Connecting families this Christmas

Faye O’Connor, 26th November 2020

Christmas well its going to be different this year and especially for those living in care homes and their families. Whether families can or can’t visit their loved ones in their care home here are a few ideas that care homes and families could work together to achieve to make sure families are connected in someway.

Photo Credit: Photo site here

Sing a song

Encourage families to call and to sing their family members favourite song down the phone to them, hearing a familiar voice and song could give an individual great comfort. If a family member is really not keen on singing even though it will only be their loved on who can hear them, why not play their favourite song down the phone and enjoy the shared experience of listening to the same piece of music at the same time and enjoy being together in the moment. It will be unexpected and different.

A family Christmas Story

Photo Credit: Synergy Home Care. Photo site here

You could ask the residents if they would like to write their own Christmas story with the help of their family. Either the resident could start the story off or you could describe what the resident is doing to then email to the family. The family then take a turn of writing the next part of the story and email you back. The story continues to build and can have twists and turns and may not always make sense. You could write the story down in a lovely notebook for the resident to cherish and re read or be read the story to when they are missing their family, remembering what they created together. This will most definitely need a lot of one to one work and time, but what a legacy and positive experience as they excitedly await the next part of the story. If a resident has no family perhaps a staff member could be part of their story.

Photo credit: City Crafter Challenge Blog. Photo site here

Sealed with a loving kiss

Why not encourage families too shower their loved ones with love by sending in letters telling them how much they are loved ,why they are so special and memories that they cherish. The letter could go into quarantine when arriving in the setting for 72 hours and then be laminated so wipeable for infection control and the resident can always hold it close.

These activities don’t just have to be in the lead up to Christmas they can continue afterwards.

Stay safe.