Volunteers helping homebound seniors feel a little less lonely this holiday season
SALT LAKE CITY — The most wonderful time of year can also be the loneliest time of year for those that don’t have any family close by. But AARP volunteers are helping them feel a little less lonely.
“It’s kicking off the Christmas season for me,” said John, an AARP volunteer.
AARP volunteers are adding a personal touch to the gifts donated to homebound seniors through the Giving Tree by hand-writing a holiday card.
Jennifer Tarazon, communications director at AARP Utah, said there are about 400 elderly adults in Salt Lake County that may not be getting any gifts this year, so to help with that, they sponsor the Giving Tree.
“Some of them may not have family around, or are more isolated than others, and I think they would enjoy a personal message,” said Jean, an AARP Utah volunteer.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults 45 and older feel lonely, and nearly one-fourth aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated, which can lead to some serious health risks. Social isolation has shown an increased risk of dementia and premature death.
So, as the volunteers write hundreds of these cards, they hope that this message brings a smile to those receiving them.
“AARP is so good at remembering those that are alone,” Jean said.
“For some of them, this may be the only card they get this year. For our volunteers, it’s really special to do something personal,” Tarazon said.
For more information on the Giving Tree, visit their website.
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