Christ­mas spirit for all ages

Re­tire­ment homes add hol­i­day fun through­out De­cem­ber

The Central Voice - - News - BY CHRIS­TINE HENNEBURY edi­[email protected]­cen­tralvoice.ca

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.

Hol­i­day sched­ule

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.”

SUB­MIT­TED

There was plenty of Christ­mas fun at the pa­rade for these se­nior elves from the Golden Years Es­tate in Grand Falls-Wind­sor.

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