Nov 29, 2019

By Christine Ross

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The holidays can be especially lonely for seniors living in long term care homes. But one Toronto home has found a way to bring comfort to its residents this holiday season. For the second year, Castleview Wychwood Towers will celebrate Be a Santa to a Senior program.

l to r: Bahar Karimi, Doreen Bible, Joan Turner 

Administrator Bahar Karimi says unlike last year, all 456 guests will receive a gift, not just those over 65 or residents without family. She says they were so overwhelmed with the success of the program last year, it’s been expanded to include another Toronto long term care home this year. The gifts will be distributed December 19th by Santa and his elves, played by local school children and other volunteer. According to the list, the seniors don’t want much. Resident Joan Turner, who has no family, would love Santa to bring her Walkers Shortbread and Chocolate Rosebuds but says the day is more than getting gifts. Resident Doreen Bible agrees. She says most residents are looking forward to celebrating with others including the children. Doreen says many on her floor are asking for tea, chocolate and even Zoomer Magazine! Bahar says the residents simply want to be reminded that someone is thinking of them during what can be a lonely time for many. The program is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care Toronto. For more on donating or volunteering in one of the city’s 10 nursing homes, visit

Listen to a report by Christine Ross here.

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