The holidays are supposed to be filled with family and friends, merriment and get-togethers. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone.

Due to distance, health, and other life circumstances, many people – many of whom are seniors – will find themselves alone over the holidays.

But there is something you can do. A few things actually.

We know, it isn’t December yet, but various initiatives are underway so we thought we would mention them now.

The Be a Santa to a Senior campaign is run by Home Instead Senior Care. They collect and distribute gifts to isolated seniors in Canada and the U.S. who live alone or who have lost a family member. They have Christmas trees at participating locations (such as malls and local stores). These trees are decorated with ornaments containing the names of seniors and their gift suggestions.

You can find a location near you by clicking here, then participate by picking out an ornament, purchasing the listed item and returning it unwrapped to the same location. If you’re interested please don’t wait long as they need gifts collected by early December in order to get them wrapped and handed out before Christmas.

Other ways you can help a senior feel less lonely over the holidays include:

  • Taking the time to speak with elderly neighbours, making time to meet for tea or coffee, and if possible, include them in your own celebrations.
  • If youhave a family member living in a retirement community, be sure to visit more frequently. And while you’re there make a point of chatting with other residents as well.
  • Help family, friends or neighbours who live alone to decorate and get into the festive season.
  • Write heartfelt and personalized cards to older family members, even if they live nearby.
  • Reach out to community groups to see if there are other ways you can get involved.

Photo of happy Santa Claus outdoors in snowfall carrying gifts to children

If you know someone aged fifty plus who wants to connect more with others – broaden their social circles, meet new people and make friends – Amintro can help.

Amintro is the social app designed exclusively for those 50 plus. We are not a dating site! What we do is help older adults connect with confidence online and then head out to explore their community together.

Join for free here or learn more about us, our community and how to become an Amintronian by following us on Twitter: @AmintroFriends, or liking us on Facebook: AmintroFriends.

By Christine Tompa