Christmas time - the most magical time of the year! As with anywhere else, Christmas at an Aged Care facility is a time for togetherness and celebration.
This means you can expect plenty of visitors. Family and friends come from far and wide at this time, particularly during the school holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year.
Prepare for the festivities with these ideas:
Deck the halls
Nothing says Christmas more than a generously decorated Christmas Tree as a feature in the main common area. Try to involve residents in decorating the tree and surrounding area to really help everyone enjoy the festivities.
Encourage residents, family and friends to leave gifts under the tree Secret Santa style to create excitement and anticipation.
Play Christmas Carols and ask your staff to dress up a little bit to add to the atmosphere.
Stock up on snacks
Christmas isn’t only about the gifts. Food also plays a role in creating an atmosphere of festive celebration.
Your residents and their visitors will appreciate Christmas themed treats at this time of year. Think star-shaped short bread biscuits, fruit mince tartlets and bowls of seasonal fruit such as cherries, and mangos.
Keep a balance of sweet and savoury foods available at all mid-meals as well as making sure there is an abundance of hydrating drinks. Prepare an assortment of delicious cold brewed teas in glass beverage dispensers for a festive twist.
Serve up a special Christmas lunch
Traditional Christmas lunch or dinner will put smiles on your residents’ faces and will remind them of their celebration at home.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without a decadent, sticky glazed ham. Our Chefs have created some delicious and simple ham glaze recipes along with the short video on how to prepare a perfect Christmas ham.
Succulent roast pork is another Christmas favourite, especially when it has a perfectly crispy crackling (residents’ families especially will be thrilled). Watch our Executive Chef Mark Baylis’s secret to a Crackling (literally) Christmas!
Father Christmas himself is always a welcome guest. Having someone dress up or hiring an entertainer always goes down well.
You may want to coordinate Father Christmas with a family day where children are invited. No doubt they will have a word or two to share with Saint Nick.
On the subject of children, some photocopied colouring in templates with a Christmas theme, along with some colouring pencils or crayons, will keep the little ones occupied during their visits. Set up a small table in the corner if possible for activities.
Try these Christmas Card templates – fun for young and old!
Keep some things the same
Although it is the holiday season and it’s easy to really get into the swing of the fun, it is still important for residents to feel a sense of comfort, keeping their routine as close as possible to what they are used to.
Serve main meals and mid-meals on the same schedule that your residents are familiar with.
Merry Christmas all!