Elderly residents of nursing homes and aged-care facilities in Gladstone and Boyne Island will have some extra special visitors this Christmas. Adopt-A-Grandparent Gladstone was started in 2013 by local, Nicole Allison. Nicole said she had been donating to other Christmas Drives for years and she was seeking a more personalised approach. “It also always seemed that the elderly were the ones forgotten about at this time of year,” she said.
Nicole approached the Edenvale Aged Care facility and they were keen to be involved, since then the Christmas cheer has spread to Boyne Island with Bindaree Lodge also taking part. “The nursing homes provide us with a list of residents and a bit of info about them and what they might need or like for Christmas. Local families are then encouraged to ‘adopt’ a grandparent, purchase them a small gift and come along in the week of Christmas to give them the gift and spend some time with them,” Nicole explained. “The kids love it, the residents love it, and we’ve even had a few dogs attend as well.”
This year the Bindaree Lodge visiting dates are 13-15th December and Edenvale visits are scheduled for is 19, 20 and 22nd December. There is one ‘main’ event per location where organisers hope to have entertainment in the form of local singers, kids playing instruments and other entertainment. Nicole said a volunteer has offered to do hair and nails for the residents as well.
Nicole said Adopt-A-Grandparent is a great way to remind us what Christmas is all about, by sharing the Christmas spirit and brightening a stranger’s day. “Children may not have grandparents they are able to visit so this gives them the opportunity to interact with our older generation, and the residents talk about it for days.”
The initiative is open to all families that wish to attend. Nicole said there are still residents at both facilities available for ‘adoption’ and this can be done via the groups Facebook page and event “Adopt a Grandparent Gladstone” or “Adopt A Grandparent Boyne Island”
Adopt a Grandparent has appeared in national magazines and was recently nominated for the Gladstone Australia Day volunteer event of the year. Nicole said if the event was to win this award it would be very exciting and get the event some great exposure to expand.