Kathy Rogers of Rogers Insurance in Gulfport said her mother came to live with her in 2011 after suffering a stroke.
But when her mother fell in 2013, Rogers said they placed her in a nursing home for rehabilitation for 30 days. Rogers said it’s an experience she will never forget.
“I remember seeing my mom the next day, and she was crying — she said she thought we weren’t coming back for her,” Rogers said.
She said she and her family continued to visit her mother during her stay.
“My husband would go around the same time every day, and people would be waiting on him in the hall — just waiting to talk to him,” she said. “So many people in nursing homes don’t have families, and they get lonely and they just want someone to talk to.”
Rogers and her staff created Adopt A Grandparent Day as a way to bring some caring and attention to those in assisted living and nursing care.
National Grandparents Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in September.
Rogers said they started the program in 2014 with 3,230 volunteers and went to 18 nursing homes in Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson counties.
This year, she said, they are trying to almost double their visits.
“We are looking for 1,000 volunteers to spend an hour of their time visiting with people in nursing homes on Saturday,” Rogers said. “We are going to 32 facilities, and we have added George, Stone, and Pearl River counties to our service area.”
Those interested in volunteering can complete a form at adoptagrandparentday.org.
“We need 1,000 volunteers this year,” she said. “We are going to visit at 10 a.m. and at 3 p.m., depending on what’s best for the nursing homes.”
The volunteer signup ends Thursday at noon.
Rogers said the whole family is welcome to participate.
“We encourage people to bring their children,” she said. “(Elders) love to visit with children.”