This holiday season will be unlike any other, but the simple gesture of giving a gift could help ease the loneliness felt by seniors who may be facing increased isolation due to COVID-19.
London Drugs is launching its annual Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program, to help low-income seniors by providing them with gifts of food, toiletries or warmth items.
Between now and Dec. 16, Richmond residents can visit their local London Drugs to choose a tag from the Stocking Stuffers for Seniors tree, which contains the wish list – or everyday essentials – of a local senior.
The gifts are then safely delivered to the seniors before Christmas.
“This year, it’s more important than ever to show seniors that they are not alone,” said Jimmy Morrison, community relations supervisor with Operation Friendship Seniors Society, in a statement.
“Just the act of receiving a gift helps to significantly improve the spirits of a senior and can have lasting mental and physical health benefits.”
According to Morrison, when seniors are lonely or isolated, it can significantly compromise their mental or physical health. However, when they receive a Christmas gift, it helps remind them that someone out their cares about them.
Each London Drugs store will have information posted next to the Stocking Stuffers for Seniors tree with information on how the participating care home will be managing the gifts to keep their seniors safe. In many cases, according to London Drugs, donated gifts will be isolated for 72 hours before they are given to the seniors.
Those interested in participating are also encouraged to check with local store staff to learn how to safely donate gifts this year, according to London Drugs.
“2020 has been a challenging and difficult year for many of us, but it’s especially affected our elderly Canadian population,” said Clint Mahlman, London Drugs’ president and chief operating officer, in a statement.
“We all know the effects of isolation and loneliness on our seniors have been significant during the pandemic, and the goal of the Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program is to show our seniors we care, we are thinking of them, and we are here for them – even if we can’t be there for them in person this year.”
Morrison, with the Operation Friendship Seniors Society, says programs like London Drugs’ Stocking Stuffers are “significant” to the society, which is heavily relying on Canadians to support seniors this year after many annual programs were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic.
Popular gifts for seniors include:
- Books or magazines
- Blankets and throws
- Kitchen essentials
- Candy or chocolate
- Board games or puzzles
- Slippers or warm socks
- Toilet paper, paper towels or tissues
- Warm clothing like gloves and scarves
- Travel mugs
- Gift cards for groceries and toiletries