The cutest and most awesome initiative of 2018 has just been launched, and it is for the best reason ever.
The ‘Adopt a Granny’ campaign is being rolled out by Jasmine Nursing Home in Msida, and is aimed at reducing loneliness among elderly people living in homes. Many of these people are abandoned by their families, or have few remaining loved ones alive, and spend a lot of their time alone.
By adopting a granny, people will be paired up with an elderly person, and encouraged to visit them and welcome them into their lives, giving the elderly person something to look forward to, as well as some much needed social interaction.
Dr Anthony Agius Decelis, the Parliamentary Secretary for Active Ageing told Lovin Malta why the government wanted to be present for the launching of the project.
“‘Adopt a Granny’ is a great initiative to address the issue of loneliness amongst the elderly but also to encourage intergenerational solidarity. I encourage younger persons to build strong relationships with their grandparents and elderly in their communities and to visit elderly homes,” he said.
“Loneliness can be a very daunting experience – it can hit at any time and age” – Julia Farrugia Portelli
The Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms Julia Farrugia Portelli explained why she was personally focused on promoting this project.
“I remember one particular Christmas wherein a sudden change in a relationship had kind of left me stranded, disconnected from most of my friends who by that time had either got married or were raising up their children,” Farrugia Portelli said. “It is that sensitive cycle wherein you have to start from scratch. I remember a friend of mine, a pensioner who took the trouble on Christmas day to take two buses and get to my house. Just to speak over a cup of tea, watch a movie together, and then patiently took another two buses to go back home.”
This little gesture – kept me thinking and I am still appreciative of the infinite kindness that luckily is still around,” she noted. “Haven’t we all gone through this sometime in our life? Studies show that elderly people are so easily dragged into the loneliness trip. Sudden changes in one’s relationship – such as the loss of a husband or wife can accelerate the process.”
“One day you are socially active and out and about with your lifetime partner and one fine morning reality hits hard”
“‘Adopt a Granny’ is an awesome initiative by Jasmine Nursing Home,” Farrugia Portelli added. “I firmly believe that reforms are not just about the important legal mechanisms which we need to introduce as a country. As a society, we need to walk the line. We have to reform the way we act within – how each and every citizen can sow little gestures to instil love and warmth in our communities.”
“I am a solid believer in voluntary work and regularly with my staff in my Secretariat team, take up little causes in our home towns. The Adopt a Granny initiative, is such a beautiful platform for kids, schools and families who want to go that extra mile to bring a smile on someone’s face. I am confident that this pilot project taken up by the private sector is such a rewarding and enriching experience for both parties,” she ended.