EL PASO, Texas - For most of us, the holiday season is a time of celebration. We gather with friends and family to tell stories, drink, eat, and give gifts. Unfortunately, for many seniors, the holiday season can be a difficult time of year marked by loneliness and depression.
According to a survey conducted by AARP, roughly 31% of the elderly reported feeling lonely during the holiday season. Loneliness is more than an emotional issue; it has real physical and mental health implications. Recent research has shown that feeling lonely or being isolated affects mortality in the same way as a smoking habit of 15 cigarettes per day.
Home Instead encourages El Paso residents to share the holiday spirit with older adults who may not have family and feel alone. This program is so much more than gift-giving it's about the special moments and joy shared between the older adults and the community around them. Look for trees or Be a Santa for a senior display at locations around the area. Ornaments have the name and the desired gift will be on display, and shoppers can buy the requested gift and return it wrapped. Since 2003, Be a Santa to a Senior has provided approximately 2.2 million gifts, and brightened the season for more than 750,000 deserving older adults.
The gifts will be delivered to local older adults in time for the holidays. With your help, we can spread holiday cheer with those who may be feeling isolated this time of year.
Tree locations can be found at Butter Smith Kitchen & Pies: 7801 N Mesa St, El Paso 79932, and the Village Inn at Mesa/Balboa: 6040 N Mesa, El Paso 79912.