While many seniors enjoy being able to live independently, the holidays can be a difficult time for those who are unable to spend them with friends or loved ones. In fact, isolated seniors are at greater risk for loneliness, anxiety and depression.
This is why the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Hunterdon and Warren Counties is inviting the community to come together to bring some comfort and holiday cheer to area seniors through its Be a Santa to a Senior program. Once again the office has partnered with Veteran’s Haven North for its “Be a Santa to a Veteran” program, so when seeing a tag with an American Flag or a Red Star, purchase a gift for a veteran.
Holiday shoppers are invited to support Be a Santa to a Senior by visiting a participating location, where a Be a Santa to a Senior/ Veteran tree or wreath will be on display until Dec. 11.
Those trees or wreaths will be decorated with paper ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and their desired gifts. Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it to the store with the ornament attached. There’s no need to worry about wrapping — community volunteers and program partners will wrap and deliver the gifts to local seniors in time for the holidays.
“Research suggests that feelings of loneliness can have a real effect on both mental and physical health,’’ said Tracy Fazzolari of the Washington Home Instead Senior Care Office. “The holidays are a prime time for many people to feel lonely, and that may be especially true for seniors who cannot travel from their homes or have lost their support network.”
With Be a Santa to a Senior, we are able to bring them some comfort through a thoughtful gift that they might not otherwise receive, but, more importantly, by delivering them with a warm friendly face and kind words reminding them that their community cares about them.”
The program is made possible through the support of local businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community. The Home Instead Senior Care office has partnered with several area businesses and retailers.
“We’re excited to get started and see the tree ornaments turn into meaningful gifts and interactions that can make a real impact on seniors’ quality of life this holiday season,” said Fazzolari. “We know there are a variety of gift initiatives out there, and we are so grateful to have our partners and community come together to support this important cause that will bring some much-needed holiday spirit to many of our senior neighbors.” For more information go to the BASTAS website at beasantatoasenior.com or email Lucy Hurley at firstname.lastname@example.org.