Tri-City News

Local business supports seniors

A Home Instead Seniors Care employee prepares gifts for seniors as part of the Be a Santa to a Senior campaign, under way now. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
A Home Instead Seniors Care employee prepares gifts for seniors as part of the Be a Santa to a Senior campaign, under way now.
— image credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

A local business that supports seniors is bringing the warmth of the holiday season to isolated seniors in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.

This week, Home Instead Senior Care held a special event to draw more attention to the needs of isolated seniors.

With so many older adults living alone and in poverty, some Tri-City area seniors will undoubtedly be struggling to make ends meet this holiday season. That’s why the area Home Instead Senior Care office has partnered with retailers and community organizations to make sure isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship through the Be a Santa to a Senior program.

“Seniors faced with medical bills and the high cost of living can find they have little left at the end of the year,” said Paul Tjosvold, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office in Port Coquitlam. “That’s not the only issue, though. Personal needs may become magnified for so many living alone with no one to share their problems.”

According to the Government of Canada’s National Advisory Council on Aging, close to 7% of seniors 65 and older live under the Low Income Cut-Offs (LICO). The figure is considerably higher for unattached seniors, and in particular women.*

With the support of area retailers, volunteers and members of the community, the local Home Instead Senior Care office will collect and distribute gifts to seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone. Last year, 900 Tri-City seniors received gifts and about the same number are expected to be served this year.

The Be a Santa to a Senior program will kick off Thursday, Nov. 15, when local community residents are invited to participate in the Be a Santa to a Senior program by picking up an ornament from Christmas trees set up across the Tri-Cities, Maple Ridge, and New Westminster. The ornaments will feature the first names of the seniors and their respective gift requests.

The seniors who benefit are those referred by local seniors care homes and organizations dealing with isolated seniors.

Holiday shoppers are asked to pick up an ornament from a Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas tree, buy the item on the list and return it unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. The Home Instead Senior Care office will then enlist the volunteer help of its staff, senior-care business associates, non-profit workers and others to collect, wrap and distribute the gifts.

“Be a Santa to a Senior is another way to say ‘thank you’ to the many seniors who have made such important contributions to our community throughout the years,” Tjosvold said. “Helping a needy older adult can bring fulfillment to the giver as well as the receiver – it does make a difference,” he added.

Last year Dr. Charles Best students donated and wrapped gifts for seniors and this year Westwood elementary school in Port Coquitlam will be making gift bags for the program.

To locate the nearest Be a Santa to a Seniors tree, visit here and put in your postal code.


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