This season, many Mississauga seniors who are alone or impoverished will receive some holiday cheer thanks to the Be a Santa to a Senior® program. Sponsored by the local Home Instead Senior Care® office, the program brings together area nonprofits, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community to provide gifts and companionship for lonely and isolated seniors.
“It is heartbreaking to think of the senior members of our community spending the holidays all by themselves, without any gifts or any way to celebrate the season,” says Greg Bechard, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Mississauga. “But all too often, that’s what happens when seniors live alone. It can be a really tough time of year for them.”
Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with Trillium Health Partners and Alzheimer Society of Peel to help with the gift collection and distribution. Program officials hope to collect 276 gifts in order to help more than 250 Mississauga area seniors this holiday season.
Participating retail locations will display Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees from November 12th to December 5th that feature ornaments with seniors’ first names and their gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick ornaments from the trees, buy the items listed and return them unwrapped (and with the ornament attached) to the store.
Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be located at Keller Williams Realty, 103 Lakeshore Road E, and Mississauga Seniors' Centre, 1389 Cawthra Road.
Program partners and volunteers will wrap and distribute the gifts to local seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.
“During this season of giving, we encourage shoppers to buy a little extra for a local senior,” said Bechard. “Your gift - and more importantly the visit that comes with the delivery – could make their holiday season.”
For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.ca or call 905-276-2273.
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 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 16 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 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 strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum -- from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.