Giving gifts of joy this Christmas to aged care residents in need

A woman is giving a gift to another woman in a residential aged care facility.
A woman is giving a gift to another woman in a residential aged care facility.

Royal Freemasons has launched a Christmas Gift Appeal this year for its aged care residents in need.

It is estimated that a third of elderly people living in aged care are socially isolated[1] and many of them will spend Christmas Day without families and loved ones to give them a gift to unwrap.

At Royal Freemasons, a number of residents in our aged care homes are in this situation, but with your help, we can buy them a gift to give them joy this Christmas!

Last year, Royal Freemasons staff banded together to make sure these residents were given a beautiful, personalised present to unwrap on Christmas morning. This year, the organisation is delighted to be extending the appeal to give to the wider community.

Susan, one of Royal Freemasons’ aged care residents, was overwhelmed to receive a one of these surprise gifts from staff last Christmas.

“I was very surprised. It brightened my day no end,” says Susan.

Susan fondly remembers past Christmases spent with her daughter and parents over a festive roast dinner, but those days are sadly gone.

“There’s not much left of my family,” says Susan. “Both of my parents have died, and I lost my only daughter to cancer last year. She was 48 years old, and I miss her enormously. So, on Christmas Day I tend to get a bit miserable,” she says.

Royal Freemasons Lifestyle Coordinator Kim Jose says, “Susan got tears in her eyes when she received the gift and said ‘Is that for me? I’ve never had anything so thoughtful done for me.’”

“Just one little gift can make the biggest difference in their world. It puts the biggest smile on their faces and lets them know they are loved and cared for,” says Kim.

Royal Freemasons Chief Executive Officer John Fogarty says, “Christmas can be an especially lonely time for our aged care residents who have family members that have passed away or are living in distant locations. Our staff do a wonderful job of making sure they feel loved and cared for on Christmas Day, but this year we want to extend the opportunity to give to the wider community, so these residents know there are many more people who care for them.”

For media enquiries, please email: media@royalfreemasons.org.au

[1] Aged Care Research & Innovation Australia (AARIA), https://www.ariia.org.au/knowledge-implementation-hub/social-isolation

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