by: Carol Marak
The holiday season is the time for emphasizing giving back to others in need. We celebrate by giving toys to tots and children, food to the hungry, donating to charities, and helping our elderly avoid loneliness and isolation. The holiday season open hearts, our calendars, and the wallets. And more importantly, the local community’s older adults needs our attention. That’s why SeniorCare.com created the evergreen holiday voluteer guide. We know that people are busy, especially this time of year, and need a quick reference and resource to turn to when giving.
When making the holiday shopping list, be sure to add one or two older adults in need. Here are reasons why you want to do that:
-Close to 28% or 12.1 million seniors live alone.
-21% or one in five people over 65 do not drive, and it’s the main reason people isolate.
-Hunger threatens over 9 million older adults.
-1 million homebound seniors are malnourished.
-Elderly suicide rates are high.
-87% of Americans receive unpaid care at home from family and friends.
The numbers are frightening. How can so many older adults be stranded and hungry in one of the richest countries in the world? They live alone, care for themselves or depend on a family member for help, and often are short on food. It seems impossible that a short decade or two ago, these same folks were contributing to society and working very hard. Now, older age has left them on their own and fending for themselves.
If you have trouble thinking of ways to help out, check out the guide. In there you will find suggestions that spark the urge to give—today it offers Thanksgiving ideas and in a short time, the guide will include Christmas too.
-Help with house chores
-Rake leaves or other yard work
-Set up their Christmas tree
-Offer a ride
-Take them to lunch or a movie
-Provide respite for the family – spend time with their loved one
-Contribute time at the local senior center or residential care facility
-Be a companion
When using the holiday guide, you’ll have a variety of volunteer options. Now is the season for giving, connecting with family, sharing meals, and making special memories. However, that's not the experience of the elderly; their holidays are spent alone. They don't have others around who could create moments of joy and goodness. It's the volunteers in the local community that give back and increase an elderly's well-being plus form new friendships.