The end of year celebrations, and especially Christmas, were once again celebrated around the world by the organizations of the International Federation of Petits Frères des Pauvres. In spite of the health crisis, which is spreading and continues to impose constraints on organizations working for the elderly, many actions were held again this year to support the elderly who find themselves alone at Christmas. Here are a few highlights!
Petits Frères in Canada put in place several initiatives to allow their seniors to enjoy Christmas despite the health context: telephone call chains, home visits, delivery of Advent calendars, personalized greeting cards and even home delivery of gifts! It was also possible to organize small gatherings to celebrate the holiday, in compliance with the restrictions in force. According to the organization, the commitment of volunteers and the actions of Petits Frères takes on even greater meaning this year, when the pandemic has exacerbated the loneliness experienced by seniors. As Executive Director Caroline Sauriol points out, “Once again this year, our teams are working hard to brighten the daily lives of our Big Friends and to make the holiday season brighter and more cared for than last year. The Christmas season is definitely an appropriate time to offer a good dose of comfort and love to seniors who are alone.”
In India, POPE organization also celebrated Christmas with the elderly people it accompanies, offering them all a rose, a blanket and a fruit basket. This moment was also the occasion to share a Christmas log together!
As they do since the creation of the association 10 years ago, the volunteers of Amigos de los Mayores – Mexico shared moments of friendship with elderly people in a situation of loneliness to celebrate Christmas. For the elderly who could travel, 85 volunteers organized Christmas meals in each of the organization’s reception places in the cities of Cuernavaca, Miacatlán, Xochicalco and Palpan, in which more than 145 elderly people participated. Songs and dances were also planned, so that the elderly have fun and share a good time. The volunteers of the association also went to the homes of lonely and sick elderly people who cannot or do not want to leave their homes and brought them a Christmas package to share with them so that they do not feel socially isolated. In this year 2021, about 40 Christmas packages have been delivered.
Whatever they are, actions and initiatives can change the color of this period for all isolated elderly people. And if it is not necessarily possible to receive an elderly person at home, or to visit them, let’s not forget that sometimes, a gesture as simple as a phone call, or a video call can make a big difference.