At Aviva — as in many independent living and assisted living communities — residents are encouraged to make their space their own. A great way to do that is to decorate your apartment for the holidays. Forget any misconceptions that senior apartments are uniform and boring. With all the major fall and winter holidays on the horizon, let’s look at some ideas for how to decorate a senior living apartment.
Why Holiday Decorating is a Great Idea
Decorating for the holidays — whether it’s Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, the Winter Solstice, New Year’s Eve, or anything else that makes you happy — boosts mental health. Many people know this from experience, but science confirms the mood-boosting benefits of decking the halls. Holiday decorating especially benefits seniors who live by themselves, and who could be feeling isolated from friends and family, especially in light of COVID-19 restrictions.
Putting out cherished items that evoke holiday memories can help a person feel connected with their family and their heritage. Handmade decorations can be especially sentimental, whether a senior makes them for themselves or receives them as a gift. Of course, a small token handmade by a child is everyone’s favorite.
6 Decorating Tips for Smaller Spaces
An apartment sometimes requires scaling back holiday displays, especially if someone moved from a large, single-family home with an expansive yard. Still, there are many items that make excellent holiday decorations for senior living apartments.
1. LED candles
Many fall and winter holidays emphasize the symbolism of bringing light into the darkness — a beautiful tradition. Senior residences may restrict the use of candles in the interest of resident safety. Luckily, there are many types of electric candles and menorahs on the market, often using LED lights, which produce little to no heat.
Once a secular Christmas tradition, wreaths now reflect all kinds of seasons and celebrations. They make a simple, welcoming addition to any front door. You can buy or make just about any kind of wreath your heart desires. Making wreaths is a fun project for seniors who enjoy crafts.
3. Personal photographs
Some seniors move into senior living apartments with boxes and boxes of framed family photos and only so much space to put them. Why not rotate which ones you display, by season? Pull out some that recollect fond holiday memories and put away some others for a little while. You can always switch them again to keep things interesting.
4. Cozy blankets and throws
An easy way to change the look of a living room is to swap blankets, throws, or decorative pillows by season. (The trick is making sure you have enough storage space for the ones not in use.) If you’re choosing a holiday gift for a senior who lives in an apartment, these decorative items make a good choice as they’re both decorative and functional.
Flowers never go out of style. A few bowls or vases of flowers in seasonal colors can really brighten up a space. That’s not all; flowers and plants can also boost creativity, improve mood, lower blood pressure and even improve sleep! What other decoration can do all that? Choose different varieties depending on the holiday, or mix in a few fruits and veggies, like gourds for Thanksgiving.
While not technically a decoration, music plays a part in many holiday traditions. Playing some music in the background, while engaged in a hobby or eating a meal, contributes to the seasonal spirit and can conjure happy memories.
Celebrating the Holidays at Aviva Senior Living
We recognize that the holiday season may look different this year than in the past, especially for those residents who have joined our community within the past year. We do all that we can to make the surroundings feel festive and inviting, and support our residents in decorating their homes.
At Aviva we look forward to celebrating holidays with our residents, including honoring our Jewish heritage during Hanukkah. We hope that all of our residents and their families will find joy and happiness during the holiday season, whatever and however they celebrate.