Christmas came early for seniors at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre.
Residents at the hospital’s long-term care facility spent Thursday afternoon opening gifts from the Adopt-a-Grandparent program.
For the past three years, Lacombe resident Brandy Forgeron has gathered donations from the community such as blankets, socks, and tree ornaments, for the program.
“Sometimes a lot of people tend to be forgotten during the holidays, not just grandmas and grandpas, but those are the ones that really hit my heart the most,” said Forgeron.
There are close to 100 residents who live in the long-term care facility.
“Every year, we always make sure that every grandma and grandpa in the long-term care facility has been adopted, and we always have extra bags to give to anybody who comes in after we’ve held our event,” said Forgeron.
Forgeron said she is overwhelmed with the support from the community. This year the program received help from the Girl Guides of Canada, the Loving to Learn Preschool, a consulting firm, and others.
“We live in an amazing community who always come forward, and adopts a grandma, or a grandpa, or both.”
The reaction Forgeron gets from the seniors is something she said is extremely rewarding.
“A lot of these long-term residents don’t remember much, but when Santa walks in, they know who (he) is. They’re excited, there are tears, laughter and smiles,” said Forgeron.
“For that brief moment, they’re not sick, they’re not lonely, and they’re not elderly. They’re young and vibrant, and they’re reliving their childhood …
“I live in the smallest city with the biggest hearts. It’s amazing, I cry over it every year.”