Help spread holiday cheer by being a Santa to a senior
Bookmark and Share
By Julie Ann Anderson  November 29, 2013 12:00 am

Feeling alone is tough any time of the year, but holiday time can be especially lonesome for our older neighbors. With that in mind, Home Instead Senior Care of Sonoma is working hard to make sure no Sonoma County senior goes without this Christmas. You can get involved.

We see older adults who have no one during this festive season, and that makes for a difficult and lonely time.  People always think of the kids and giving toys to children this time of the year, but often the isolated seniors are forgotten. Our Be a Santa to a Senior program aims to make sure no seniors are forgotten. Whether they are in a nursing home or in their own homes, where more are choosing to stay, it’s important to reach out to isolated older adults during this special time of the year.

According to an article in the Geriatric Times, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) has estimated that as many as 60 percent of nursing-home residents receive no regular visitors. This lack of attention can be particularly painful during what is supposed to be a festive time of year.

 Ready to get involved?

Trees are up Nov. 25-26. Be a Santa to a senior. How it works:

•  Find a participating Be a Santa to a Senior store – tree locations are listed below.

• Remove an ornament from the tree – gift ideas are printed on each ornament.

• Purchase the gift(s) listed.

• Bring the ornament and gift back to participating store and give to store employee.

 It’s that easy.

If you want to join us and volunteer to help wrap the donated gifts at our annual wrapping party, you can.  Join us for a wrapping party on Dec. 11 at the Rohnert Park Senior Center located at 6800 Hunter Dr., Rohnert Park. Call (707) 585-6780 for more information.

 Tree locations are as follows: 

• Walgreens Stores (four locations): 7800 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati; 3093 Marlow Rd., Santa Rosa; 4610 Sonoma Hwy., Santa Rosa; 6285 Commerce Blvd., Rohnert Park

• Raley’s Grocery Stores (four locations): 1407 Fulton Rd., Santa Rosa; 157 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma; 8852 Lakewood Dr., Windsor; 100 Raley's Town Center, Rohnert Park.

• Rohnert Park Chamber of Commerce, 101 Golf Course Dr., Rohnert Park.

• Cheap Smog Test, 1205 Petaluma Hill Rd., Santa Rosa.

Community Partners employee programs donating gifts include the Rohnert Park-Cotati Chapter of Realtors, PG&E employees, Public Safety Department of Rohnert Park and the Alzheimer’s Association administration staff.


Who Receives The Gifts?

Local mobile home parks, nursing homes & local isolated seniors, recognized by social workers right here in Sonoma County.


Julie Ann Anderson is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park; mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website, to educate and encourage seniors and caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern? She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime.

Post Your Comments:
Jennifer Adams
November 30, 2013

My name is Jennifer Adams, and I am the new Director of Admissions and Marketing at Santa Rosa Golden Living Center. I see that you have a December 11th wrapping party and I am interested in contributing. I am also very new to the Santa Rosa area, so this looks like a great way to meet wonderful people. Is it too late for our organization, Golden Living Center, to contribute in some way to your Be a Santa to a Senior program? If not, what types of items of services can I provide to assist you? Please feel free to email me back at, or call me at Golden Living at (707) 546-0471. I work Monday through Fridays from 8:30 to 5:00. Thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

All the best and Happy Holidays,

Jennifer Adams
 *name appears on your post