Remembrance Day is traditionally on November 11th, but parades and ceremonial events usually take place on Remembrance Sunday, which is this coming Sunday 8th.
As many care home residents are unable to attend external events in the community in person, you may choose to commemorate the occasion within your care home home in your own way. Some of your residents may have previously been in the armed services themselves, or will know people who have served in the past or present, and will therefore welcome the opportunity to pay their respects.
Whether you’ve hosted commemorative events in the past or you’re planning to do so for the first time this year, it’s good to get the views of the residents when considering potential activities. It’s likely some individuals would prefer to go in different directions when it comes to taking part in activities, so you might want to mix and match some of the following ideas for commemorating Remembrance Day 2015, or try some new possibilities of your own.
Wearing a poppy is a popular way to show support for Remembrance Day and the efforts of the British Legion, but the poppy itself could have a wider role to play. You could organise stimulating craft activities that focus on drawing, assembling, or arranging poppies, or decorating cakes with the poppy emblem, so that the day takes on a creative as well as a reflective mood.
Reminiscence and reflection
Remembrance doesn’t necessarily need to take on a religious element, though some residents may welcome this. It may be appropriate for staff and residents to read poems, and share wartime memories and experiences as part of a reminiscence afternoon or morning. One of the key elements of Remembrance Day is that the sacrifices of the past are not forgotten. With this in mind, some care homes choose to invite members of the wider community – such as school children – to join residents in reflection.
The format of the session can be designed to suit your residents and the visitors, but could include sharing refreshments as well as fascinating stories.
Songs and celebration
The mood doesn’t need to be sombre throughout Remembrance Day; there’s also the opportunity to remember the celebrations at the end of the war and the sense of community experienced during difficult times. Take older residents down memory lane by serving their favourite foods of the past and joining together in singing songs or listening to popular music of the time.
Do you have any events planned to commemorate Remembrance Day in your care home? We’d love to hear how you plan to mark the day, or how you’ve done so in the past. Leave us a comment below or tweet us at @CareShopBunzl.