The 2020 Easter celebrations will be different and distinctive. Social distancing and shelter-in-place orders prevail across our country and around the world. Many elderly and their families have to forego the traditional annual Easter celebrations in church or family gatherings in homes.
The United States is heading into the “worst week” on the coronavirus pandemic, with Covid-19 cases expected to peak. Leader and Medical Experts continue to enforce social distancing and lock down on all kinds of gatherings – including those for Easter. Elderly people are at a significant disadvantage because of the limitations of social distancing.
Elderly people living independently in their own homes or retirement communities have to stay isolated from their younger family members to practice social distancing. Additionally, those living in nursing homes, visits from family members will be restricted and most group activities will be cut or reduced. Many families to have to regrettably reconcile to celebrating Easter without multi-generational representation.
Easter celebration also marks the the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. It is a symbol of celebration of life and hope. Regardless of whether the celebrations are religious or secular, Easter celebrations can be a way of the much needed reawakening and reflection in these difficult times.
Here are 5 fun ways elders can hop, hop hurray to Easter celebrations even with social distancing rules in place.
1. Cook an Easter Brunch or Order form your Favorite Restaurant
For the elderly living independently, cooking an Easter lunch or brunch may be easier without the larger family gatherings. Most grocery stores and supermarkets in the country offer dedicated times for elderly to shop few days a week. Normally, these hours are during the earlier part of the day. The chances of shelves being stocked are pretty high, which would make shopping for supplies a breeze. Staying with a simple and thematic menu but try out some fun recipes to mark the Easter celebrations.
2. Do Easter Crafts or Participate in Easter Activities
Nursing homes and elderly care facilities are organizing craft events, including Easter Egg Hunts. But, participation is only limited to residents and staff.
“We are doing a small Easter Egg Hunt in the community throughout the day. We’re going to provide Easter treat bags and top it off with a door to door refreshment. We may have a special Easter Bunny guest coming. and random raffles for the Easter gift basket. But first, we are keeping ourselves healthy, taking the precautions of 6 feet distancing and washing our hands more frequently” – said Bethany Dinh, Enrichment Director for Sunnyview Retirement Community
No Easter celebration can be complete without Egg Decorating – social distancing or not!
If you are on your own, you can still have a fabulous time decorating a dozen eggs on your own. If social distancing is keeping you away from your near and dear ones plan for a family egg decorating party event over a online video chat. This can be a unique and fun way to celebrate Easter. However, if you are in different time zones, have all family members, including the elderly do egg decorating on their. Organize a virtual exhibition or show at a time that is convenient and fun for all. It is a great idea to set some prizes or gifts for winners. Finally, be sure to record these videos – because, these videos will be of historic significance for your family and generations to come.
Elderly parents or grandparents can make an Easter baskets filled with goodies and have them delivered to your younger family members and grandchildren. Social distancing does not mean you have to compromise on the fun of Easter celebrations. Need inspiration? Check out this list of easy DIY Easter Gift Basket ideas. Moreover, if the goodies do not have perishable items, then they can be shipped via FedEx, UPS or USPS. Several gift delivery services like 1-800-Flowers have special Easter themed gift baskets, so you could order one online.
3. Celebrate Easter by watching Themed Movies
Looking for something to do after lunch? Why not watch an Easter themed movie or two? If Benhur is not your goto movie, try out different genres, to make the experience a little exciting. Here is a list of Easter themed movies from Wikipedia for you to choose from.
Many streaming services like Amazon, Hulu and Netflix are running special screenings for these movies through the week leading up to Easter. Staying in a nursing home or elderly care community? Be sure to check with your Activity Director or staff members. Your in-room TV can be setup to stream these movies.
4. Go Online For a Easter Sunday Church Service
For many families, an Easter Sunday morning church service is part of the tradition. However, this may no longer be an option at least for this year. Most churches are cutting back or completely cancelling gatherings. Not only that, they are also are stepping up to offer services online or through live streaming services. Even at the Vatican, services will continue without the congregation, in adherence of coronavirus restriction guidelines.
Elderly people can contact local churches or other religious authorities to get more information on the Easter Week and Easter Sunday Service. Additionally check for watch for special announcements in their emails, newsletters or newspaper inserts.
5. Read Easter Stories from the Bible
For families celebrating Easter in a religious way, another great activity is reading Easter stories from the Bible. Social distancing does not have to limit family bonding time. Gather the family and the elderly together over video chat and take turns reading different chapters. Younger members of the family may chose read from children’s edition of the Bible. Make the sessions interactive by inviting every person to share a lesson or experience related to the learnings and concepts from the Bible.
In conclusion, given these hard times, many are taking comfort in their faith to keep their hopes up. Easter is a great time to reflect on how today’s circumstances have impacted all. Elderly people are in the most vulnerable state. Social distancing has added an additional level of isolation and anxiety from the missed family visits and gatherings.
Practice the principles of your faith. Seek ways to understand what your faith means to you and your loved ones. May the spirit of Easter give everyone the sense of optimism and the strength to endure these difficult times.
We are hopeful, that this article can give the elderly some fun ways to hop, hop, hurray to Easter celebrations despite social distancing. Tell us how you celebrated your Easter in the comments section below.