The holidays are a joy-filled time in senior living communities. It’s a time of the year when community events range from holiday-themed arts and crafts, games, and meals, to special holiday music, choir, and dance performances.
Communities deck the halls of their common areas to celebrate the season, and residents may also spruce up their personal living spaces with cheerful décor that brings back memories of holidays past.
The holidays are a time to recall good memories for residents — the warm, fuzzy feelings for people they love, the good food and drink they’ve enjoyed each passing holiday season, and the brightness of twinkling lights. These positive memories and feelings live in everyone, and it’s a time when communities can bring that joy out of their residents.
How hearing loss can impact the holidays
Hearing loss is a silent epidemic impacting approximately 2 out of 3 adults 70 and over 80% of people over the age of 85 experience hearing loss, but only 1 out of 5 are benefiting from the use of a hearing aid.
This creates a gap of over 65% of people who remain unplugged from their environment and their communities. As a result, this barrier leads to increased social isolation, a decrease in quality of life, and ultimately comorbidities and negative long-term health outcomes.
When it comes to the vibrant and festive holiday season, hearing loss can impact one’s ability to fully engage and connect with others, especially when loved ones are visiting.
The good news is there are technologies, such as the easy to use Eversound wireless headphone system, that bring people out of the “Silent Night” and back into the holiday spirit.
The positive impact of assistive hearing technology on family gatherings
Spending time with the people we love is at the heart of the holidays, and many aging adults look forward to family gatherings and time-honored holiday traditions. With families coming to town and holiday activities to attend, it can be difficult to stay fully engaged.
The Eversound wireless headphone system helps community residents connect, understand, and converse better with each other, staff members, and their families.
These easy-to-use, individually volume-controlled headphones are designed to empower residents by enhancing their ability to engage and focus in group events and one-on-one interactions. With the Eversound headphone systems residents can hear holiday programs and entertainment more clearly, be active members of group discussions, and have clear communication with family and grandkids visiting them throughout the holiday season.
Overcoming feelings of isolation during the holidays
Some residents may feel increased isolation and feelings of loneliness during the holidays, which are often related to missing a family member or group gathering. If you have residents with out-of-town family members, you can help lessen that loneliness by including the senior in family parties through video chat sessions or encouraging families to send gifts in the mail that may brighten their spirit.
When residents connect with people via Zoom or other video chat platforms, it helps them feel less isolated and more included in the holiday festivities around them. Participating in conversations with others through video technologies gives residents a better sense of purpose and inclusion, and removes distance barriers with those who matter most this time of year.
Incorporating the Eversound headphone system into these remote visits can help your residents be more present and better connect with family and friends by reducing the impact of hearing loss.
Ideas to help residents get in the holiday spirit
Choose a holiday craft that allows residents to utilize their sensory processing, creativity, and manual dexterity. Try homemade wreaths, garlands, or ornaments for them to send to their loved ones!
Resident gift-wrapping events
Connect residents with families who need all those gifts wrapped for the holidays. Have family members bring in gifts that need to be wrapped and let your residents enjoy the gift of giving right within the community. It will give them a sense of purpose and bring back happy memories!
Devotional or religious services
Many seniors like to incorporate their spiritual practice around the holidays. It can help them remember the fulfillment they felt when they attended a holiday mass in years past. Adding the Eversound headphone system can help them to hear and fully immerse themselves in scripture, song, discussion, and sermons.
Although gardening is mostly considered outdoor activity, it can be done inside and makes for a great gift for the holidays as well. Consider incorporating plants that are reminiscent of the holidays, like poinsettias or peppermint. Eldergrow™ provides residents with a therapeutic connection to nature through innovative gardening products and programs. These programs help to stimulate all five senses and the Eversound headphones enhance those senses and offer a more therapeutic experience overall.
Taking holiday programming to the next level with Eversound
Check out this link to Eversound’s FREE Holiday Activity guide. In it you’ll find a craft for Winter Tree Decorations, Name that Christmas Carol, Winter Trivia game, and a Holiday Season Resident Packet — perfect for an easy, independent activity that Includes even more trivia, stories, word games, and more!
Don’t forget the dementia-friendly offerings during the holiday season. Try out our “Famous Duos” game or the Winter Fun video — perfect for any resident who loves to talk about winter scenes or watch beautiful sights.
Most importantly, don’t let the holidays stress you out. Check out these tips from leading organizations on managing stress this holiday season.
Already an Eversound member? Access the Eversound Members Portal for Holiday Activity Programming