Adopt a Grandparent to Share the Love

23 August 2016

3889 views comments • Tagged as Care Our Residents Taupo Activities

Megan Saunders and son Eliott with 'adopted' grandparent Joan Hales

Robert Steven, Taupo Times


Many children grow up without having a grandparent in their life. A initiative taking place at [a Taupo rest  home] Wharerangi Rest Home on Kaimanawa St could change that.


Started by Taupo mother Nicola Jarvis in January, Adopt a Grandparent enables families and individuals to meet and spend time with a senior person on a regular basis.


‘‘I was in Australia and there was an advertisement that asked people to adopt a grandparent over the Christmas time. I thought it was a bit of a shame there was not something here.’’


Megan Saunders, married mother of 14-month Eliott, first visited ‘‘adopted’’ grandparent Joan Hales in April.


She and her son have visited Hales (96) about twice a week since then.


‘‘I was really close with my nan, and I think it’s great that Eliott has another grandparent to visit,’’ Saunders said.


‘‘Some people say, ‘how do you fit it in’, but there’s no schedule. We just come in when we can – sometimes we just call in for 5 or 10 minutes,’’ Saunders said.


Hales said the pair usually talk about any range of topics over tea. ‘‘Maybe there’s been a murder and its in the news, or the government’s changed their mind... anything,’’ Hales said.


Family and life history is another popular topic. Hales was born in 1919, grew up in Sydney, moved to New  Zealand in 1940, and settled in Taumarunui.


‘‘I like to hear about what life was like and what was different back in those days,’’ Saunders said.


Adopt a Grandparent NZ only works with Wharerangi Rest Home at this stage.


Manager Anne-Marie Wakefield said the service was a gift on both parts. ‘‘Some people don’t get a lot  of visitors so it’s nice to know that someone’s coming to see them specially,’’ she said.


‘‘Everybody is so busy, so for someone to step out and take five or ten minutes to give somebody some companionship and pleasure of conversation, it’s just amazing.’’


Jarvis said adopting a grandparent was easy to do. ‘‘They just have to fill out a registration, say a bit about themselves and do a police background check.’’


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