By Marie Roberts / Guest Writer
The Meridian Star
In celebration of Grandparent’s Week, Aldersgate Retirement Community hosted a social networking event Tuesday, where residents could interact with grandchildren, great-grandchildren and more through a video chat application developed by Apple. The app, known as FaceTime, allows for live video-chats between two people, regardless of distance or location.
Marsha Hannah, community marketing director for Methodist Senior Services Aldersgate, described the event as a fun way for residents to not only talk to, but actually see their grandchildren, and stemmed from the efforts of recent MSU Riley Foundation intern, Kristen Covington.
“Her internship was for teaching our residents how to use social networking. Therefore, FaceTime was introduced,” Hannah said.
Melanie Griffin, personal care activities director for Aldersgate, also invited Bonnie Ethridge’s class of 4-year-olds from Poplar Springs United Methodist Church daycare to interact with residents. The children were treated to milk and cookies during the event.
“As the four year-olds from Poplar Springs Day Care were leaving the residents heard one child say, ‘I want to come back here tomorrow!’ Each resident received a hug, which made everyone smile,” Hannah said.
Nikki Doyal from Independent Living asked residents to share photos, stories and memorable quotes from their grandchildren. Dora Hatcher and Jean Harrison, Aldersgate residents, were awarded prizes for having the most great-great grandchildren and most ‘grandmother names,’ respectively.
“There is rarely a holiday that goes unnoticed at Aldersgate. The activities directors do an amazing job of making everyday a holiday," Hannah said.
"Everything from National Perfume Day to the opening day of NFL season is celebrated,” said Hannah, who plans to continue celebrating Grandparent’s Week in the future, along with the staff of Aldersgate.
“Decorations and appropriate snacks are provided that coordinate with each activity. Our dietary staff does an amazing job of providing residents with a tasty treat, usually homemade,” Hannah said.
As for next year’s Grandparent’s Week celebration, Hannah is setting the bar high: “It is sure to be fun and maybe a little dancing will be going on!”