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 local Home Instead Senior Care office serving Surry and surrounding 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.
“Research suggests that feelings of loneliness can have a real effect on both mental and physical health. 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,” said Van Lankford of the Mount Airy Home Instead Senior Care office.
“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,” he said.
Providing gifts and companionship at a time when seniors may need it most, the program is made possible through the support of local businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community.
Holiday shoppers are invited to support Be a Santa to a Senior by visiting a participating location where Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be on display from now to Dec. 12. Those trees 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.
“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 Lankford. “We know there are a variety of gift initiatives out there, and 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.”
Be a Santa to a Senior trees can be found at the following locations:
• Chick-fil-A, 2007 Rockford St, Mount Airy;
• Belk, 70 Mayberry Mall, Mount Airy;
• Pages Books and Coffee, 192 N. Main St., Mount Airy;
• First Citizens Bank, 502 North Main St., Mount Airy;
• Belk, 2125 N. Bridge St., Elkin.
For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 336-789-4472.