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'They have no visitors': Senior care center asking Ky. residents to 'be a Santa to a senior'

Posted at 3:58 PM, Nov 10, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — For 17 years, Home Instead Senior Care has put together Be A Santa To A Senior program during the holiday season. This year, with COVID-19, organizers are announcing new ways you can still help.

While the holidays might look different this year, being a Santa to a senior will be more important than years past.

"If they're in their own home, they can have visitors," quality care consultant Whitney Villasana said. "But if they're in these independent living facilities and nursing homes, they have no visitors."

During the holiday season, Home Instead collects donated gifts, as a part of the Be A Santa To A Senior program. This year, the program will be less personalized, with donors selecting gifts instead of names.

"Like crossword puzzles and puzzles," Villasana said. "Toiletry items is a big thing. Lots of people every year ask for simple things and toiletry items is one of the big items. And lap blankets, and hats, gloves and scarves."

Home Instead says the seniors ask about their gifts in July. Being a Santa to a senior means so much more than giving a gift.

"We had to call each individual facility about whether they could do it," Villasana said. "One of the managers said, it doesn't matter if we are able to give them a pencil. This year, that would make them happy."

Home Instead will collect gift donations from Nov. 2 to Dec. 1 at their office located at 207 East Reynolds Road, Suite 150. Drop-off dates include Nov. 10, 17 and 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Dec. 1 and 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Unwrapped gifts can also be mailed to the office no later than Dec. 11.