The Visiting Nurse Association of Northwest Indiana (VNA) is kicking off its annual Christmas for the Elderly program. Each contribution to this wonderful program helps the VNA meet the basic needs of senior citizens in the community, enabling them to remain safe and independent in their own homes even as they struggle with chronic illness, disability, isolation, and poverty.
Before the VNA Christmas for the Elderly program began, VNA nurses and aides were often frustrated by the poverty some of their patients faced on a daily basis. Needs either went unmet or were filled by staff from their own pocket. The VNA Christmas for the Elderly program provides an avenue for staff to request assistance to help improve their patients’ health, safety and overall quality of life.
The program has raised more than $750,000 since the program began in 1988 in cooperation with The Times. While the spotlight is on the program during the holiday season, VNA Christmas for the Elderly provides assistance to those in need throughout the year as the needs of qualifying seniors are made known.
Last year alone, nearly 50 seniors in the community were helped through the VNA Christmas for the Elderly program through the nearly $38,000 raised during the holiday season. Some received Meals on Wheels, others received items such as lift chairs, gift certificates for groceries, heaters, warm clothing, and bedding and blankets.
Delores, 80, needs a new vacuum cleaner. Hers simply doesn’t run anymore. And while to some a new vacuum cleaner may not seem like much, to Delores it makes a difference. Her VNA Companion Homemaker visits twice a week and helps her keep up with things she can’t do for herself anymore, such as changing the bed linens, mopping and vacuuming, laundry, and running errands. And the difference it makes is that Delores is able to remain safe and independent in her own home. Thanks to the community’s generous support of the VNA Christmas for the Elderly program, Delores will find a brand new vacuum cleaner under her tree this year!
Looking for a way to help make a difference for a senior during this holiday season? Consider supporting the VNA Christmas for the Elderly program. Monetary gifts may be mailed or dropped off at the VNA administration building, 2401 Valley Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46383. Gifts may be made in honor or memory of loved ones. Please make checks payable to VNA Foundation, with CFTE in the memo line. Donations may also be made online at: www.vnanwi.org/donate.