Sydney, Australia - Creston College, “Adopt a Grandma”

Creston College university women regularly visit nursing home residents as part of the Australian government’s Community Visitors Scheme (CVS). In accord with this plan and the directions of the nursing home staff, the Creston residents accompany elderly women who do not receive many visitors. Each volunteer commits to visiting her “adopted grandmother” on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The goal is to provide companionship and friendship to the most socially isolated members of the community. Thanks to flexible schedules, each university student organizes her own visit during the week.

The main goal of the program is to provide the human warmth that each person needs, and contribute to making the world a bit more human. One student said she wanted to give “an hour or two of her time to meet face-to-face with a person who has probably given others in the past many hours of their time.” This volunteer project began with Creston residents, but has since expanded to include their friends.

During the Covid confinement, given the inability to visit in person, the young women replaced the time they would spend on their visit by writing letters, sending video messages, or recording presentations to send to their “foster grandmothers.” Students who moved home during the lockdown also continued their “visits,” preparing and sending their messages from wherever they were. Even from overseas or in another part of the country.

Romana, n. 70, January-December 2020, p. 140-141.

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