Spend an Hour to adopt a Grandparent on September 12th

BY KRISTIE LAL

klal@sunherald.com Twitter: Kristiewlal

July 28, 2015 

Marston Rogers Group is looking for 500 volunteers to spend one hour with the elderly at local ursing homes Sept. 12.

"The premise of Adopt A Grandparent is for volunteers to give up one hour for one day to visit with the elderly in nursing homes and retirement facilities," said Kathy Rogers, owner of Marston Rogers Group. "Our hope is that they will form relationships and go back on their own. However, we do not track if they go back or not."

The National Center for Health Statistics says 50 percent of nursing home residents have no close relatives and 46 percent have no living children. Many seniors, particularly those in nursing homes, feel lonely and isolated.

In 2014, Marston Rogers Group set out to change the statistics by starting Adopt A Grandparent Day.

"Last year, we had 18 nursing homes and 326 volunteers from Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties participate; this year we expect even more participation," Rogers said.

The second annual Adopt A Grandparent Day will take place the day before National Grandparents Day and volunteers will perform organized visits to the residents of nursing homes and senior living facilities across South Mississippi. The result is a day filled with smiles, fun and laughter.

"We are in the process of preparing for this year's event; yesterday we visited the nursing homes who participated last year along with some new ones," Rogers said. "All the feedback was positive and the staff is looking forward to our return this year."

Marston Rogers Group handles all of the scheduling of the nursing homes and volunteers. Each nursing home has a planned time for their event and each volunteer signs up for a specific nursing home at their specific time.

"I was blessed with the opportunity to lead a team to Bay Cove for Adopt A Grandparent Day last year," said Kate Lawler, Bay Cove team captain. "It was amazing to witness the joy of the residents when we showed up. They especially loved all the children."

"You could tell that they really appreciated the time we spent joining them for the afternoon game of bingo and by the conversations that took place. On my way out, I ended up connecting with the wife of one of the residents who is a retired Air Force pilot and have actually returned to visit with them on several occasions. I will definitely be participating again this year."

Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and materials necessary for arts and crafts at each location.

For more information on Adopt a Grandparent Day or to volunteer for the event, visit www.adoptagrandparentday.org.

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