I can’t believe how quickly this year is going, and that we are talking about Easter already! It only seems five minutes ago we were celebrating Christmas…
I really hoped Easter would be free from the red tape COVID has created for us all over the last couple of years. However, I have been reading and hearing from care providers and managers that they are being hit with COVID again. Despite this, we’ll make sure the people we support have the best Easter period possible.
The lead up to Easter is always busy. Management’s ensuring rotas are covered and everything is in place, activity teams will be organising activities and staff and services users will be getting into the Easter spirit. There is nothing like seeing the colourful eggs, daffodils and the cheer that spring and Easter bring.
If you haven’t yet prepped or thought about Easter, don’t panic! Here are some ideas for you:
Ask people what they want to do
The people you support
First and foremost, we should be asking our service users these simple questions:
Your staff team
Remember to get ideas from your team. They will know the people you support best and might have some amazing ideas to utilise.
Choose your activities
Go to church
Many of your clients may want to observe the origins of Easter by attending a church service. Facilitate this by speaking to the church team or look on their website to see what they’re planning and the times of their services.
Easter egg hunt
Easter wouldn’t be complete without an egg hunt. Can you involve family and friends and make it a joyous event?
Easter symbolises rebirth so what better day to plant some tulips, hyacinths or daffodils? Your service users could even paint a ceramic pot to put them in and gift it to their loved ones.
Afternoon tea party
You could host a tea party for your clients and their relatives. There are lots of ways that people can get involved, including baking, decorating the table or room, making bunting, flower arranging and blowing up balloons etc.
Everyone loves a cake (remember to adapt the recipe for any diabetics you’re supporting). Perhaps you could organise a bake-off or a cake decorating competition?
Music and singing
Research has shown that music can be therapeutic. Dust off the speakers and have a singing competition, hold a karaoke session or just have music playing in the background. Remember, ask your service users what music they would like to hear, then stand back and watch it bring people to life. Last year, the National Activity Providers Association (NAPA), Music for Dementia and Live Music Now produced a leaflet called ‘Keeping Singing in tune with COVID-19 Restrictions’ which can be found here. This was produced to help care providers lead safe group singing and music activities and suggests measures to help with planning and risk assessment.
Why not get your staff and service users into teams and have an Easter quiz? This is always entertaining and can help keep people’s brains engaged. You could even include some small novelty Easter prizes for people to win!
Easter crafts and decorating your service
This can be a rabbit hole because there’s so much that can be made and done! Research’s shown getting involved in crafts can improve cognitive ability, help with dexterity, reduce stress and pain, and reduce blood pressure. Some ideas include:
- Easter tree decorations
- Salt dough ornaments
- Easter displays
- Light displays
- Wreath making
- Easter cards
- Design an Easter bonnet.
Family and friend involvement
It really does make me sad to be writing about family and friend involvement. In the last few days, I have seen more and more care homes stopping visits or going back to visits in pods and behind plastic screens. We must ensure our service users stay connected with their loved ones over the Easter period. There are numerous ways we can do this even if a face-to-face visit isn’t possible:
- Enable your service users to send Easter cards if they want to send them
- Support your clients to purchase or make presents and post them in time
- Facilitate video calls via Zoom, Teams and video calling apps
- Create personalised videos from your clients to their friends and family.
I know you’ll be doing everything you can to ensure that the people you support and care for have an amazing Easter. I can’t wait to see those Easter activities across social media! Feel free to contact me if you want to explore any of these ideas further or let me know of other ideas that I’ve missed.