Can You Have Thanksgiving Dinner in Assisted Living?

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 20 November 2012

When someone you love has moved to assisted living, the holidays may be different, but that doesn’t mean they have to be any less joyful.

This may be the first Thanksgiving that a family member is residing in assisted living. If so, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Most assisted living residents can leave the premises at any time. If you live locally, make plans to pick up your family member and bring them to your home for the day. Check in with the nursing staff to make sure you’re aware of any medications that will need to be administered throughout the day, and let the dining staff know your loved one won’t be present for the day’s regularly scheduled meals.
  2. If traveling to your home is not an option, consider bringing the holiday activities to assisted living. A private dining room or common area may be available for your family’s use, where you can enjoy your own celebration (and perhaps even invite a few of your relative’s new friends who may be alone for the holiday).
  3. You may also want to skip the preparations and work altogether and simply enjoy the Thanksgiving buffet or special meal that will be served in the assisted living’s dining venue that day.


Don’t let a move to assisted living be the end of holiday celebrations for your family. Amend the activities instead of eliminating them altogether. And who knows? You may be surprised by how much you enjoy the new tradition.



Do you have something to say?