The saying in 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is that alcoholism is a three-fold disease: physical, mental, and spiritual. The only-half-kidding joke is that alcoholism is a three-fold disease: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. The holidays can be a particularly stressful time for nursing home residents as their celebrations have often changed significantly from those in the past. The loss of family members, the inability to get around independently, and the lack of opportunity and funds to shop for gifts can take their toll on residents who may have had trouble with the holidays even before they entered the nursing home.
In case you haven’t been persuaded by my previous arguments for holding AA meetings in nursing homes (or in case you’ve been persuaded but your administration hasn’t) there are also telephone meetings available to residents for the cost of a phone call. Callers can listen in, or share their story if they wish, in an anonymous environment. Below are links to the telephone meeting lists of several 12-Step programs.