Friday, April 25, 2014 — Lisa Bailey
Residents, staff members and their families found more than sweet treats at Pleasant Meadow Manor on Easter weekend.
There was also fun and fellowship for the Norwood long-term care home’s extended family, as they enjoyed the 10th annual Easter egg hunt.
“Easter is one of those occasions that is family time,” life enrichment co-ordinator Chris Garden says.
Balancing the deep and serious meaning of Easter with something light and appealing like the egg hunt engages all generations.
“It’s nice to have something where the kids are getting involved and excited and the adults are watching them have fun,” Garden says. “It just brings everybody together as one big family because after the hunt everybody gathers in different areas of the home and has their visit.
“So even if residents can’t get out to their families’ homes for Easter dinner, they’re still part of an Easter celebration,” Garden says.
Before the hunt, held on the sunny Saturday morning of April 19, residents helped staff members place treats inside plastic eggs that were then hidden around the grounds of Pleasant Meadow Manor, also with the help of residents.
Using the plastic eggs makes it easy for residents to participate, and reusing the eggs year after year is cost-conscious and environmentally-friendly, Garden says.
She initiated the Easter egg hunt so staff and their families could engage in an activity at the home and come together with residents for an intergenerational experience.
Approximately 30 youngsters, including residents’ and staff members’ grandchildren and great-grandchildren, participated in this year’s hunt.
“The residents just love watching the kids run amok,” Garden says. “They laugh because it takes so long to hide the eggs and it only takes maybe 10 minutes for them to be all scooped up.”
Garden, who brought her son and baby grandson to the event, says it’s also a chance for residents to see staff members outside of their caregiving role, as members of a family. “We talk about our kids and grandkids with residents all the time so it’s nice for them to be able to put faces to the kids,” Garden says.
“It makes it feel like even more of an extended family.”
Also present at the Easter egg hunt was the Easter Bunny, who had his photo taken with many people.
Seeing him, along with other longstanding Easter symbols, was also particularly special for residents with cognitive challenges. Garden saw them light up, indicative perhaps of a memory or something familiar. “It’s great to see that recognition,” Garden says.
Now that it’s become a much-anticipated tradition, the Pleasant Meadow Manor Easter egg hunt is likely to continue. Garden notes it continued even when she went to Maplewood, another OMNI home, for two years.
“Staff made sure it kept going,” she says, expressing gratitude for their effort and pledging to keep it going
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