The 12 days of Christmas – the Bupa care home way

Category: Families

Christmas time can be a difficult time for our residents. “It’s hard for them to be away from their family and friends,” says Anita. That’s why Anita is so passionate about making Christmas time extra special for her residents.


Anita is the Activities Coordinator at Bupa Tasman Care Home. She was inspired to brighten the lives of others needing care, after caring for her elderly mother who passed away at 100.

Anita not only has 12 days of Christmas covered she has the whole month. “It’s a lot of hard work but it makes me very happy if I can hear a lot of laughter and chatter from the residents,” says Anita.

12 ways Anita makes Christmas extra special.

1. Decorations

Each level of Tasman Care Home is decorated with it’s own Christmas theme. “I like to show off what the residents of each level are really good at,” says Anita. From decorating the Christmas tree with hand made decorations, to creating Christmas crepe paper flowers and hanging tinsel. No wall goes untouched without a bit of Christmas flair.

2. Entertainment

“We like to put on extra happy hours for the residents, play Christmas movies and invite entertainers to perform,” says Anita. This year Anita is planning on inviting a local drama school to perform for the residents.

3. Food

Summer BBQ’s, ham roast and Christmas puddings take pride of place on the menu.

4. Dancing

The residents at Tasman love to dance. “I’ll often play Christmas music and invite community groups to perform for our residents,” says Anita. They encourage resident participation, whether that’s singing along, getting residents up to dance or supplying them with instruments.

5. Christmas cards and gift giving

Anita provides the residents with craft supplies so they can make gifts and cards for family and friends. “Last year the ladies made bracelets and earrings for their grand daughters. However, some of them liked their creations so much they wore the jewellery themselves,” says Anita.

6. Religious considerations

“Some of our residents are Christian and Catholic, so we invite local church groups to come along and perform and chat to our residents,” says Anita. Our activities are always optional for our residents. We try to be as inclusive as possible.

7. Singing

Anita’s residents enjoy singing. They have a resident choir who enjoy singing Christmas Carols.

8. Special outings

This year Anita and Tasman’s helpful maintenance man are hoping to take the residents on a special outing to Franklin Rd (a popular street in Auckland famous for its Christmas lights).

9. Community involvement

Anita invites local schools and kindergartens to come in and spend some time with the residents. “They really enjoy talking to the children and watching them perform,” says Anita. Tasman Care Home also puts on a special morning tea to thank all of their volunteers.

10. Time with family and friends

“This is the best gift,” says Anita. Our residents really cherish family and friends visiting, particularly over the holiday period. At Tasman they put on a special Christmas lunch for the residents friends and family.

11. Reminiscing

Anita enjoys playing a memory games with her residents. She shows them an object and then they have to share a story or memory that the object triggers. “We have a good laugh, some don’t take it as seriously as others. It’s a great way for the residents to get to know each other. We have a really supportive group of residents at Tasman. They all look out for one another,” says Anita. A Christmas memory game is on the cards for Tasman.

12. Christmas Day / Family Day

“Some of the residents will be with their families. However, those who spend Christmas Day at Tasman are treated to a lovely Christmas lunch prepared by our in-house chef and a Christmas movie,” says Anita.

Remember to make time for family and friends this Christmas.

Enjoy the festive season.

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