What started as a visit to check on their mother at Westwood Senior Homes became so much more for twin sisters Rose and Rosetta Jackson.
The twins wanted to make sure their mother, Gertie Jackson, had the basic essentials during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“When we got over there, she said, ‘I have everything I need, but there are a couple of ladies on my floor that don’t have any family. They’re on oxygen so they’re not able to get out and get the essentials,’ ” Rose said.
“So we just went to their doors. … Once we did it for those two, we looked at each other and said, ‘We need to knock on every one of these doors.’ ”
A post on Facebook began what the twins are calling “Operation Adopt a Grandparent.”
“It went from Westwood to Foster to Pennyrile Senior Homes,” Rose said. “We have 138 residents and we have everybody adopted out but five.”
After the social media post, Rose said nearly every person in need at Westwood was adopted.
“As soon as we posted we had this many grandparents — I think it was like 37 or 38 — we had them adopted out within five hours,” Rose said. “The only reason we have five now at Westwood is they weren’t home when we did the initial knocking on the doors. … I’m pretty sure we’ll have those adopted out before the end of day.”
Anyone who has adopted a grandparent goes out to local grocery stores and makes sure his or her grandparent has the essential needs to make it through the week.
Rose said lists are not too difficult to fulfill.
“The majority of everyone’s list has had toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, lunch meat, bread and like canned soup,” she said. “The lists aren’t extravagant, it’s like the bare essentials if you wanted to go grocery shopping for a week — that’s what it is.”
Rose said it’s been breathtaking to see how many people have stepped up to help out those in need during this time.
“I love to see other people bless other people, but we have families where the parents are like, ‘Ok, we’re going to adopt this grandparent, but my kids want to adopt another grandparent,’ ” Rose said. “It’s not just adults, it’s kids that are getting involved and taking care of the elderly like we should be doing on a daily basis.”
While this idea evolved during the pandemic and was designed to help people at a higher risk, Rose said some people want to continue to assist the senior home residents after the coronavirus outbreak ends.
“A lot of the people that have adopted grandparents, they said it’s not going to be a one-time thing for COVID-19, they’re going to continue to check on their grandparents,” Rose said.
Now helping the elderly at three different senior living environments, Rose said she and Rosetta encourage others to join in the effort to help.
“We can’t take on anymore facilities ourselves, but we are encouraging other people to go and knock on doors,” she said. “That’s all that we did.”