This holiday season, families will be celebrating seasonal festivities together both virtually and in a socially distanced fashion. As families gather together and check-in with their families, the health and wellbeing of senior loved ones will be a primary concern for many.
While many consider waiting until the new year to assist their loved one with a move into senior living, the health and wellness of each individual vary – and they may no longer be safe in their own home, living independently. Many families share with us that they would like to have one last holiday with their loved one at home, but with the 2020 holiday season drastically impacting our ability to connect with others in-person, making a move now is one of the best decisions you can make for your family.
Our exclusive Meaningful Moments programming allows us to create a tailored care plan for your loved one. Learning their life story, personal preferences, and then integrating their favorite things into daily care is just one way that we honor the experience of aging by caring together.
And during the holidays, Meaningful Moments is taken to a whole new level. Complete with traditions that are unique to each of our residents, and some new experiences created by our Team Members, the holidays never disappoint at JEA Senior Living communities.
Here are just a few ways that our Team Members have made the holidays special for all of their residents over the years:
Prairie Meadows – Turkey Trot + Festive Fun
Prairie Meadows Alzheimer’s Special Care Center has done an incredible job this year with their Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising – raising over $2,600 in support of the Alzheimer’s Association! But for the Thanksgiving holiday, they decided to “trot” not walk to help spread holiday cheer. Dressing up in festive fall gear, their team adopted the personas of turkeys and pilgrims to spread thankfulness and joy.
Residents enjoyed their early Thanksgiving celebration and had so much fun interacting with Team Members in their amazing costumes. Reminiscing about Thanksgivings past and their favorite foods, Prairie Meadows residents shared some of their meaningful memories spent with family and friends.
Later in the evening, Prairie Meadows started their turkey-trot, by inviting their local healthcare partners to stop by for some Thanksgiving staples and to check out their outfits. The drive-thru turkey trot was a huge success! Not only did their visitors get to check out their amazing outfits, but they also left with a 12lb turkey, a homemade key lime or sweet potato pie, and hot cider or cocoa. Now that’s a wonderful way to spread Thanksgiving cheer!
Prairie Meadows - Turkey Trot 2020
River Oaks – Happy Holidays
At River Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Miami Township, OH their leadership team is always coming up with fun and festive ways to engage their residents. During the holidays, there are always numerous ways for residents to get involved and help spread holiday cheer.
Residents always enjoy decorating the holiday tree in the community room, while reminiscing with team members and other residents. For so many, memories of ornaments, candy canes, and the smell of a fresh pine tree bring back so many rich memories. Group activities can range from making Christmas ornaments, to enjoying a sing-along to holiday music, and even baking Christmas cookies and treats.
A meaningful way for residents to connect with others and experience an increased sense of joy and purpose is by giving back to their community during the holidays. In years past, River Oaks has participated in Operation Christmas Child. This organization helps send Christmas cheer and joy to children and families in over 100 countries around the world. Items include toys and gifts, in addition to vital supplies like hygiene items and even school supplies. Residents always enjoy the opportunity to help pack shoeboxes that will be sent to a child in need. What an awesome way to give back!
River Oaks - Holiday Crafts 2019
Colonial Gardens – Smoked Turkeys + Santa Claus
Every year on Thanksgiving, Colonial Gardens Administrator, Dale Surrett, fires up the grill and starts smoking turkeys. With his signature seasoning blend, Dale roasts each bird to perfection and carves them up for both residents and Team Members to enjoy. In previous year’s the Colonial Garden’s Team has even hosted a family Thanksgiving dinner, complete with a delicious smoked turkey and all the fixings. This year, only residents and team members will get to enjoy these amazing birds, due to COVID and visitation restrictions.
However, for those interested in the recipe, Dale was kind enough to share his secret ingredients for a perfect poultry rub and wood smoke blend. Old Bay spice makes an awesome and flavorful poultry rub, and pairs perfectly with the wood smoke flavors added from 75% hickory and 25% applewood in the smoker.
In addition to an amazing Thanksgiving spread, residents have also enjoyed a visit from Santa in years past. Stopping to visit with each resident, Santa loves to spread holiday cheer and wish everyone a “Merry Christmas”. This year, residents are hopeful that Santa can return to Colonial Gardens for a window visit, and wave from outside the community.
Colonial Gardens - Turkeys + Santa 2019
Meaningful Moments is truly an amazing program – especially during the holiday season – and allows us to create not only meaningful group activities and resident programming but also individualized moments of purpose and meaning for all of our residents.
We would love to welcome your loved one into the JEA Family this holiday season.