This Christmas, Castle Rock residents will be on the lookout for socially-distanced ways to help their elderly loved ones feel the holiday spirit, and one senior care organization is offering a way …
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This Christmas, Castle Rock residents will be on the lookout for socially-distanced ways to help their elderly loved ones feel the holiday spirit, and one senior care organization is offering a way to do that. Home Instead, founded in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1994, is running its Be a Santa to a Senior program from its Castle Rock location.
Here’s more about the program from Kristin Goluska, owner of the Castle Rock location.
Please share a little bit about you and your role with the Be a Santa program/Home Instead.
Home Instead is a company that means a lot to me — my great aunt Emily Dahlquist was the third senior served in Home Instead’s history back in 1994 in Omaha, Neb. I am deeply committed to serving my community through volunteer programs such as Be a Santa to a Senior (BASTAS) and through the good work of our Professional CAREGivers. This is personally my fifth year participating in BASTAS.
Can you provide some background on the BASTAS program?
The program began 17 years ago and is now a nationwide program for Home Instead. We identified a need to help seniors who may be lonely or financially challenged during the holiday season. This need continues today and may be even bigger due to the pandemic.
Can you give an overview of how the program works and how people can participate?
We offer several ways to get involved this year. First, you can visit one of our in-person Holiday Trees with paper bulbs including Lost Coffee, Castle Café, Danza Dance Academy, Boutique Dance Academy and Brightway Insurance in Castle Rock. You will choose a bulb, purchase the gifts, and return the gift to that same location.
Alternatively, you can participate virtually by purchasing the items on one of our “virtual bulbs” that can be found on our website (beasantatoasenior.com) by typing in zip code 80104. Each bulb is linked to the older adult’s Amazon wish list and the mailing address is automatically populated. The final way to participate is to purchase gift cards for seniors that will be distributed for lower-income seniors by mailing them to our office at 399 Perry Street, STE 300, Castle Rock, CO 80104.
What are the plans for the program in Castle Rock this year?
This year we’ve expanded our program due to the growing need. We are now serving seniors from Douglas County all the way to Summit County. Secondly, each gift that is delivered to our “safe zone drop sites” will be quarantined for 72 hours to ensure safety.
What do you hope this program can do to help seniors this year?
Home Instead is dedicated to advocating for the older adult population. Loneliness and financial instability take a heavy toll on our seniors — especially in this historically isolated time. These gifts, gift cards and letters we are sending to each senior in need will provide a little love, a little connection, and a reminder that relationships are the most important thing in life. We look forward to working with the community to serve our older adults this season!
Why is this program particularly important now during COVID-19 and its unique challenges?
With COVID-19, the ability to spend time with loved ones this year is limited resulting in social isolation and loneliness. According to the CDC, loneliness is linked to pre-mature death, dementia, a weakened immune system, depression and heart disease. It’s a chronic condition among our older adult population and we are committed to providing this program to as many seniors as needed.
Anything you would like to add?
If you know a senior in need, please call our office at 303-688-7852 and enroll them in this program!
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