“Respect for the elderly always gives me particular satisfaction” / Bl. Edmund/
On Saturday afternoon in our St. Joseph’s Senior Home, an unusual event took place – a lovely intergenerational Tea Party!
Unusual, as it was organized by a group of several young girls, under our Sisters’ supervision. This was with and for a large group of the Assisted Living and Nursing Home Residents.
Although the age difference between the oldest participant (96 years) and the youngest (13 years) was as much as 83 years, it was not evident at the time of the event. The older and younger were united by joy, common fun, delicious tea (also iced tea) and of course something sweet – home baked cheesecake and chocolate swirls! And all baked by one of the girls whose hobby is baking!
Our seniors felt like in a café, the tables were elegantly set, with nice china cups and saucers, professional service of young “waitresses” and even one “waiter” who wanted to help as a volunteer and stood up to the task.
There was no end to the talk; the Residents shared their life experiences, for example Mr. Joseph recalled his childhood years in Italy, where he was born, and Mrs. Dorothy gave a beautiful testimony of her faith speaking of the love of God. In the background there was music prepared at the suggestion of Kasia from Activity, who knows the musical tastes of the Residents. So there was Elvis Presley, Abba, Johny B. Goode, Jimmy Soul, Neil Diamond, Ottawan, Ricky Nelson and even Chubby Checker.
After tea, it was time to play with balloons. Balloons have something that they are for every age group – both the youngest and the oldest like to play with them. Our temporary “café” has turned into a play room with many colorful balloons and sounds of laughter.
The meeting of the young and elderly was a proof that you really do not need much to make others happy – a bit of creativity, dedicating your time, being together, good music, something for a “sweet tooth” and the heart is already happy.
Our photos, video and two testimonies perfectly illustrate the atmosphere of this gathering.
“On Saturday, February 25, 2023 I went to St. Joseph’s Senior Home for a tea party. There were homemade cinnamon rolls, mini cheesecakes, hot and cold tea. All the young girls set up the teacups and plates for everyone, and then the pastries and tea were served. Everyone ate and drank, as we talked with the seniors. It was very interesting to listen to the stories of the Residents about the lives they have lived. Sometimes we get some really good advice from them. Later we played two games with the Residents. One was a question game, for my question I had to name three things you would find on the beach. We also played the balloon game, which is just hitting balloons back and forth. Our tea party slowly came to end, we say goodbye and walked a few Residents back to their rooms. We cleaned up and then we went over to the Sisters’ house (convent), where we prayed and talked with a priest for a little bit. I had a very nice time and I’m so happy I could help and put a smile on someone’s face”. /Justyna/
“On Saturday Sister Joanna summoned me to go to a special room for a TEA PARTY. The room was alive with many young volunteers bringing chairs to seat everyone at a table. Each table had a cup and saucer placed. As the room filled everyone was comfortable settled. The atmosphere was alive with many smiling faces. We were asked to give our names. All this time there was still a lot of activity. Soon the helpers were directed by the Sisters to serve the delicious pastries. Seconds were available. The helpers were then directed by the Sisters to pour the beverage of their choice. The festivities continued throughout the day. I feel I was very fortunate to be a part of such a lovely day. My compliments to all the Sisters and the girls who did such a terrific job. Love & Prayers”/ Adele Horbacz/
The main purpose of such gatherings is, above all, to create an opportunity for the young generation to meet the elderly, to be able to serve them, devote their attention and spend time together. We have already organized a picnic with residents and baking cookies. This attracted great interest from both age groups.
Helping others is the best way to distract from your problems and needs. Seeing the elderly, who very often need the help of others, helps us to look at our lives from a distance. As well as to appreciate more what we have today: our talents, health, physical fitness and a good heart. A smile is a universal language.
And for us, Sisters, to see the smile on the faces of our Dear Residents and to watch the engagement of the youth and their seeking for beauty and for the Lord is so uplifting and gives us JOY in our service!