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Caring for the Elderly During the Holidays

Many senior citizens don’t have family to visit with and rely on, which can be particularly painful during the holidays. Wrapping up our philanthropic efforts for 2019, IPM’s Integrated Project Mercy supported Second Wind Dreams, whose tagline is “Changing the Perception of Aging.” The organization partners with facilities through its Dream Program and has fulfilled tens of thousands of dreams of the elderly since its inception in 1997.

IPM volunteers from each of its seven offices gave holiday presents to local nursing and elder-care residents through Second Wind Dreams’ Gifts of Light program, which is modeled after the “Letters to Santa” program. For instance, the Los Angeles team sponsored the program, visited the residents, and fulfilled the holiday wishes of the residents of Windsor Terrace Healthcare Center. Similarly, our Boston crew fulfilled dreams of residents of Sherrill House.

While shopping for residents of Southview Acres Healthcare in West St. Paul, Minn., Business Development Executive Cyndi Mueller eagerly talked about the program. Two local shops contributed lotions, hair items, books, DVDs, and a blanket for the healthcare center. Mueller was particularly enthusiastic about the program because she worked at Southview Acres through her college years.

Some IPM offices contributed to Second Wind Dreams by sponsoring membership of the program with elder care facilities, whose residents can then participate by requesting dreams, small or large. In Chicago, for example, the team purchased a Dream Membership for Little Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and in St. Louis, a membership was gifted to the local Rosewood Care Center.

Many IPM volunteers looked for additional ways to help and encourage the elderly. In New Jersey, for instance, a team brought music and food to the Carter Burden Network and hosted a prom. In San Francisco, volunteers donated a television and decorated the San Miguel Villa nursing home. They also sponsored the Heart to Heart Ball presented by the Elderly Wish Foundation. A team from Minneapolis collected and delivered games, DVDs, cards, activity sets to Guardian Angels Senior Services.

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