Estelar’s Grandparent Club

This blog is about getting around to things and not procrastinating anymore. The Round Tuit that a good friend gave me sits on the reception desk in Instituto Estelar Bilingüe as a constant reminder that there is no better time than today to put ideas into action.

Estelar's Round Tuit, reminding us to get around to it NOW!

For a long time, I have thought about visiting a rest home (hogar de ancianos). When I was younger, I went frequently with a church outreach program, and I always liked it. I know that I am not alone in wanting to reach out to these people who are often very alone and bored. Some never receive visitors.

So after some planning and organizing, Estelar’s Grandparent Club (Club de Abuelos) has finally been launched. Many Estelar students have expressed interest in participating in the weekly visits to Liberia’s rest home, a short walk from the school, but for various reasons only the receptionist and I realized the first visit yesterday afternoon.

The receptionist with her new friends at the rest home

It was a very rewarding experience! We chatted, smiled, and laughed a lot with three men who were visibly grateful for our visit. Before we knew it, an hour had gone by! We told them we would be back next week.

We were fortunate to meet the director of activities who was extremely friendly and excited about our visit. She explained that before her recent arrival, there were no activities for the thirty residents. They simply sat around all day, waiting for meal time, visiting time, and sleeping time. Having worked in rest homes in the States, she is trying to incorporate a wide variety of activities to “bring out the talent” in the residents. She is looking for volunteers to help lead fun activities, like painting, learning basic English, singing, and making crafts.

Look no further, I told her. Instituto Estelar Bilingüe’s current and future students and staff are going to get involved!

Me talking with a resident from Nicaragua


4 responses to “Estelar’s Grandparent Club

  1. Bethany,
    What a wonderful idea! I never see “nursing homes” anywhere and wondered whether families just take care of their grandparents at home. Your school is already making a positive impact in your community and you are using all that energy to get a roundtuit NOW! I’m proud of you. You’ve also made me think about things I need to get around to…

  2. Love it and love you getting a round tuit! 🙂 I volunteered for 3 years in a nursing home in the states and I know how much they appreciated seeing friendly faces, having someone to talk to, and having someone listen to their stories. I used to cut and paint the nails of some of the ladies, who were too embarassed to ask someone to do it for them (especially with their toe nails, which can get really painful) but who felt so much better and so beautiful afterwards. I think it’s fabulous that you’re making the effort and getting so involved in the community. Instituto Estelar Bilingue is the best!

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