Do all days have to be the same?

This digital article based on Swedish conditions is computer translated. Hopefully we can inspire people from other countries.

Everyone is entitled to a little silver lining. Many nursing homes work to create festive occasions for the residents. Everyone can do their part by contributing ideas and finding reasons to celebrate a little more. We like to associate holidays with celebration, but why can't we make everyday life a little more festive? It's someone's birthday, it's Christmas or Valentine's Day. Maybe a welcome party for a new resident.

Foto: Mostphotos

Make life a party

Nursing homes are places of care and security, but they can also be places of joy, laughter and festive moments. Introducing festivities into everyday life at the nursing home can lift the mood and create memorable moments for the residents. Here are some tips to make the nursing home a little more festive:

Themed parties Themed parties are always fun and engaging. Choose different themes for different occasions, such as a tropical beach party, a 50s retro party or a Hollywood gala. Decorate and dress up according to the theme and encourage the residents to do the same.

Music and dance Music is a powerful mood enhancer. Organize regular dance sessions where the elderly can move and enjoy music. Invite local musicians or choir singers to entertain with live music.

Film nights Create a home theater in the nursing home with movie screenings. Show classic films or let residents choose their favourites. Complete with popcorn and soda for a real cinema experience.

Themed Meals Turn the dining room into a restaurant with themed meals. For example, have an Italian pasta or Mexican taco night. This gives the elderly the opportunity to enjoy different culinary experiences. Enhance the experience by playing music from Italy or Mexico and watching a film from the country where the food comes from.

Create Decorations Encourage residents to participate in creative activities to make their own party decorations. This gives them a sense of belonging and makes the party even more personal.

Birthday parties Celebrate the elderly's birthdays with festive parties. Help the residents dress up, set the table extra festively, maybe serve wine with food to make it extra special. It is also possible to have anniversaries to celebrate.

Bingo and game nights Organize game nights with bingo, card games and board games. Prizes and small gifts can be an additional motivation to participate.

Visit of animals Care dog can contribute to happiness, but also to involve the residents in various activities. Cats can also contribute to the well-being of the nursing home. If you want to do something extra, you might be able to get a horse to visit the nursing home.

Entertainment Invite entertainers such as musicians, illusionists or comedians to make special appearances for the elderly. This gives the feeling of being at the theater or at a concert.

SPA evening or pub evening Invite the residents to a SPA evening with manicure, hair care and wine, beer pub with football evening.

Holidays Pay attention to holidays such as Christmas, Easter, All Saints' Day and Midsummer with festive decorations, meals and activities linked to these traditions.

Create memories Give the elderly the opportunity to create memories by taking photos and recording videos during festive occasions. Then these memories can be shared with family and friends. Keep in mind that you need the residents' consent to distribute pictures of them.

Dare to do different

Is there anything in the way of working at the nursing home that differs between the days of the week. Helps the structure distinguish weekdays from weekends. During late winter and spring we celebrate both "Valentine's Day" as well as Fatty's Day and Waffle Day. Other times of the year are midsummer or cinnamon bun day. There are plenty of opportunities to come up with something special during large parts of the year.

Do you have relatives who live in a nursing home or perhaps you work in a home. Did the residents get waffles on waffle day? Were there roses or any other sign that it was "Valentine's Day"? There are many opportunities to create a little gold edge in everyday life. Caring, humanity and love of people cost nothing or very little, but may require a little planning.

Reflection questions - everyday life and party
Care staff:
- What can you do to create good traditions in your accommodation?
- How is it on your unit, what are you celebrating?
- What do you do to create a golden edge?
- How do the residents see the difference between weekdays and weekends?

Manager, nurse, occupational therapist and physiotherapist:
- What can you do to create good traditions in your accommodation?
- Do you have any traditions at the residence?
- How do you prepare for celebrating traditions?
- Is a glass of wine or beer and schnapps served with the meal?
- Do you invite relatives to the celebration?

Resident and next of kin:
- Does the accommodation where your relative lives have traditions?
- Will you be invited?
- Do you have ideas on what could be made more festive at the accommodation?

Erland Olsson
Head nurse
Better care - every day

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