Area counties are in for a treat this holiday season as ElderCare has begun their "Be a Santa to a Senior" program.

The program is designed to help senior citizens who may be short on finances and limited mobility. "A Christmas tree has been trimmed with decorative tags that represent clients and their particular needs," ElderCare executive director Brandi Gruber said in a press release. "Anyone is welcome to choose a tag and return a gift to the ElderCare office, 5611 10th in Great Bend, or call 620-792-5942.

"Actual names are not used because of privacy concerns."

ElderCare has approximately 350 home-services clients and cover Ford, Barton, Pawnee, Rush, Stafford, Kiowa, Edwards and Pratt counties

"Many seniors, especially at Christmastime, need to know their neighbors are thinking about them," Gruber said. "They need some basic items and we encourage businesses and individuals to take on the role of Santa Claus."

According to Gruber, some of the items requested are blankets, warm clothing, food and toiletry items, crossword and word-search books and gift cards for a few staples at the grocery store.

"Anyone who receives our home services in these counties is eligible to have a place on our Christmas tree," Gruber said. "Our caregivers are offering suggestions because they are our eyes and ears as they visit our clients’ homes.

"However, anyone who knows a senior citizen who could benefit from this program is encouraged to contact us soon."

Gruber added that there is still time to have additions made to the tree and also stated that ElderCare personnel will deliver the gifts.

Personal care, household tasks and respite for caregivers is some of the services provided by ElderCare.

They have registered nurses on staff as well as offer medication management and wellness checks along with companionship.

Call 620-792-5942 for more information about how to get involved with the "Be a Santa to a Senior" program.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com