Holidays can be a particularly lonely time for patients in hospice. They may not have many family members come to visit, so it is up to your staff to make them feel at home. It is amazing what a touch of decorating can do, to get them in the holiday spirit.
Decorate for the upcoming holidays
October is a great time to bring out all of your “spooky” decorations. You can cover desks in fake cobwebs and spiders, showcase pumpkins, and set a candy bowl out for patients or visitors. Play some fun Halloween music in the hallways and common rooms.
Generic fall decorations are great for the month of November. Place scarecrows, sunflowers, and pumpkins all around. Use fall colors every chance you get.
Do your best to decorate for every religious holiday that your patients may celebrate. Christmas decorations are common, but be sure to accommodate other religious holidays. Put up a decorated Christmas tree in a common room for all to enjoy. Hang up Christmas lights and place garland on desks. If the patient would like, put a mini Christmas tree in their room, with mini ornaments, that they can decorate themselves.
Play holiday movies on a large screen in a common room, or allow patients to choose a specific movie to be played in their room. For the common room movies, have everyone vote on what they would rather watch, then give out a schedule showing what is playing at what time. Give out holiday related snacks (if their nutritional/ dietary requirements allow for it) such as caramel corn, pumpkin bread, or cookies.
You can easily find holiday related crafts online. Look for easy crafts such as coloring, stick-ons, and more. If you want to give more complex crafts, make sure a staff member is there for assistance. See if your patients would be interested in sending family members or friends holiday cards with notes written by the patient or by staff helping out.
Take a drive
For those who can be transported, take a drive through a nearby area that as been decorated. You could even travel through neighborhoods to see local Halloween and Christmas yard decorations. Consider doing a virtual tour for those who can’t go on that trip.