Gladstone residents Rebecca Landry and Maiella, 9, with Elma Cole at the Blue Care Edenvale.
Gladstone residents Rebecca Landry and Maiella, 9, with Elma Cole at the Blue Care Edenvale. Brenda Strong

Families bring festive cheer to older residents in aged care

ALMOST 50 families have brought a little Christmas cheer to some of the city's elderly residents.

The older people, who live in an aged care home, don't often get many visitors and sometimes have no family close by.

A small idea to "adopt-a-grandparent" for Christmas has continued to grow until all 43 of the residents at Blue Care Edenvale Aged Care Facility had a visitor - or a whole family of visitors - drop in and see them on Christmas Eve.

Adopt-a-grandparent was devised by Gladstone resident Nicole Allison, who was excited to see the Christmas cheer being shared around on Tuesday afternoon.

"They had two families that regularly adopt them (the residents at Edenvale) and one adopts five residents and the other adopts two, so I decided to create an event to get more people involved," she said.

"I expected about eight or nine people but after the first 15 I got a list from the aged care home and then I had to go back three times because so many people were interested."

Visitor Sheryl Rowe said she thought it was a fantastic idea, and took along her own mother who was visiting from Bundaberg.

"I didn't think about it until Nicole brought it up but it was great to see it so well supported," she said.

Nicole said some of the visitors were friends of friends while others saw the post in their news feed on Facebook and decided to be part of the special day.

"I'd love to do it again next year. It would be nice to let people know it's something they can do - many people are happy to give but don't have the time to take the initiative to organise it," she said.

"It's been popular for people who are in town for work but don't have grandparents here, or for kids who don't have their grandparents around anymore."

Nine-year-old Maiella said she was excited to meet Elma Cole, her grandparent-for-a-day.

Her mum, Rebecca Landry, said it was a nice idea to "come out and give Elma some Christmas cheer".



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