The residents of one nursing home this year are going Christmas
shopping in wheelchairs, on walkers, and with canes. They didn’t even have
to leave the nursing home – just get on the elevator and go down to the
activity room. There were hundreds of free gifts to choose from – for their
families and themselves.
“This is wonderful,” said one 69-year-old resident, coming away with
two full shopping bags. Toy cars, building blocks, books for nieces and
nephews. “Next year, I also want to help the other residents shop.”
The holiday spirit was in abundance last Wednesday at the nursing home, as two woman brought their
volunteer program, Gift-Ability, to the nursing home for the fourth year.
Nearly 150 residents got to pick out gifts to be wrapped,
labeled and delivered to their rooms. Over the next few weeks, as
relatives and friends visit with gifts, the residents will have presents to give back.
The idea was started by a woman who use to shop for her father, a resident at the home. He always said, “I didn’t pick it
out. It’s not the same if you don’t pick it out yourself. ” He had
always been the family shopper.
“I saw how that bothered him and how badly other residents felt when
visitors came in at the holidays and gave them things – and they didn’t
have anything to give back,” the man's daughter says.
After her father died in 2005, she told the nursing home
director, “We would like to bring in a little store at Christmastime
and set it up in the bingo room. The residents can come down and pick
out gifts for others. The gifts will be free, and we will interview
them beforehand to have a selection of things they might like.”
The program has grown each year since 2006. Six volunteers the first
year are now 15 to 20; nearly all the residents take part. The volunteers have held yard
sales and a pizza party with line dancing to raise money for the gifts.
They start shopping the sales Dec. 26 for the following year. For more, read the story.
Robert W. Carter,
Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to
protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted
living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg,
Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.
Posted on Thu, December 10, 2009
by Kristie Pierce