Aged care angel puts elderly on Santa's gift list
IMAGINE sitting in a nursing home on Christmas Day lonely, without visitors, no presents to unwrap and a feeling that you have been forgotten.
Sadly that is the reality for many elderly residents on the Fraser Coast, except for those living at Masters Lodge Aged Care in Urraween.
After a call out on Facebook for locals to Adopt-A-Grandparent, diversional therapist Tracey Beach was inundated with hundreds of messages and offers of help to ensure each of the 54 residents would receive a hamper filled with gifts on Christmas morning.
"Some residents really don't receive much at all, nor do they get any visitors ... they rely on our volunteers," Ms Beach said.
"It's something we normally fundraise for each year, to purchase presents, and in the past we've given them small gifts from us but you know - just the look on their faces at Christmas in July this year was truly amazing to see.
"They felt they were loved, wanted and needed, and the respect was returned."
Ms Beach, who is volunteering her time to run the initiative, is hoping for the same reaction on Christmas morning when the residents rustle through their hampers to find goodies like puzzles and games, crafts, chocolates, books, DVDs blankets and more.
Especially as most of the staff and volunteers will be at home with their families.
"For some of these residents, it could be there very last Christmas so why not spoil them!
"We often cater to our children and the youth often forgetting those who paved our way."
Ms Beach said anyone who would like to drop off a gift just needed to wrap it up, include a label to say if it's for a male or female, and include your name and postal details so they can send out a thank you card.
"In the new year we would like to write a letter to everyone that has donated, thanking them and include a little bit about the resident they donated too.
"We've spoken to our residents and they think it's a wonderful idea.
"They are all excited and they want to make cards with craft. It's given them a purpose also."
Gifts can be dropped off until Friday, December 15 to Masters Lodge, 33 Jensen Dr, Urraween or at Auswide Bank in Stockland.
THE GIFT OF GIVING
- WITH gifts being dropped off in droves, Ms Beach would like to extend the Christmas spirit to others. She said anyone who knew of a lonely elderly resident could contact the office and arrange to pick up some of the left-over gifts. Phone 41242244.