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Making Birthdays Meaningful When a Family Member Lives in a Retirement Community

Posted by HarborChase on Jun 22, 2020 8:00:00 AM | 3 minute read

HC_Birthdays (1)

Almost everyone can think back and fondly remember or reminisce about a special birthday. However, in today’s society, as we grow older, birthdays tend to lose their “magic,” and many opt not to celebrate or recognize their birthday at all.

HarborChase Senior Living believes that should never be the case! Whether you are turning one or 61, another year around the sun is something to be celebrated. But, when a parent or family member moves into a retirement community, you may not know how to celebrate. We want to share a few ideas to ensure your family never stops celebrating!

We understand that there is still uncertainty and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. HarborChase is sharing this article in the hopes that it helps you plan and celebrate family birthdays once social distancing is no longer necessary!

Consider the Guest of Honor

A large and extravagant gathering may seem like the perfect idea, but if your parent or family member is naturally introverted, this may not be the best option. A birthday is about recognizing and celebrating that person in ways that are meaningful to him or her. Coordinate with those that are closest to him or her and ask questions like:

  • Do they like large gatherings?
  • Do they like surprise parties?
  • Would they prefer an intimate celebration?
  • Would they prefer not to have a party at all?

 Understanding the answers to these questions can ensure you are honoring their birthday the way he or she would genuinely enjoy. If he or she would not want a celebration, there are other ways to recognize the day!

  • Have family members and friends send cards, call, video chat, etc.
  • Have flowers, balloons, or food delivered
  • Coordinate with the retirement community staff to decorate his or her living space

Make It a Family Gathering

A family gathering to celebrate a birthday shouldn’t only occur when a person hits a milestone age. A great way to make a birthday celebration special is to include important people in the person’s life, so invite family, friends, and neighbors. This not only allows them to celebrate their birthday with people they love but also yields the opportunity for them to see and catch up with those they may not see as often.

 This effort is especially important if a family get together was something you did for birthdays before your parent or family member moved into a retirement community. Just because he or she no longer lives at home doesn’t mean your family traditions need to change!

Planning a Vacation

A birthday can be the perfect time to go on a family vacation or plan a trip. Vacation ideas like cruises make for fantastic, relaxing getaways and can create many meaningful memories that your family member will cherish for years to come.

Get Creative on Gifts

To help make a family member’s birthday even more special and unique, get creative on the gifts. Many gifts can be crafted to create something that holds sentimental value to a person. Personalized items are a great way to do this. Websites like Shutterfly offer customized and personalized items that can range from adding his or her name to a glass to a throw blanket covered in family photos and memories.

Consider your family member's wish list, as well. Is there something that he or she has been wanting but could never justify buying for themselves? Buy it! If it’s a more expensive gift, try to get multiple family members and friends involved to split the cost. Your family member will love the gift and love the fact that so many people cared enough to help get it.

Once again, consider your guest of honor. Maybe he or she is passionate about a specific organization or cause. If that is the case, gathering donations from family members and friends can be a more impactful gift to him or her than any item you would buy.

Keep Traditions Alive

As previously mentioned, your parent or family member residing in a retirement community shouldn’t change the way you celebrate birthdays or events. Whether it’s dining at a specific restaurant, going to the movies, or having a certain type of dessert, these traditions are unique to your family and should continue every year.

At HarborChase Senior Living, our retirement communities throughout the United States focus on helping residents discover their “Best Day Ever.” To learn more about HarborChase Senior Living, we invite you to find a community near you and contact our team!

Topics: Holidays, Independent Living

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