Entrepreneur Nazzareno Vassallo visited all homes operated by CareMalta over the past week as part of an initiative to celebrate active ageing and October, the month dedicated to older persons.

Natalie Briffa Farrugia and James Sciriha, CEO and director of CareMalta respectively, who accompanied the group chairman, were warmly welcomed by both the management teams and residents.

Teams from each care home prepared their own small but unique event, highlighting the importance of active ageing and inclusion within the community. Mr Vassallo was delighted to be able to personally revisit the homes, thus being able to have a good chat with the residents, as has been the custom over the past 28 years.

At Dar il-Madonna tal-Mellieħa, where CareMalta operates the home’s services, events included an exhibition of crafts by the residents, followed by thanksgiving Mass, a tree-planting ceremony and high tea. Dr Michael Farrugia, Minister for Senior Citizens and Active Ageing, and Annabelle Brincat Stellini from the Mellieħa council also attended.

The management team at Villa Messina gave Mr Vassallo a warm welcome, leading the way to the chapel, where guests were hosted to a soprano and harp recital by Dorothy Baldacchino and Jacob Portelli, followed by poems and a prayer read by residents Clarissa Mercieca, Edwin Ciappara and Doris Vella.

The visit to Casa San Paolo kicked off with a catch-up meeting with active members from the home’s residents’ committee, who all had their say. It was then time to go up to the multi-purpose room where Mr Vassallo and Ms Briffa Farrugia joined the residents during several activities. They also visited residents living with dementia at the home’s Malita Unit and took part in a physiotherapy class held outside by the swimming pool.

At Bormla Home, Mr Vassallo toured an exhibition of residents’ crafts set up in the foyer, after which he met up with residents and the management team. Mario Caruana played a few old tunes on the trumpet, while former X Factor contestant Chantal Catania, the home’s active ageing facilitator, sang ‘Amazing Grace’.

Residents at the Żejtun Home were busy preparing ribbons for Pink October and working on a ‘liedna’, a traditional feast banner made out of kite paper. Mr Vassallo and Ms Briffa Farrugia joined these activities, as well as two teams of residents for a general knowledge quiz.

Highlights during other visits to Casa Arkati, the group’s first private care home, Roseville and Casa Marija featured Mr Vassallo joining residents for a traditional ‘boċċi’ game, a game of billiards, singing, pet therapy sessions, as well as sharing a few amazing stories from the past with a number of residents from Mosta, his hometown.

At Roseville, after Mass, Mr Vassallo was presented with a photo montage on fabric of a vintage bus, the same one residents were taken on during an outing a few days before his visit, while Ms Briffa Farrugia received a frame with a meaningful message accompanying it.