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Hosting the Holidays at a Senior Living Community | Canterbury Woods Gates Circle

Nov 9, 2021

Hosting a Holiday Gathering After Moving to a Senior Living Community

We call it the most wonderful time of the year.

If spending time with friends and family members is a part of your holiday traditions, you’re in good company. According to, about two-thirds of older adults report feeling happy just thinking about family time over the holidays.

This article will offer tips for hosting a successful party in your senior living residence. From dining ideas to creative room arrangements, there’s no reason you can’t bring a festive spirit into your apartment home.


The Upsides of Downsizing

Downsizing to a smaller apartment home is a smart decision for many seniors. If you have made the move, it has likely simplified your lifestyle, reduced daily hassles and allowed you to enjoy more of what you like to do.

However, for seniors who have recently downsized to a senior living community, hosting holiday affairs with loved ones may pose a few challenges.

The good news is, this hurdle is easily overcome with a little planning and creativity.


Tips for Hosting Parties in Senior Living Apartments

There are still plenty of opportunities to spend time with family while living in a retirement community – whether you’re in independent living or any level of care.

If you have a parent or grandparent receiving assisted living, memory care, or rehabilitation services or lives in a skilled nursing home, you may have to help. But together, you can still make it a festive activity for your senior loved one and guests.

Here are six good ideas for hosting a holiday party in a downsized retirement community residence.

  1. Manage your guest list.

You probably don’t have as much space as you did in your previous home. If you plan on hosting a holiday gathering, keep the crowd smaller. Those outside your most intimate circle will understand.

If seeing a lot of people is important, consider hosting more than one event throughout the holiday season.

  1. Simplify the holiday meal.

Yes, it’s dramatic to have a wall-to-wall buffet of turkey, ham, veggies and potatoes and all the favorite family recipes. But give yourself a break. This year, go simpler with the number of dishes … or even consider serving heavy appetizers instead of a full meal.

If you don’t want to prepare a lot of food, assign each guest a dish. You can serve drinks, and you’re already opening your home for the event. Being together is more important than what’s on your plate.

  1. Get creative with furniture.

Use a bookshelf as a drink station or storage for guests’ purses. Turn TV trays into extra counter space.

To create extra mingling space, move coffee tables to the perimeters and unneeded floor lamps to another room. In a pinch, use a sturdy cooler as a kid’s seat.

With a little out-the-box repurposing, you can create a comfortable and social party space for guests.

  1. Decorate around the edges.

The holidays call for special decorations, and there’s no reason your new residence shouldn’t be festive for your occasion. Here are some tricks for keeping holiday decor from getting in the way.

  • Start at the door. Decorate the exterior of your door with a wreath or other garlands. It sets the mood before your guests even come inside.
  • Forgo a Christmas tree (at least a large one). Instead, drape green garlands or even simple string along the wall, then hang ornaments there.
  • Display greeting cards on the fridge or the wall, rather than taking up table space.
  • Hang mistletoe.
  • Avoid large table arrangements.
  1. Remember COVID-19.

Follow all the protocols to keep yourself and your guests safe, even if it means excluding a beloved friend or family member. Ask guests to stay home if they’re sick. If anyone on the guest list has been exposed to COVID-19 or shown symptoms in the previous 14 days, politely retract your invitation, promising to get together in the new year. It can be tough, but the stakes are too high.

At your party, make sure there are plenty of opportunities to wash or sanitize hands. Put a few bottles of hand sanitizer around for common use. You could even consider putting a personal bottle of sanitizer at everyone’s seat as a party favor.

  1. Zoom parties are still a thing.

In an era when more professionals are relocating, and the pandemic is still top-of-mind, an online gathering is the next best thing to being in the same room.

If you simply can’t be in the same place, bring loved ones together with a video chat. Social distancing is a built-in benefit.


How Canterbury Woods Gates Circle makes the holidays festive for all.

As a Life Care Community, Canterbury Woods Communities provide a comfortable environment and first-rate services to support every level of need. Assisted living apartments allow Gates Circle residents to benefit from additional support while maintaining their independent lifestyle, but if additional support is not needed, independent living is also offered at our Life Care Community. If skilled nursing, rehabilitation or memory care is ever needed, residents can experience the support they require at our sister community in Williamsville.

Contact us today to discover more about Canterbury Woods Gates Circle! ​(716) 427-6678



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