STORY OF: Masters Lodge residents, spreading Christmas cheer
FOR the last three years they've been making Christmas at the Masters Lodge Aged Care Centre a little merrier.
Together, Therese Cunneen and Elsie Taylor have seen dozens of residents come and go through the doors and have been there to welcome almost every newcomer into the retirement village.
The pair have become known as the "resident buddies” of Masters Lodge by welcoming new residents into the centre.
Almost every Christmas they've donned their santa hats to spread the holiday cheer through the centre.
But Therese and Elsie hardly expected their own special Christmas visit last week.
As part of the Adopt-A-Nursing Home campaign, the team at the Fraser Coast Chronicle took to Masters Lodge in Hervey Bay to share gifts and morning tea with Blue Care's elderly residents.
More than 50 gifts were distributed to residents in need of some Christmas cheer this holiday season.
It was a welcome change of pace for Ms Cunneen, who is used to doing all the greetings and introductions around the centre.
Everytime a new resident comes in, Ms Cunneen and Ms Taylor are there to help them get settled in, showing them around the centre and introducing them to other residents.
She said her actions were all about making people feel less lonely when they move in.
"We have lovely carers around but they have work to do and often people can get a bit lonely spending time by themselves,” Ms Cunneen said.
"Elsie and I have been here for a while so we know our way around the place.”
Christmas holds a special place at the centre as the residents and staff get together to sing carols, share gifts and make the nursing home a little merrier ahead of the holidays.
Ms Taylor said some residents would not be able to go home for Christmas due to the lack of transport and family members not being able to come down.
"So we make them feel as if they're a part of the family, as living by yourself in a home can be hard for some,” Ms Taylor said.
"There are some really lovely people living here.
"It's rewarding to know we're making a difference in their lives.”