Greater Victoria seniors need holiday cheer more than ever this year

The annual Stocking Stuffers for Seniors drive helps curb loneliness in seniors

Shoppers have until Dec. 16 to fulfill the wish lists of local seniors, through London Drugs’ Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program. (Black Press Media file photo)
 Shoppers have until Dec. 16 to fulfill the wish lists of local seniors, through London Drugs’ Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program. (Courtesy of London Drugs)

Shoppers have until Dec. 16 to fulfill the wish lists of local seniors, through London Drugs’ Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program. (Black Press Media file photo) Shoppers have until Dec. 16 to fulfill the wish lists of local seniors, through London Drugs’ Stocking Stuffers for Seniors program. (Courtesy of London Drugs)

With holidays just around the corner, B.C.’s seniors have likely never been lonelier.

Even before COVID-19 hit, approximately 50 per cent of Canadians over the age of 80 reported feelings of loneliness. Now, stuck at home or in long-term care facilities and unable to connect with loved ones out of fear of contracting COVID-19, some B.C. seniors say they are worried about death from loneliness.

READ ALSO: B.C. seniors worry more about death from loneliness than COVID-19

In an effort to curb this loneliness, London Drugs continues its annual Stocking Stuffers for Seniors donation drive to safely deliver gifts to seniors for Christmas. Until Dec. 16, people can visit their local store and choose a tag from the wish list tree to decide which essential items to gift a local senior. All gifts will be safely delivered by approved volunteers and personnel.

“This year, it’s more important than ever to show seniors that they are not alone,” said Jimmy Morrison, community relations supervisor for Operation Friendship Seniors Society. “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.”

The campaign first started in the Okanagan before spreading to Edmonton in 2015 and finally to all 81 locations across Western Canada. Since it began, approximately 44,000 packages have been delivered to seniors.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria woman creates ‘call list’ for seniors to tackle loneliness


 

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