Thursday, April 25, 2024

Santa to a Senior program delivers festive fun

More than 2,500 specially decorated Christmas cards, eight festive events, three school choirs, Mrs Claus and a couple of Santas thrown in for good measure have capped off Home Instead’s national ‘Be A Santa To A Senior’ program, which sees cards and good cheer delivered to aged care residents across Australia.

As part of the annual project, the in-home aged care provider distributed Christmas cards to participating franchise offices across Australia for school students to decorate –
with each office coordinating delivery and organising events.

Home Instead Sydney Hornsby & Hills Triage Care Coordinator Cathy King reading a card for a resident.

“After two years of separation from family and friends, it was incredible to bring some Christmas cheer to our community,” said Home Instead Sydney North Shore & Northern Beaches Community Representative and BASTAS event organiser, Annette Wallace.

“At Meals on Wheels, the junior choir sang their hearts out to Meals on Wheels clients who
were enjoying a Christmas lunch prepared by staff. All who attended received a Christmas
card decorated by the students. It certainly was an extra Christmas surprise for all who
enjoyed the morning.

Home Instead Sydney North Shore & Northern Beaches Community Representative Annette Wallace with students from the Balgowlah Heights Public School choirs.

“The singers had such beautiful voices and everyone attending loved hearing them and receiving their cards. We had a visit from the centre’s Santa, much to everyone’s delight.”

In Wollongong, residents at IRT William Beach Gardens, Kanahooka, were visited by students from Hayes Park Public School, who sang Christmas carols, danced and hand- delivered their own cards.

Home Instead Wollongong Community Engagement Coordinator, Sharryn Black said it was
wonderful to see smiles on the seniors’ faces, and residents had remarked that the visit took them “back to being a kid again”.

In Sydney’s Hornsby & Hills area, residents at three aged care homes were treated to a visit from the Home Instead Sydney Hornsby & Hills team bearing beautifully decorated

The team delivered about 2,000 cards to seniors at Wahroonga Place Care Community; Bowden Brae, Normanhurst; and Woodlands Retirement Village, Cherrybrook.

Home Instead Sydney Hornsby & Hills Triage Care Coordinator Cathy King with the Christmas cards, decorated by Years 3-6 students at St Michael’s Primary School.

Home Instead Sydney Hornsby & Hills Triage Coordinator, Cathy King said the Years 3 to 6
students from St Michael’s Primary School in Baulkham Hills and Barnier Public School in
Quakers Hill had decorated cards with artwork and special messages.

“It’s so important for our community’s older people to feel cared for, included and supported all year round, and even more so at Christmas, and this is what Be A Santa To A Senior is all about,” Mrs King said.

“At Wahroonga Place, one of the residents remarked as they have no family, receiving the card was so special and ‘the best gift of all’.”

Home Instead Gold Coast & Northern Rivers attended two residential aged care facilities in the Tweed area and, across a couple of days, distributed 170 cards between Tweed River
Community Care and Raffles Aged Care.

Some of the Home Instead Christmas cards decorated by school students, with special messages and artwork for residents.

The cards were written and beautifully coloured in by children from Tweed Heads Public School and St James Primary School, Banora Point.

Home Instead Gold Coast & Northern Rivers Regional Manager, Business Development, David McCurdy, donned a Santa suit for the events.

Bowden Brae residents receive their cards.

“I handed out chocolates and my colleague, Carol Peach (Business Development Manager),
read the cards to those who needed assistance,” he said.

Home Instead National Marketing Manager Rochelle Morrison said: “It’s been a tough couple of years for many and Christmas can be an isolating time for our seniors. We are proud to again spread some Christmas joy through Be A Santa To A Senior.”

Hayes Park Public School students perform at the special event for residents at IRT William Beach Gardens, Kanahooka.

Home Instead also encouraged the community to be their own Santa to a Senior this Christmas season and carry out a random act of kindness for a senior.

“Helping someone with their groceries, walking them to their car, taking the time to have a conversation or helping someone out at home makes a big difference to a senior,” Ms Morrison said.

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