The traditions of the Thanksgiving holiday generally involve family, friends, and a lot of great food! This time of year can be extra meaningful, especially coming off of the pandemic and the social isolation we have endured these last two years.

If you or a loved one have recently transitioned into a senior living setting, such as an assisted living community, you may be wondering what your holiday will look like this year, questioning whether or not you’ll be able to enjoy the festivities of the holiday as you have in years past. Fortunately, enjoying Thanksgiving in senior living can be as easy as pumpkin pie with just a little prep work.

Whether you are planning a gathering in person or virtually, there are many easy things you can do to stay safe and enjoy Thanksgiving day with your loved ones.

Here are some easy ways to prepare for the holidays while celebrating with family and friends. You may find that this is the best holiday yet as you create new traditions and enjoy each other’s company.

Show your gratitude by giving back.
Many families choose to celebrate Thanksgiving by helping others in their community. This is a great activity for those young and old, and there are many organizations in your area that would appreciate a helping hand on Thanksgiving Day (or any day). Beyond soup kitchens and food pantries, you may want to focus your giving on a smaller group of people – perhaps those in assisted living or the senior living community who may not have family to celebrate with. You and your family could put together care packages so they can enjoy the holiday as well. Or you can open your table and invite other senior living residents to your family’s meal – the more, the merrier, right?!

Celebrate at the community.
Senior living communities are fun to be around during the holiday season because the community is decorated and there are always seasonally themed activities and events going on. Check with your Activities Director to see what’s happening during Turkey Month, and then invite your family members to come and enjoy the day in your new home.

Have faraway loved ones join in on the fun.
If you have friends and family who aren’t able to come together to celebrate, there are still multiple ways that everyone can celebrate together. Beyond scheduling a Zoom call during or after the meal, host a virtual game party that anyone can join in on. You could also have fun before the meal by “baking” virtually together or otherwise making the meal, even when you’re miles away.

Muse on memories.
The holidays give us a chance to take a trip down memory lane and remember happy holidays from years and years ago. Multigenerational celebrations like Thanksgiving are a perfect time for older adults to reminisce about Thanksgivings of their youth while also giving younger kids the chance to share their favorite part of the holidays. Consider memorializing the memory sharing by having notecards for people to write on, printing off memory “prompts” that can be used to spark conversation or even videoing the conversations so they can be enjoyed for years to come.

Regardless of how you choose to spend your holiday this season, know that all of us at Nightingale Healthcare are grateful for you and your continued trust in our services, and wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Nightingale Healthcare is a privately held, family-owned healthcare management company located in Bellingham, Washington. Founded in 2014, it has been our mission to serve the communities in which we are located with superior skilled nursing and assisted living services. Our patient-centered approach to care incorporates individualized care plans alongside an unmatched level of compassion, patience, and love.

We proudly operate assisted and independent living communities throughout Washington and Oregon. If you are interested in learning more about our communities and services or in becoming a caregiver with us, please visit our website or contact Nightingale Healthcare directly at 360-656-6609.