‘It just brought tears to my eyes to see the joy and the excitement of these residents’
Christina Doughty has been the life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Streamway Villa for 10 years, and for 10 years she has been at the forefront of organizing Christmas for the 59 people living at the Cobourg long-term care home.
However, it wasn’t until this past holiday season that Christina experienced the residents’ joy on Christmas Day.
Christina is usually away over the holidays, but this year she stayed home and paid a visit to Streamway Villa to see first-hand how the residents reacted when opening gifts.
When she arrived, Christina found two residents – Terry Staples and 100-year-old Mary Cove – dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus.
“It just brought tears to my eyes to see the joy and the excitement of these residents; they say (at Christmas) we all revert back to our childhood, and that was very evident here,” Christina tells The OMNIway.
Mary’s son Doug and daughter-in-law Dawn were also at Streamway Villa on Christmas morning.
“When we walked in, we didn’t know she was going to be Mrs. Claus, so when we saw her all dressed up I thought it was amazing – she was so happy,” Dawn says.
Doug adds: “She was giving out the gifts and shouting out, ‘ho, ho, ho’ – it really was amazing.”
Mary has lived at Streamway Villa since August, and Doug says his mother enjoyed her first Christmas at the home.
“She just loves it there, and the people are so nice,” he says.
The residents had lots of presents to open Christmas morning. In addition to gifts family members brought, Christina had bought presents – calendars she had wrapped with the help of a volunteer from a local high school – for each resident.
There were also gifts donated from a local church and a retirement home.
Residents also had stockings to open, courtesy of the Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project. A local girl also donated stockings stuffed with gifts she had bought with money she had raised.
“Residents were just showered with gifts this year,” Christina says.
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