As she watched her grandchildren happily opening the colored plastic Easter eggs, Homeland Center resident Jean White mused the adults get as big a kick out of the annual hunt as the kids.
“I like it that Homeland encourages everyone to participate and includes families,’’ Jean said, taking in the happy squeals as the grandkids discovered favorite candies. “This is great for the kids and the grownups and I actually think the grownups enjoy it more, getting to watch the kids.’’
Homeland’s staff stuffed 1,000 brightly colored plastic eggs with treats and hid them throughout Homeland Center’s units, including Skilled Nursing, Personal Care and the Ellenberger memory care unit, said Gillian Sumpter, Director of Activities.
In addition to the egg hunt, kids were lining up in Homeland’s 1950s-style diner for face painting by local artist Taqiyya Muhammad. A visit by the Easter Bunny, also known as local performer Jimmy Edwards, was on the day’s agenda as well.
“I like the peanut butter eggs," said Jean’s 9-year-old grandson, Luke, examining his sugary haul with siblings Leo, 7, Jacob, 6, Matthew, 4 and Sarah.
Luke’s mom and Jean’s granddaughter, Heather LaCour, looked on with her husband, Andy, and smiled.
“This is great – I can tell the residents enjoy it and I know their grandmother enjoys it,’’ Heather said, adding that her family loves Homeland’s summer picnics and festival. “I think it’s good to have events that give families the opportunity to get together. It’s important that Homeland is family-friendly.’’
Elsewhere in Homeland, Gilbert Leo happily looked on as three generations of his family enjoyed the fun.
“You get excellent care,’’ Gilbert said of Homeland.
His daughter, Michele Pease, said she could see how much her father and the other residents were enjoying seeing family. Michele said she appreciates the effort Homeland makes to plan these kinds of events.
Michele was joined by her brother, Tim Leo, and both of their children and grandchildren. Michele’s adult children, Morgan and Vincent, had fun watching Vincent’s 7-year-old son, Kamden, hunt for treats. Tim’s daughter, Tara Leo Auchey, was there with her husband, Caleb and their 10-month-old twins, Cassius and Bowie.
“It really uplifts my Dad,’’ Michele said. “These events really make Homeland feel like home and make the residents feel more connected.’’
Brother Tim agreed.
“I’m thrilled with the care they receive,’’ Tim said. “The staff pays attention to the residents and events like this bring everyone together.’’