2 women hugging
(Image credit: Vitalia)

Sometimes, a little holiday celebration is all it takes to lift spirits. Would 45 days of it be enough?

Celebrating Orthodox and traditional Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah among other diverse religions and cultures, Arrow Senior Living Management communities have been busy ringing in the season with 45 Days of Holiday Cheer programs. Each day during the season, the communities will engage in various holiday-themed activities. Formerly 30 days in previous iterations, this year’s edition already has been a big hit.

“The residents love it, the staff loves it. It’s very inclusive with residents, staff and line staff,” said Leah Gallas, resident services director at Vitalia Rockside, an Arrow senior living management initiative. “All the department heads take part. They’ve been assigned certain days so everybody’s involved. The residents are so excited to see what [activity] the next day is and what we’re going to be doing, and they love it.”

Across the company, activities can range from making homemade snowflakes to whacking piñatas. Those activities, such as the Saturday story times throughout the 45 days, often will be intergenerational. Up next, Vitalia Rockside residents will enjoy live theater at a venue in downtown Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, the largest performing arts center in the US outside of New York City.

Although it may be loads of fun, embracing the holiday spirit can be beneficial to residents.

“They help bring back memories and help everybody feel included, especially if their family might be out of town or they don’t have a relationship with them,” Gallas said. “It gives them connections with their residents because they’re doing stuff with them every day. Everybody’s sharing their experiences, feeling included, and just bringing back memories.”

Click here to see the In Focus archive and read how to submit photos of activities at your community for consideration of publication.