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West Jordan Journal

Be a Santa to a Senior program in West Jordan encourages companionship

Jan 05, 2024 01:47PM ● By Linda Steele

A senior citizen receives a donated Christmas gift. (Courtesy Home Instead)

At the time of year when many people are prioritizing spending time with family, West Jordan encouraged residents to participate in the Be a Santa to a Senior program and share the joy of giving and companionship with an older adult who may not have anybody to share the holiday season with. 

 “The holidays can be hard for many older adults, especially those who may not have a companion to share them with,” Dave Parke said, owner of the Home Instead West Jordan office. 

Home Instead provides senior home care services. The company has been in Salt Lake City for 25 years, with the West Jordan office open for 14 years. Be a Santa to a Senior has been helping seniors for 10 years and is very successful. “We enjoy doing it every year. As a company we have caregivers go out in the homes and the community of people who need help in order to stay living at home, or whatever they call home. Our caregivers go in and supply whatever care they might need so they can stay safe,” Parke said. 

Be a Santa to a Senior brings in a whole community with the support of retailers, volunteers and nonprofit organizations. Home Instead has partnered with Key Bank to help with collecting and distributing donated gifts. Inside the lobby of different Key Bank locations are gift trees with ornaments containing the name and gift request of local seniors. Members of the public are encouraged to visit a gift tree, pick and ornament and purchase the requested gift. Items can then be returned to the bank and deposited in the delivery box located near the tree. Gifts will be wrapped and delivered before Christmas. “It is touching,” Parke said. 

“I would love to see adults think of somebody that is elderly and just do something, give a plate of cookies, a card or a basket of fruit and say ‘hey, I just want you to know that people love you.’  It means so much to them.” Parke said. “Through Be a Santa to a Senior, we can help these seniors experience the happiness and togetherness the season can bring.”

What is unique about Home Instead is they bring in nonmedical care to those in need. They help with typical family needs for aging adults. Home Instead helps with meal preparation, running errands, bathing and showering and more. Home Instead caregivers are trained to handle cognitive issues with seniors who may be struggling with Dementia or Alzheimer's. λ