Donation drives bring in more than 300 gifts for Lethbridge seniors spending Christmas alone this year – Lethbridge

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The holiday blues can be a very real and dangerous emotion for isolated seniors, but community members and organizations are working together to turn those feelings of isolation into thoughts of cheer this December.

A party was held at Age Care on Tuesday to benefit seniors spending Christmas alone this year.


READ MORE:
Lethbridge charities preparing for holiday season

“We’ve found that socializing is really good for brain health,” said Shari Remus with Alzheimer’s Society of Alberta, “and for seniors around Christmastime we’re finding they’re not getting the socializing they need and they feel very left out.”

Organizers said social isolation can be twice as deadly as obesity and can increase the risk of dementia by two thirds.

An issue many seniors living in care facilities can experience, especially during the holiday season.

“Some of the seniors don’t have family nearby, or have lost loved ones and have no one to celebrate with, so this is very important to them,” said Barb Funk, care coordinator with Age Care.

However, local organizations and community members are hoping to change that this year with the ‘Christmas to Remember’ and ‘Stocking Stuffers for Seniors’ donation drives, where more than 300 gifts have been collected for seniors across the city this Christmas.

“We are seniors, so if we were by ourselves I think we’d be very sad but appreciative if someone remembers us on Christmas,” said volunteer Judy Cartwright.


READ MORE:
Generations Foundation 2018 Holiday Toy Drive kicks off

The gifts will be given to seniors who otherwise may not be receiving anything this holiday season, a notion one volunteer says is often overlooked.

“I’m a student myself, so I spend much of the holidays alone. I think a lot of the time people forget about seniors, so this is a good way to give back to the community,” said volunteer Ashely Labossiere.

Volunteers will be delivering the gifts to hundreds of seniors on Christmas day.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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