Archive for the ‘Holiday Celebrations’ Category


Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

By Wendy Hildenbrandt
December 2016

For all the joy the holidays bring, the season can also deliver a hefty helping of stress-only to be magnified when families have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related illness. Many of the elements people look most forward to such as large gatherings of people, twinkling holiday lights, piles of presents, a break from everyday routines can be over-stimulating for people with the illness and overwhelming for caregivers.


Be Open
Inform family and friends of your loved ones condition so they know what to expect, as well as recognize that get-togethers might need to change or be more flexible to accommodate the situation. Include younger children in the discussion-to an appropriate degree so they better understand why a loved one may be acting differently.

Celebrate in Small Doses
Since changes in routine, noise and crowds can increase confusion and upset individuals with dementia, opt for several smaller gatherings instead of having one huge one. These “small dose” parties can extend the celebration, offering more opportunities for socialization-a key factor in improving quality of life for people with the disease.

Be realistic About Traveling
With the excess traffic on the road and large crowds at transportation hubs this time of the year, as well as your loved ones mental and possibly physical decline, traveling to holiday gatherings may no longer be possible. Ask the doctor what is doable and make arrangements accordingly (e.g., bringing a companion).

Bring the Party to the Person
For families with loved ones living in long-term care residences, coordinate social calls to help ensure the holiday season is filled with visits from special guests. Find out whether visitors can attend the facility’s holiday events. Also ask whether talented family members- a grandchild who sings, for example can spread some holiday cheer at the event. In addition, some settings have a private dining area where resident’s families can gather.

Unlock Memories
Plan holiday related activities in which your loved one can participate and that may help recall memories. Was your mom the “Queen of Cookies” in her prime? Invite her to help cut and decorate cookies or roll out pie crust, for example. Other activities that can stir up happy memoires and appeal to family members of all ages include listening to music, looking through photo albums and giving handmade, personal gifts.

Wrapping Presence

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

On Monday, December 2, 2013, for the 2nd year in a row, we will welcome Wrapping Presence, an outreach program of Doylestown Presbyterian Church that brings the hubbub of the holidays back into the lives of our residents. Wrapping Presence arrives with a flourish to set up shops brimming with new gifts for all ages. Vintage holiday music plays while “Wrapping Buddy” volunteers pass homemade cookies and help residents select presents for their loved ones to be wrapped in festive paper and bows. There is no cost to the resident shoppers or to the facility. All gifts and services for Wrapping Presence are donated. Many of the gifts will be distributed to the families/friends of the residents during the holiday season, which will begin for us with our Resident Holiday Parties on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 10th and 11th.

Wrapping Presence was founded in 1995 in memory of the parents of Marne Kies Dietterich who spent their last years in a nursing home.

Last year, the Wrapping Presence day was a real treat for our residents, staff and volunteers. It was a wonderful experience to see our residents choosing gifts, selecting the wrapping paper, enjoying holiday music, and a special visit from Santa and the Elves.

Even more amazing, was the surprise and delight of the families and friends of the residents when they received the truly unexpected gifts that were specially selected just for them.

By visiting the website for Wrapping Presence at, you can learn more about this wonderful program.

Halloween – A Special Day for Young and Old!

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Once again this year, LifeQuest Nursing Center staff and residents will welcome the LifeSpan Day Care children for safe trick or treating. The children will trick or treat throughout the nursing home and receive treats from the residents that were donated by the staff. This annual event is one that is probably anticipated as much by the residents and staff as it is by the children.

The residents will also enjoy a special pasta buffet lunch where they will be joined by staff, dressed in costume, for lunch. This lunch is one of several during the year where staff and residents enjoy a meal together and can share stories and learn more about each other.

In the afternoon, residents will be judging and announcing winners for the Halloween pumpkin decorating contest and for the best costumes of the day.

Halloween will certainly be a fun day for all!