On Sunday 18 June, attention will turn to the Dads, as the UK marks Fathers’ Day. It is a chance to celebrate the unsung heroes and the male role models at the heart of family life. There are bound to be several fathers within your care home community – residents, staff and visitors. Not to mention sons and daughters keen to either make a fuss of their father if he is still alive, or to remember him if he has passed away.
Here are some ways to mark Fathers’ Day in your care home this month.
Doors open for Dads!
Fathers’ Day has the added bonus of falling on a summer Sunday, when the weather will hopefully be warm and sunny. So, take full advantage and throw open the doors for Dads of all types to comer sand enjoy a celebration at your care home. This can be as easy to arrange as an outdoor picnic or tea party, perhaps with some entertainment and a small gift for all the fathers who are there. Invite residents’ families, so that their children and grandchildren can spend the day with their Dad and Grandad. Don’t forget to invite staff and their families to join in the fun. You can use Care Vision digital care management software to help with the planning.
Daddy day trips
If you have a lot of Dads among your residents who might be up for an adventure or two, why not plan some themed day trips or local outings, just for them? Ideas could include tickets to a local football match, a trip to a pub or brewery, a ride on a steam train or pleasure boat, a tour of an historic landmark or a concert, play or film showing somewhere. Ask for ideas in advance and, if you have several front-runners, make it a whole series of Fathers’ Day themed outings for June and July. Make sure you have enough staff members in place to make the trip enjoyable and safe by using the Care Vision staff rota tool.
Fathers in film
For Dads who prefer to stay home, hold a film afternoon or evening with movies that have fathers in main roles, or that show inspirational parenting themes. You could show a comedy, such as Father of the Bride, Parenthood or Mrs Doubtfire. Or a heart-warming film like Finding Nemo, Lion King or Mamma Mia. Have bowls of popcorn, snacks and beers on hand to share. You could even have an informal discussion afterwards about the themes and ideas that the film presented about fatherhood and how to be a good parent.
It is inevitable that many people in your care home will no longer have their fathers around. This can make the day a painful event. However, if people are willing, it can be a rather lovely tribute to fathers long departed to spend time talking about them, sharing memories and photos and anecdotes. Some people may like to write down their memories, or draw pictures to remind them of their fathers. Or record their own memories and life story for their children and grandchildren.
For the fathers, grandfathers, parents, guardians, caregivers and adults who play important roles in children’s lives, among your carers and staff, it might be a nice gesture to give them recognition for their support. This could be in the form of extra time off around Fathers’ Day, or a gift, meal or outing to say thank you. You could ask your staff for ideas on how they would like to mark the day.
Compassion and support
Finally, as with any of these types of occasion, there will be people within your care home community for whom Fathers’ Day will be very difficult. People who have not got over the death of a father, father figure or child. Others who have not enjoyed good relationships with their father, children or other family members. Still others who did not get the opportunity to be a Dad who would have liked to have been. Give people who you know will find the day hard a chance to withdraw and spend the day as they wish. Provide quiet areas and people to talk to about their feelings, should they wish to.