Families have gone online to remember loved ones who have passed away at care homes in the past year.
Colten Care’s annual Celebration of Life went digital to give families and friends an opportunity to share personal memories and take time to reflect.
The intimate event featured poems, music, hymns, readings and prayers. In some homes, local vicars conducted services via Zoom.
Participants were encouraged to write about their loved ones in short email messages. Staff transcribed these onto memory cards which they tied to ‘memory trees’ in the homes’ foyers and gardens.
There were many affectionate and personal contributions such as: ‘Isobel – a wonderful wife and lover of music;’ ‘Norma – loved sitting in the sunshine;’ ‘Betty – had a wonderful motherly nature;’ and ‘Jessie – loved travelling the world playing sports.’
At Newstone House in Sturminster Newton, Dorset, staff and residents hand-painted pebbles in memory of those they have lost.
On each stone was the resident’s name, along with a picture depicting their hobbies or interests.
The pebbles were then laid in what will now become a permanent ‘Forget-me-not’ garden.
Vanda Baker, Home Manager at St Catherines View, a dedicated dementia care home in Winchester, said: “Although we couldn’t meet in person with families this year, we still wanted to give everyone the opportunity to reflect and reminisce. As the name suggests, Celebration of Life is all about remembering the individuality of residents we have had the privilege of knowing. It is an ideal chance to celebrate the joy, laughter and experiences of those who came to stay with us.”