How to Support Your Loved One in a Skilled Nursing Center During the Holidays


The holidays are here, and it can be an exciting time to gather and celebrate with your friends and family. However, it can also bring a sense of stress or concern if your loved one is in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and feeling discouraged about being unable to celebrate at home.

It can be difficult to know how to support them and show you care, but research shows that encouragement from friends and family can positively affect the health and recovery of skilled nursing patients.

Here are just a few tips to help you support and connect with your loved one as they heal during this season. And please remember to check with your loved one’s skilled nursing center before bringing in any outside items or food.

Spend Time with Your Loved One

The most important way to help support your loved one and make them feel cared for during this season is to spend time with them. Check the center’s visitation policy and if allowed, gather family members to visit your loved one. If visitation is restricted, spend quality time with them virtually, via Zoom or Facetime. Spend time listening to holiday music together or sharing home videos. Ask their care team if you can take your loved one on a short drive to see holiday lights around the neighborhood. Regardless of how you find time to spend with your loved one, make it a priority to show them how much you care. It can make a positive impact in their healing process.  

Decorate Their Space

Small reminders of the holidays at home can help your loved one feel more comfortable and festive in their space. Consider bringing them a small collection of holiday decorations such as a desktop Christmas tree, a small Menorah, twinkling lights or even a festive sweater. Creating a familiar and warm space for your loved one can bring them peace and encourage them to make the most of the holiday season during their recovery journey. You will also find our Prestige Care centers getting your loved ones into the holiday spirit with decorations hung up in the hallways and common areas. Patients may even receive a special visit from Santa.

Share and Send Holiday Greeting Cards

Consider sharing holiday cards to brighten up your loved one’s day. Ask their close family members and friends to write them an encouraging holiday card. During your next visit you can share these and read through them together. You could even bring empty holiday cards and write messages to send back to their family and friends. These meaningful cards can bring your loved one a sense of purpose and will let them know they are not alone in their journey.

Bring Their Favorite Holiday Treat

Does your loved one have a favorite treat they like to indulge in or bake during the holidays? Do they have a traditional festive recipe they make for the family each year? Ask your loved one’s dietary team if you can bring in a special treat to help them celebrate the holidays. This thoughtful gift can take them back to their favorite family memories and give them a little taste of home.

Share Family Photos and Traditions

Reminisce on past holidays with your loved one by bringing them a photo album filled with holiday memories. You and your loved one can reflect on all the memories and traditions you’ve had with each other over the years. Share your favorite traditions and why they hold such a special place in your heart. Talking about your favorite memories can bring a sense of comfort and encourage your loved one this holiday season.

Bring a Meaningful Gift

Spending time with your loved one is the best gift you can give, but if you’re limited in the time you have available to spend with them, a meaningful gift can go a long way. Does your loved one have a favorite hobby, such as knitting or collecting cards? Do they have a favorite author or television series? Do they cherish family photos or a traditional holiday treat? A meaningful gift can bring joy to your loved one even when you cannot be there. Here are some ideas your loved one might find thoughtful:

  • Festive sweater
  • Personalized family calendars
  • Framed holiday photos
  • Book from their favorite author
  • Small knitting kit

How Prestige Can Help Support Patients

A stay at a Skilled Nursing Facility can be a challenging time for a patient, but it can be made easier with the support of their family and their care team. During your loved one’s stay at a Prestige Care Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, you can be sure our healthcare teams are dedicated to working around-the-clock to ensure they are receiving the best quality of care needed to transition successfully from hospital to home.

It’s especially important to us to celebrate our patients during the holidays regardless of where they are in their recovery journey. Whether that means dressing up as Santa to spread joy around the center, baking healthy holiday treats for our patients with dietary needs, or sharing past traditions with our patients, at Prestige Care, we strive to create a healthy and positive environment to help each individual return to their independent lifestyles and celebrate the holidays in their own home.