Kamloops organizations trying to keep seniors from feeling isolated this Christmas

By Adam Donnelly
December 8, 2017 - 4:41pm Updated: December 9, 2017 - 10:19am

KAMLOOPS — According to a Stats Canada study, by the year 2036, it’s estimated seniors will make up close to one-quarter Canada’s population. One of the biggest challenges facing many of those seniors is remaining engaged in their community as they age, and Christmas can be especially difficult if seniors have no one to celebrate with; there are some organizations within the community working to keep seniors from becoming isolated.

It’s a sight which could warm even Ebenezer Scrooge’s cold heart. The OLPH chorus took time to visit the Chartwell’s Seniors Residence this morning, to sing Christmas carols for the residents there. It’s a yearly ritual that’s fun for the kids in the choir, and it brings a great deal of joy to the residents.

These kinds of concerts are just one way to ensure the residents of seniors homes like the Chartwells residence don’t feel isolated during the holiday season.

“We do get a lot of calls from seniors that identify as lonely, as well as people in the community that are concerned about seniors that may be lonely,” Assistant Executive Director of the Centre for Seniors Information says. “We always reach out to people when we get tips like that.”

Many seniors face the possibility of social isolation. At the Centre for Seniors Information Activity Centre in the Brock Shopping Centre, they’re working to make sure that possibility doesn’t become reality.

“This time of year we always do a Secret Santa project,” Allen explains. “We put together 80 - 100 packages, and deliver them in the third week of December.”

While a simple gift doesn’t seem like much to many of us, Allen says even the small gesture can make a big difference for some.

“My favourite story last year was [about] a woman who lives downtown, and we delivered a package to her,” Allen says. “She called me and said ‘This is the first year in 15 years that I’ve put a tree up. The only gift I’ve received was from [the Secret Santa project].”

So while you’re celebrating this holiday season, be sure to take a second to remember those seniors you may know who might not have any family to spend it with.

If you’d like to donate to the Centre for Seniors Information Secret Santa program, you can contact Brandi at (778)470-6000 for more information.

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