Pope Francis this year announced World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, a new celebration in honour of the older people who are important in our lives and communities. Two of Mercy Health’s aged care homes – Mercy Place Warrnambool and Mercy Health Bethlehem home for the Aged – took the opportunity to celebrate their resident grandparents.
In Bendigo, Victoria, Mercy Health Bethlehem’s Lifestyle Coordinator, Sarah Nind, has a special bond with her grandmother, Nancy Elverly, and says she is lucky to see her grandmother, who is a resident at the home, every day.
“When my Grandma needed to move out of her home, I encouraged her to come to Mercy Health Bethlehem. She knew I worked here and it meant I would be able to see her more regularly,” Sarah said.
“It is the best thing she has done as it means we can continue to grow our special bond we’ve shared since I was a child.”
Nancy, who has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, said there was a lot to celebrate on this special day.
“It was such a special day in the home, sharing stories among other residents about our grandchildren and families,” Nancy said.
“During lockdown, my grandsons sent me the pictures they had drawn, which I got to share with my friends at the home. It was such a lovely way to stay close to one another.”
At Mercy Place Warrnambool, in Victoria’s south west, Lifestyle Coordinator Beverley Stutchbury, alongside Mandy Dawes from Mercy Place Colac, organised a very special surprise from the families of the residents at the home to help celebrate the day.
“We had the residents’ families send in cards, pictures or letters from their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We also organised the chaplain to hold a special service at the home,” Beverley said.
“We wanted to ensure the residents felt valued and connected to their families, and it was so lovely to see all the personal notes and gestures.”
Adjunct Professor Felix Pintado, Mercy Health’s Chief Executive of Residential Aged Care, Home Care and Seniors Living, also extended a special acknowledgement to all aged care residents.
“At Mercy Health we want to protect the rights of all older people in our care and beyond. We want to give them the same opportunity to share their dreams, stories and memories, and to continue making more, like every other citizen in our society,” Professor Felix said.
Mercy Health is dedicated to providing quality care to all its residents at every stage in the care process. To learn more about Mercy Health’s aged care homes and its initiatives, please click here.