For elderly Greek residents residing in aged care facilities in Australia, the Easter celebrations can be quite different.
Greek Orthodox Easter is an annual event that holds great significance for many older Greeks all around the world, as it presents an opportunity for families and friends to come together and celebrate while indulging in traditional Greek cuisine.
Some homes have already begun their Greek Easter traditions in an effort to uplift the spirit of residents with innovative ways to celebrate Greek Easter.
The Greek Herald highlighted the creative approaches taken by facilities such as The Greek Community Home for the Aged in NSW, Pronia, Fronditha Care, Grace of Mary Greek Cypriot Elderly Hostel, and St. Andrew’s Hostel in Victoria.
The Greek Community Home for the Aged in NSW celebrated Easter activities starting with the Clean Monday’s paper-kite day, followed by Tsiknopempti and Apokries.
The home has organised a barbecue accompanied by Greek music, dancing, and wine. The residents also celebrated the Greek National Anthem and watched Greek TV channels showing the “parelasi” (march) from Syntagma Square in Athens. For Orthodox Easter, residents will enjoy a traditional fare of red-dyed eggs, koulourakia, tsourekia, traditional sweets, and magiritsa soup. They will also visit the local Greek Orthodox Church to attend the “Apokathilosi” or … (explain what kind of service this is) service. An Easter Sunday lunch will include traditional roast lamb, baked vegetables, salad, and customary accompaniments for residents.
Pronia in Victoria is preparing for Easter by decorating white candles with residents. They will also make ‘Lambri’ buns and dye the red eggs, and offer Lenten food and fasting sweets. The Planned Activity Groups centres will offer weekly meetings in four suburbs of Melbourne (Brunswick, Clarinda, Sunshine, Balwyn), where seniors participate and look forward to spending a day filled with activities, entertainment, and good company.
The celebrations at these aged care facilities show how innovative and creative staff members are in bringing joy and happiness to the elderly Greek residents during Easter.
These activities enrich their spirituality and bring back fond memories of their customary Greek recipes.
Facility Manager, Katerina Kouris from the Greek Community Home for the Aged said, “Research has proved that keeping the elderly active in the kitchen can make them feel beneficial again and improves their mood, and we can certainly see this happening!”
These events also provide an opportunity for seniors to meet new friends, socialise, and share experiences that make their Easter celebration unforgettable.