Elderly holidays

Did you know that 28 percent of people 65 or older live alone, according to AARP? Each year, these seniors have fewer family members and friends to provide company and care to them, which often leads to social isolation. The holidays can be especially hard for those who are living independently and may feel lonely.

That’s why the Home Instead Senior Care® Office serving Western Washington County and all of Columbia County and Yamhill County is inviting the community to come together to provide gifts and holiday cheer to seniors who may be isolated from friends or family this holiday season through its Be a Santa to a Senior® program. This is the program’s seventh year. Last year, more than 375 local seniors received 400 gifts.

Be a Santa to a Senior help bring comfort and a smile to many seniors. It shows them that people care about them and see them as an important part of the community,” said Todd Barth, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Western Washington County, all of Columbia County and Yamhill County. “Social isolation is a concern among seniors and the holidays often intensify feelings of distance and loneliness. When we deliver the gifts and spend some time with them, it makes a big difference.”

Be a Santa to a Senior is a true community program, getting generous support from Portland businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community. The local Home Instead Senior Care office has partnered with local nonprofits to help with gift collection and distribution.

It’s easy to help out. Go to one of the participating locations listed below and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior wreath on display from Nov. 14 to Dec. 14. Each wreath will be decorated with 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.

“We’re always excited to see how much Be a Santa to a Senior boosts seniors’ spirits during the holiday season,” said Barth. “And we are grateful to be a part of a community that comes together to make this happen.”

Be a Santa to a Senior wreath can be found at the following locations:

  • Bi-Mart - Scappoose, 51536 SE. 2nd St., Scappoose, OR
  • Rite Aid, 785 S. Columbia River Highway, St. Helens, OR

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call (503) 530-1527.

For more information about how you can help seniors in isolation in your community, visit imreadytocare.com

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