How to make Christmas special for relatives in a care home

For people with loved ones in aged care homes, it can be tricky to know how to make Christmas feel special. If you can’t take them out for the day, here are a few ways to make Christmas wonderful while staying in. 

The secret to making Christmas special for someone in a care home, is to treat it exactly like that – a home.

Bupa Enfield General Manager Jane Cussen says it’s important for residents to feel like their friends and relatives can share the home with them, and feel relaxed.
 
“Allocate time. That’s probably the most important thing that people in aged care want. Don’t hurry yourself - the residents and the staff who are working on Christmas day love the buzz, and love having you there and having a strong sense of community in the home.”

Jane recommends packing the car with everything you would if you were visiting them in their previous home.

“Bring in your food, bring in people, the kids and special holiday traditions. The more people there are, the happier the residents are.”

"Don’t hurry yourself - the residents and the staff who are working on Christmas day love the buzz, and love having you there...”

An aged care home can be a great place to spend Christmas day, with many of Bupa’s homes packed full of decorations. There are also often concerts, carols, raffles, even Santa visits. 
 
For more information about ‘Why care homes can be the greatest place to spend Christmas,’ check out our article. 
 
“Relax and enjoy being here,” says Jane. “This is their home so it’s important for you to feel welcome and as if you’re visiting your loved one in their home. That’s what we want you to do, and they do too.”
 
“That’s why we put so much time into decorating our home and ensuring that our residents stay connected to their community and loved ones in a warm and friendly environment.”
Christmas Lunch at Bupa Enfield
Bupa Morphettville General Manager Robyn Caruso agrees.

“Bring everyone. Bring friends and family and treat it a celebration in a care home as you would your home. Make the day just the same as it would be if you were spending it anywhere else. At Bupa Morphettville we have the whole place decorated with giant Santas all over the place, so it’s great fun around Christmas time,” she says.
 
“Often our team members will bring their children in at the end of their shift, just to say hello, so it feels like a really family experience.”
 
Carers like Robyn and Jane go above and beyond to make the great people in their homes feel special during the festive season. What can you do to make a difference for someone special?
 
For another great story about carers making a difference in the lives of others, check out our article, “The quiet volunteer making dreams come true.”
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