12/8/2020 | By Seniors Guide Staff

‘Tis the season for holiday decorations! Although living space may be limited for seniors living in studio apartments or assisted living spaces, there are still many creative ways to be “merry and bright.” And we’ve got lots of tips in regards to holiday decorating for small senior space!

Over-the-Door Wreaths

Even the smallest of living spaces has a door that can be adorned with a festive wreath. Over-the-door wreath hangers are very inexpensive and make wreath hanging very simple. The wreath itself can be decorated for any season, year-round. In fact, decorating the wreath may be a fun seasonal project for your senior loved one to look forward to each holiday.

There’s More Than One Way to Hang a Stocking

Even without a mantle, stockings can be hung with removable sticky hooks on a wall or even a mirror. Or, use a stocking hanger and hang the stocking from a bookshelf, mantle, or other piece of furniture.

Wrap the Door

Get creative! Wrap doors with festive wrapping paper, then add ribbons and a bow to make each door look like a large Christmas present. This can be especially festive in a facility hallway where multiple doors are all wrapped in different colors and patterns of paper.

An Artificial Tree

Doing some holiday decorating for small senior space

Although a fresh-cut Christmas tree can be a delightful holiday tradition, real trees may pose a fire risk, require regular maintenance, and make a mess. Fire-resistant artificial garlands and tabletop trees are lightweight and easy to assemble, require little maintenance and clean-up, and can be purchased in a size that fits any space.

Missing that woodsy, real-tree smell? Purchase an essential oil diffuser, and diffuse spruce, fir, pine, or cypress oils, or mix it up for the holidays with scents like cinnamon, peppermint, and nutmeg. You can also purchase a basket of scented pine cones, which are both decorative and smell great!

Add Color!

Switch out everyday décor items for those with holiday colors and patterns. Change out blankets, throw pillows, and bathroom linens for the season. Or, change out an everyday silk bouquet for a poinsettia or a holiday-themed arrangement.

“Candles in the Window…”

Candles are used to celebrate many religious celebrations, including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas. Fortunately, there are an array of battery-operated LED tea lights, candles, and menorahs on the market these days which produce no heat, and are a much safer option than open flame. Even a cozy fireplace can be replicated with videos of fireplace scenes, with Christmas music, such as this one!

*Note: Avoid twinkling lights around dementia patients, as these may be triggering.

Music to Your Ears!

Holiday music, for many, holds a lifetime of memories. Turn on a radio station that plays Christmas tunes. If possible, set up a voice-responsive smart home device and add a Christmas playlist. Playing festive tunes will be as easy as telling the device “play Christmas music.” Smart home plugs can also be set up to turn lights and lighted decorations on and off.

Taste the Holidays

Eating while holiday decorating for small senior space

We experience the holidays with all of our five senses, and for most, holiday memories involve favorite foods. Set out a bowl with candy canes, drop off a platter of gingerbread men to your senior loved one, or have grandkids decorate sugar cookies in holiday shapes to share.

Safety First!

But don’t forget to keep it safe! If you are in an assisted living facility, be sure to check facility rules before hanging decorations from or affixing them to walls.

  • Use safety hooks or ribbons for attaching ornaments
  • Use shatterproof ornaments.
  • If possible, put lights on a timer plug so that they do not overheat.
  • Be sure to use only light strings with UL labels.
  • Be sure to properly cover or stow all extension cords.
  • Never hang decorations with 18” of an indoor sprinkler head
  • Never block an exit sign with decorations.

And when it’s all said and done, check out these holiday decoration storage tips!

Overall, it’s still possible to enjoy holiday decorating for small senior space! No matter the size of your home, there are still many ways to safely keep your space festive and joyful this holiday season!

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff