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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : modern times December 17, 2014

11/24/2012 9:58:00 PM
Remember seniors during the holidays
Debbie Stewart
Courier Columnist

The holiday season has officially begun. I hope you enjoyed a meaningful Thanksgiving and find yourself looking forward to the sights, sounds and traditions that accompany the month of December. For many local seniors, however, the holiday season can be quite difficult. Those who are facing the holidays alone or are struggling emotionally, physically or financially, can find themselves feeling somewhat less than joyful.

During this season of giving, please consider sharing the gift of your presence with a senior in need. Opening one's heart and giving the gift of genuine care and concern can be more meaningful and long-lasting than any tangible item.

It only takes a few minutes to call an elderly friend or neighbor to let them know you're thinking about them. This simple act of kindness doesn't cost a dime, but is worth its weight in gold. Making a heartfelt connection can often do more to lift someone's spirits than we might imagine. Perhaps we can offer to do a bit of shopping as we're out and about doing our own. Consider dropping by with a prepared meal, inviting an acquaintance over for lunch, or taking them out for coffee.

If there are people on your gift list this year who already have everything they need, perhaps you can make a financial donation in their honor to one of the nonprofit agencies that assist seniors throughout the year. You can choose the agency or invite your intended gift recipient to do so. Don't be embarrassed to donate just a few dollars. Every penny counts and it all adds up. Nonprofit organizations such as the Alzheimer's Association, West Yava-pai Guidance Clinic, American Diabetes Association or the American Cancer Society are just a few of the nonprofit agencies that would appreciate your help. You might wish to choose an agency that has personally helped you or an elderly relative or friend, or simply pick an agency you'd like to support.

Consider making a contribution of non-perishable food items to one of the senior centers that offer congregate dining or have food distribution or Meals-On-Wheels programs. Even a few cans of soup will help. If you have children, perhaps you can select a charity together and deliver your donation or do some volunteer work. What a wonderful, compassionate lesson to teach a child. Or, take up a collection at work or your place of worship.

If each of us extends our reach just a little, we can be sure the holidays are bright for seniors in need. Thank you for caring and for helping make our community a hope-filled place to live. I'm wishing you and yours a meaningful holiday season, filled with warmth and love.

Debbie Stewart is the co-founder of the Senior Connection and publishes a newsletter called the "Caregiver Connection," a resource for seniors, caregivers and service providers. It includes information about support groups, meetings and services offered by local agencies, as well as articles on relevant topics. For a free subscription, contact Debbie@CaregiverConnection.us or call 778-3747 for more information. To view the current edition, visit www.CaregiverConnection.us.

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