'It’s just heart-wrenching': Lonely seniors get gift of family for holidays
SASKATOON -- Jeannine Parker is one of more than 200 seniors taking part in the 10th annual Adopt a Senior initiative.
Parker, who lives at the Luther Tower Intermediate Care Home in Saskatoon, has taken part for two years. Most of Parker's family lives in Toronto, a distance she says becomes increasingly difficult during the holiday season.
The initiative is run by Saskatoon Home Support and works by connecting young families across Saskatoon with seniors that might feel lonely over the holiday season.
Families are matched with seniors based on similar interests and characteristics. Topics such as favourite types of food, a favourite type of pet and a preferred extracurricular activity are asked to prospective families. Then families are asked to deliver gifts or baked goods over Christmas to their adopted seniors.
“I'm just really thankful that I can live here, it is a great place and I got everything I’ve need,” Parker said.
Lorna Finney started the program and hopes it will help bring comfort to seniors that will be alone during the holiday.
“So many seniors at Christmas time and all throughout the year have no family and it’s just heart-wrenching. Sometimes when the mail lady comes that's all they see, so it’s just really nice to match them up.“
The initiative began in 2009 and has since helped more than 2,000 seniors. Saskatoon residents interested in volunteering in the initiative are asked to contact saskatoonhomesupport.ca