December 26

Assisted Living Residents Share Favorite Holiday Memories – Chapter Four

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

The focus of our blogs during this holiday season are on the favorite holiday memories and traditions of residents of the assisted living and memory care communities Gardant manages.

As Meghann Giarraputo, Gardant’s memory care director, noted in a recent blog, asking your older adult loved ones about their favorite memories is one way to make the season more magical. Your loved ones will benefit from your time and attention; you will be filled with a cherished collection of their remembrances.

We highlight the memories and traditions of more residents:

Ralph, an 80-year-old resident of Heritage Woods of Chicago affordable assisted living
Being with my family.

Alberta, a resident at our Decatur, Ill. community, recalled anxiously waiting to see what Santa brought her each Christmas.

Alberta, a resident of Eagle Ridge affordable assisted living in Decatur, Illinois
The excitement of getting up on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought us.

Charlotte, a 94-year-old resident of Cedar Grove assisted living in Parkersburg, West Virginia
Opening up a baby doll that eventually became my favorite doll.

The most memorable gift for Cynthia a resident at our community in Pekin, Ill., was the first-ever walking doll.

Cynthia, a 72-year-old resident of John Evans affordable assisted living in Pekin, Illinois
Getting the very first walking doll ever made!

Deb, a 71-year-old resident of Heritage Woods affordable assisted living in Minooka, Illinois
Loading up in the car with my Dad, Mom and brother to go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. My mom would always say I forgot my gloves and would run back into the house to get them. It would take a while, and my Dad would honk the horn. My Mom would run out and we would go to Mass.  We would get home and magically “Santa” had been to our house!  The tree would be lit, and there would be presents under the tree!

Gisela, a resident of Summers Pointe assisted living in Winchester, Indiana
The week of Christmas, we would make plates full of cookies, candies and chocolates. On Christmas Eve, we would take them into the living room where the Christmas tree was and decorate the tree together. My Mom and her sister would always help us kids.

For Heritage Woods of Yorkville resident Marilyn, Christmas Eve meant seeing her extended family get together, trimming the tree and opening presents.

Marilyn, a resident of Heritage Woods affordable assisted living in Yorkville, Illinois
Every year, we have our family reunion on Christmas Eve. When my kids were really little, I remember the excitement on their faces trimming the tree and Santa coming in the morning with all their favorite gifts.

Mariann, a resident of Heritage Woods affordable assisted living in Batavia, Illinois
Christmas Eve was very special with all the cousins playing cards and having lots of joy and laughter. We had not seen one another for a long time, so this made our time together extra special!

Birdie, a resident of Heritage Woods affordable assisted living in Watseka, Illinois
We always hung our own homemade stockings on the fireplace. All the presents were handmade. The boys always got socks that were homemade. The girls would usually get a dress that was made by our mother.  We would make chains out of pretty Christmas colors for the tree.  We always tried to wait up for Santa but usually were fast asleep by 9 p.m., and Dad would carry us to bed.

Carol, an 83-year-old resident of Prairie Winds affordable assisted living in Urbana, Illinois
I grew up during the Depression, so there wasn’t much money. My favorite tradition was decorating the Christmas tree with popcorn, candy canes and icicles. I would get one present and an orange and an apple. My Dad would always peel the apple and feed it to me.

Evelyn, an 87-year-old resident of Heritage Woods of Dwight affordable assisted living in Dwight, Illinois
My favorite holiday memory is when we would get to go tobogganing.

Joann, a resident of Heritage Woods assisted living and memory care in Noblesville, Indiana
My Mother had always wanted a Mother’s Ring for Christmas and would ask my Dad every Christmas for one. He would say she didn’t need it. When I started working, I got her a Mother’s Ring. She cried.

No Christmas was complete for Evelyn, of Heritage Woods of Dwight, if it didn’t include going out tobogganing.

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