Christmas spirit for all ages
Retirement homes add holiday fun throughout December
While Christmas brings to mind images of children with glowing faces, the spirit of the season is for people of all ages.
The staff and residents of the province’s senior retirement facilities have just as much fun as any group of children, hosting and attending a series of special events to celebrate the season.
Michael Carroll, activities director at the Golden Years Estate in Grand Falls-Windsor, says staff and residents there think of themselves as a family and that contributes to some great holiday fun.
“We were sitting down just now, painting some holiday decorations and there were more than a few laughs around that table,” Carroll said, “It’s about a lot more than painting a few decorations, it’s like listening to brothers and sisters carry on here.”
While Christmas tends to be a focus at this time of year, Carroll says residents celebrate “everything that comes along.”
“We try to get as many new occasions as we have people at the home, whatever they celebrate, we celebrate,” she said.
Carroll and the staff add as much fun as possible to the schedule.
“We bring in as much entertainment as we can, and we have special meals, we do all kinds of stuff.” Carroll says, “And we do coffee runs and go out for ice cream and we take them shopping once a week.”
The staff also encourages residents to participate in seniors activities in the community, providing transportation to events like the Christmas party at the public library where there were lots of treats and live entertainment. Residents from Golden Years Estate also showed their Christmas spirit and sense of fun by participating in the Grand FallsWindsor Santa Claus Parade. They were dressed as elves and were chauffeured along the parade route.
Karen Langdon, assistant manager at Exploits Manor Retirement Home in Bishop’s Falls, says seniors there have a busy holiday schedule, too. They attend Christmas parties at the Knights of Columbus and Lions Club, and have plenty of activities at the manor.
“They play bingo and watch Christmas movies, they use Alexa to play their favourite Christmas songs, and we have church groups and other groups come in to entertain them,” Langdon says. “We have a Christmas party and buy everyone a gift. Santa even comes to give them out.”
“They love it, they really enjoy the activities,” Langdon noted. “And we enjoy them, too. It’s good for them and we love it doing it for them.”
There was plenty of Christmas fun at the parade for these senior elves from the Golden Years Estate in Grand Falls-Windsor.