Home December 2020 Making Memories

Making Memories

Hanukkah, which begins on December 10 and ends December 18, is normally a fun time to gather together as a family and celebrate our shared history. However, the celebration may look very different this year, especially if you have a loved one in senior living, says Mike Silverman, Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Pointe, the only Jewish assisted living community offering exceptional lifestyles in the Jewish tradition in Orange County.
    “Because of the continued risk of coronavirus and the at-risk population living with us, Heritage Pointe’s Hanukkah celebrations will not be open to non-Resident members,” he says. “However, there are still safe, socially distanced ways for you to celebrate this holiday with your senior loved one, even if you have to be physically apart.”
    Silverman says that Heritage Pointe will be holding the festival at the community while maintaining safe social distancing standards and ensuring the health and safety of the Residents. “This is a holiday that many of our Residents look forward to, and although we will need to make changes in order to keep everyone healthy and safe, the heart of our celebration will hold true.”
    If you won’t be able to spend Hanukkah in-person with your senior loved one—or even if you can—here are some ways you can make the festival meaningful while still socially distancing.
    Decorate. No Hanukkah celebration is complete without decorations. Consider offering to help your loved one decorate the house with paper banners, dreidels and other festive touches. If you’re not able to physically be near your loved one, consider sending them a care package of decorations. One fun idea would be to send the materials to make some decorations, and then hold a decor-making party via Skype or FaceTime.
    Bring them into the kitchen. One of the best parts of Hanukkah is the delicious food. Brisket, kugel, latkes and sufganiot (jelly doughnuts) are just some of the drool-worthy creations that will be spread across tables throughout the Festival of Lights. While preparing food together in the kitchen may not be possible, you can still “invite” a senior into the kitchen as you prepare these foods. Set up an iPad or large tablet and hold a video chat as you prepare your favorite Hanukkah cuisine.
    Tell stories. Few things are more fun than sharing stories of holidays past. This Hanukkah is a perfect opportunity for you to ask your senior loved one to regale you with stories from the past. Your senior may also wish to talk about the history of the holiday.
    Video chat, video chat, video chat. Nothing says “Hanukkah” more than the nightly lighting of the hanukkiah and reciting of the traditional blessings. Unfortunately, many of us will not be able to spend all eight days lighting candles in-person with our loved ones. This is where video chat really can come into play. By Skyping or Zooming during the lighting, your loved one can participate in the celebration with your family.
    If you are able to hold Hanukkah celebrations in-person with your senior loved one, remember to follow the recommendations placed forth by the CDC in order to keep everyone at your gathering healthy and safe.
  Remind guests to stay home if they are sick, or if they have been exposed to COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
  Keep gatherings small – 10 people or less.
  Arrange seating to allow for social distancing.
  Wear a mask and consider providing masks for your guests.
  Minimize physical contact – avoid hugging, kissing and shaking hands.
  Wash your hands frequently and please consider providing hand sanitizer.
– Limit the number of people who are preparing or touching the food.
  Consider using disposable plates and silverware.
  Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when possible.
    “No matter how you choose to celebrate Hanukkah this year, remember to give yourself grace and time to enjoy the celebration,” says Mike. “It doesn’t have to be picture perfect. What matters is honoring our traditions and spending time with the people we care about.” For more information call 949.364.9685 or visit HeritagePointe.org.   

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