The Holidays at Kemper House

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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