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 Central Oregon in Jefferson, Crook and Deschutes counties 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 program has been serving our community for more than a decade. Last year, over 600 local seniors received more than 1500 gifts. This year’s program is already on pace to serve over 700 local seniors, but we need your help. It is only because of the generous support from community partners that we can continue this program. We’re expecting to wrap more than 2000 gifts this years.
“Be a Santa to a Senior, helps bring comfort and a smile too many seniors. It shows them that people care about them and see them as an important part of the community,” said Jonathan Mack, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Central Oregon. “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 Central Oregon businesses, nonprofit organizations, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community. The local Home Instead Senior Care office has partnered with local volunteers to help with gift collection and distribution.
It’s easy to help. Go to one of the participating locations listed below and look for the Be a Santa to a Senior tree on display from November 10 to December 9. Each tree 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 both our gift givers and those seniors we’re serving during the holiday season,” said Mack. “And we are grateful to be a part of a community that comes together to make this happen.”
Be a Santa to a Senior, trees can be found at the following locations:
- Sisters Park & Recreation District, 1750 W. McKinney Butte Road, Sisters, OR
- Ace Hardware, 51615 Huntington Road, La Pine, OR
- Heart n’ Home Hospice – La Pine, 51681 Huntington Road, La Pine, OR
- Bend Senior Center, 1600 SE. Reed Market Road, Bend, OR
- Fred Meyer – Bend, 61535 S. Highway 97, Bend, OR
- Soroptimist Senior Center, 180 NE. Belknap St., Prineville, OR
- Redmond Senior Center, 325 NW. Dogwood Ave., Redmond, OR
- Home Instead Senior Care – Central Oregon, 296 SW. Columbia St. Suite C, Bend, OR
- Partners in Care – 2075 NE Wyatt Court, Bend, OR (Tree is on display from Dec. 11 to Dec. 13)
- Seniors of Jefferson County (Senior Center) – 860 SW. Madison St., Madras, OR
- La Pine Senior Activity Center (Senior Center) – 16450 Victory Way, La Pine, OR
- Heart n’ Home Hospice – Bend, 745 NW. Mount Washington Drive # 205, Bend, OR
For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 541-209-0723.
For more information about how you can help seniors in isolation in your community, visit imreadytocare.com
About Home Instead Senior Care
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, this network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,100 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 60 million hours of care throughout the United States and 11 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 70,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network partners with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources.