Things to do with Your Parents/Grandparents this Easter Bank Holiday


With Good Friday and Easter Monday fast approaching, it seems like a good time to address the issues surrounding holidays when family members and loved ones are in nursing homes.

The most important first step when trying to decide what to do over any holiday period is to ask your loved one for their opinion if they are able to contribute to such a conversation.

The conversation could be awkward and you might not want to start it, but everything will be smoother if you know what they want.

They might not want to celebrate the holiday with you because it would remind them too much of the ‘old days’ and the differences between their lives now and their lives then.

On the other hand, celebrating in familiar ways, with familiar faces, can tie their current situation into the long tradition of previous holidays and help them to feel positive again.

Here are a few ways you can enjoy spending time with your loved ones on Bank Holidays.

Depending on the size, staffing and activity levels of the elderly care home, you might be able to book an unused communal room in order to have a proper little family party. Even if this is not available, a little gathering in their room, with their favourite snacks and board-games, will make the day much more special.

You can get cards for every occasion these days, and this includes Easter! Whether Easter means bunnies, chocolate or the resurrection of Jesus Christ to your loved one, there will be a plethora of beautiful options available. If friends or family can’t make it for a group celebration, then they should pop one of these in the post. This could be particularly effective for loved ones with dementia, as they can spend time looking at the cards. Even residents without memory problems will love getting lots of cards addressed to them.

Another option if your loved one is physically and mentally fit for it, is to celebrate the Bank Holiday with a little trip outside – to a beach, to the theatre, or whatever they would enjoy. This non-themed advice is also useful if your family are not culturally Christian and have no attachment to Easter at all – you can use the time off work to catch up on visiting the elderly home!

And finally, far from being a barrier to spending holidays together, care homes can often enable this to happen more effectively by offering respite care. With the stress of daily caring for your loved one removed, you and your family might find the time and mental energy to gather at their temporary home and have a better party than you have managed recently.

At Paxton Hall, an elderly and dementia care home in Cambridgeshire, we pride ourselves in creating a friendly home-from-home atmosphere for all our residents, whether they have joined us through physical frailty or the onset of dementia. Please contact us if you’d like more information on our beautiful Grade II–listed home.