TLDSB Students “Adopt a Senior” for the Holidays

On December 21, LCVI teacher Kristy Gordon dropped off gifts that she had collected from students and teachers for the “Adopt a Senior” program at the Caressant Care Nursing Home in Lindsay.

Ten years ago, Kristy Gordon’s mother was a resident at Caressant Care. Around the holidays, a staff member asked her and her family if they would be providing a Christmas gift for her mother. Baffled, they responded that they undoubtedly would. The nurse informed Gordon that they would take her mother “off the list”. Gordon and her father wanted to know what the “list” was that she was talking about. She was informed that some residents don’t have family members or friends that spend Christmas with them, so the faculty decided to make sure each senior got a gift for Christmas.  

Distraught, she showed up to her class the next day and shared with her students how upset she was that there were seniors in the nursing home that wouldn’t get gifts on Christmas from their families. Each of the students decided they wanted to “adopt” a senior too.

“Ever since then, it’s just grown. Every year more people want to get involved,” said Gordon.

At Caressant Care, Christmas is a very busy time for staff members. A list is made, and each resident picks three items they would like for Christmas. The list is given to staff members, who get first pick of who they would like to “adopt”. Then, the remainder of the list is available to volunteers, the public, and schools.

This year, Kristy Gordon, just like the nine years previous, participated in the “Adopt a Senior” program. She shared the list with her yearbook class and staff members. In the end, she collected gifts for approximately 35 seniors.

“My senior wanted an extra-small sweater and costume jewelry. I got a whole bunch of necklaces, a sweater, hand cream, and cheesy puffs,” commented LCVI Yearbook student Tanya Drury.

Many citizens in the community adopt a senior for Christmas and some simply drop by with a cash donation.

“After it was said and done, we only had three residents that weren’t adopted out of 124. But we had money donations to cover their gifts,” said Megan Hughes from the Activities Department at Caressant Care.

The gifts are then organized depending on where the residents’ rooms are. The gifts are checked to make sure each resident can have everything that their gift contains.

“The boxes are then divided to our three wings. The nurses and PSW staff, on Christmas Eve, will place each gift on their bed while they’re sleeping so they have something to wake up to on Christmas Morning,” explained Hughes.

Although residents may not be able to be with their families on Christmas, the gifts bring a little joy and help the residents to reminisce.

“It makes you feel good. You don’t know who the person is, or anything about them except for the few things they’ve got on the list,” commented Gordon.

If you would like to know more about the “Adopt a Senior” gift program, please contact Caressant Care Lindsay’s Mary Street location, or your local nursing home.

Article by Koral Lambert.