The Holidays at Kemper House
If this is the first year your loved one has lived at Kemper House, you might be wondering what to expect this holiday season. How will the holidays be different for you and your family this year?
Kemper House ushers in the holiday season just like every other household – we haul out all the festive decorations and begin decking our halls. The trees go up, the garlands are hung, and pretty soon, it starts looking a lot like the holiday season. Baking delicious treats follows, along with singing holiday favorites, family open houses, and other seasonal activities.
There are a number of simple, festive holiday activities you can enjoy with your family member during a visit to Kemper House. You might sing carols together, read a favorite holiday story or poem aloud, or bring a favorite holiday food to share. You may even consider leafing through a photo album of holidays past and taking a walk down memory lane.
If your family member was always particularly fond of Holiday times, or loved to trim the tree, you might take this opportunity to bring a small tree for his or her suite. Perhaps you could decorate the tree together, reminiscing about your favorite holiday memories.
“I remember decorating a small tree in my mother-in-law’s room while we listened to holiday tunes on the radio,” recalled Betty Kemper, President of Kemper House. “She walked around the entire time holding a small box of ornaments in her hands. She never dropped them and actually hummed the entire time!”
If you are planning a family holiday gathering, you might consider joining your loved one during our annual holiday family night. This year’s theme is Kemper Family Traditions. Kemper House Highland Height’s family night is Tuesday, December 5th from 5:00-7:00 PM and Kemper House Strongsville’s family night is Wednesday, December 6th from 5:00-7:00 PM.
For a more intimate gathering, speak to the Administrator about reserving our private dining room. It’s a wonderful venue for a family gathering. And staying close to home at Kemper House may be easier on your loved one than an outing to a family member’s home.
Another tip is to plan visits and activities with your family member’s best time of day in mind. Individuals with Alzheimer’s tire easily, especially as the disease progresses. A morning or early afternoon visit might be more enjoyable for everyone, rather than in the late afternoon or evening.
Family outings or events away from Kemper House, even a visit home, may cause too much of a disruption or be anxiety-inducing for the resident. There are a number of festive holiday activities planned throughout the month at Kemper House; review the Life Enrichment calendar and consider joining your family member here during some of those activities.
Whatever you plan, be realistic. Don’t take on too much and overwhelm yourself. Also, be reasonable about your expectations of your loved one. Loud music and lots of people can add to the confusion of someone with dementia. If you plan to bring family or friends visiting from out of town to visit your loved one at Kemper House, consider visits in small groups. Larger groups of people could be overwhelming.
The holidays are undoubtedly a stressful time of year for all of us. With a little planning ahead on your part, your loved one can still experience joy in the special traditions your family holds dear. You may even find there is room for some new traditions.
Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
*Please schedule your family holiday event with the Administrator or the Office Manager.
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Thank you so much for the loving care and compassion you showed to our mother and to us during her stay and death. We know, she was not the most compliant person, buy you showed her the same loving care no matter what. We were blessed to have her in your care. You are truly all angels. Thank you again!
I want to take the opportunity to thank you for the wonderful care you gave my dad the last 5 1/2 months of his life. If he couldn’t be at home with my mother, you were the next closest thing.
Thanks to the staff for your ongoing care of my Dad. Your patience, kindness and caring for Dad help my Mom and I rest easy knowing he is in good hands at all times. Thanks for everything you do for him!
Every time my family visits each week for their porch visit mom looks FABULOUS! You and your whole organization really understand what to do with the residents and I have seen an amazing change. You are a blessing to our family.
Thank you also for the very touching and beautiful memorial service and luncheon honoring Mom and Dad. It meant a lot to us to have all of you share your remembrances of them.
Marianne & family
We greatly appreciate all that you have done for my Dad and for us. Your compassion, dedication, and gentle ways were a tremendous help. No one ever said to us, “It will be okay,” instead you said “We’ll help you.”
Alzheimer’s and dementia are formidable foes and they strip the individuals stricken of all of their dignity, yet you and your staff work diligently to reinstate the dignity and you do it quite successfully.
This is to thank you and all the Kemper staff who organized the memorial service last Friday. The content was perfectly appropriate and many of the participants expressed compliments to the kitchen staff for the great luncheon.