The holidays can be often be difficult for seniors — as they sometimes face challenges that the rest of us often overlook. While the holidays can be festive for most people, older adults can sometimes get the holiday blues, especially those who have dietary restrictions, limited mobility, health concerns, lack of family (or family who live far away), limited resources, and memories of those who are no longer with us. Two special programs are helping bring a little holiday cheer to Philadelphia seniors. Join with me in spreading the word.
United Way Holiday Network
Throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania works to mobilize the caring power in our community by promoting a wealth of meaningful opportunities to give and serve.
Holiday Volunteer Opportunities
From serving Thanksgiving dinner at a local senior center to building gingerbread houses with seniors at a nursing home to wrapping gifts, there are lots of ways to give of your time during the holidays.
Holiday Wish List (Donations)
From coats to food baskets to games to stocking stuffers there are lots of wishes on the UWSEPAHoliday Wish List. To fulfill a wish, please contact the agency directly to make arrangements for the donation. Sample items include:
- Canned Goods
- Personal Care Items
- Stocking Stuffers
- New Clothing
- Turkey/Hams Gently
- Used Clothing
- Food Baskets
- Gifts for the Elderly
- Bingo Prizes
- ..and more!
To volunteer your time, donate an item, or find out how your office/school/church can get involved, visit http://www.uwsepa.org/Donate_holidays.asp
Workshop to Beat the Holiday Blues
The holidays are a time of celebration, but also a time when many older adults think more about our losses and challenges. To help, Germantown’s Center in the Park is sponsoring a workshop, Beat the Holiday Blues, on Thursday, December 8th from 10-11am at 5818 GermantownAvenue. The workshop will be led by Barbara Bruce, LSW, and refreshments will be served. To register, call Erika Barber at 215-848-7722.
Start Close to Home, Learn More
In addition to these programs, you can help older adults right in your own neighborhood by being extra friendly, offering to shovel snow, checking in on them during the cold or snow, offering to help them with their shopping, or sending them an old-fashioned greeting card. After working with thousands of seniors over the years, I can attest that some of the most simple things will go a long way to make a big difference.
To learn more about seniors and the challenges they face during the holidays, check out this great summary I found at http://www.napsnet.com/articles/67164.html .
To find out other ways to help Philadelphia seniors, or to learn about other programs that help seniors during the holidays, contact Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. Their website also lists senior-serving agencies that are right in your neighborhood.