyle for our residents. As Memory Care specialists, we focus all our energy, attention and resources on creating a community that caters to each resident’s personal needs, respects their choices and honors individuality, while providing unequaled peace of mind and support for families.
Because Memory Care is our sole focus, we have the unique ability to design and personally tailor plans around our residents. We see each resident as an individual, understanding that everyone has their own story, specific needs and retained abilities. With that information, we develop personally inspired care plans that value and support each person’s independence.
Our team of attentive, caring YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists is on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide assistance with everyday activities, gentle reminders and redirection.
Through our signature programming, YourStory, we create an individual experience centered around each resident. From cultural, educational and health and wellness programming, scheduled outings and other special events to personal care, assistance and multiple therapies, we create days with meaning. At YourLife™ of Stuart, our residents and families know that this is a community designed for you, with a lifestyle defined by you. Contact us to learn more!