Santa program assists struggling seniors

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Be a Santa to a Senior, the popular campaign that has delivered 1.5 million gifts to needy seniors throughout North America during the past seven years, again is helping older adults cope in tough economic times.

The area office of the Home Instead Senior Care network, the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care and companionship services for older adults, has partnered with Wal-Mart to provide gifts and companionship to seniors who otherwise might not receive either this holiday season.

“Many older adults continue to struggle in a down economy, particularly those who live alone with no family nearby to help provide resources,” said Becky Beanblossom, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving East Louisville and Oldham County. Seniors have faced a trying year amid the threat of Social Security payment delays as part of the debt-ceiling debate.

Seniors have lost almost one-third (32 percent) of their buying power since 2000, according to the Annual Survey of Senior Costs from The Senior Citizens League.

That’s where Be a Santa to a Senior can help.

Before the holiday season, the participating local nonprofit organizations will identify needy and isolated seniors and provide those names to the local Home Instead Senior Care office.

Christmas trees displayed Nov. 14 through Dec. 16 in Wal-Mart stores in Buechel, Fern Creek, Middletown, New Albany, Clarksville, Valley Station and Outer Loop will feature ornaments with the first names only of the seniors and their gift requests.

Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy items on the list and return them unwrapped to the store, along with the ornament attached. “We hope holiday shoppers will open their hearts to those seniors who have given so much to make our community a better place,” Beanblossom said.

For more information about the program, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com.