Art of Aging: Local in-home care spreading holiday magic

The holidays are a time to get together with family and friends, but for seniors who lack a social circle, it can be a very lonely time.

To help, one local in-home care company is spreading some holiday magic to those in their care.

"This should be fun. I'm sure she's going to really love this," said Lisa DiMeo, owner and president of Synergy Homecare Philadelphia

85-year-old Marguerite Valentino was recently surprised by some elves.

The initiative started about five years ago.

"So the Elders' Elves program gives us a chance to come and bring some holiday cheer to them," said DiMeo.

"We have a tree. We have some decorations here, so it should be fun, a little party, a little music. We have a radio," said caregiver, Antonina Screnci.

"They're gonna decorate it up and do things for me," said Valentino.

This small gesture can reap big rewards.

"Look at what I got!" said Valentino, holding up an elf. "It counts a lot to me, what they're going to do, because it proves that they're thoughtful. Well see I try to be independent, but I'm very sick and I need help, especially now that my vision is going. And this is going to make a big difference."

Screnci, Valentino's caregiver, says this program is very important to those it touches.

"She loves the holidays. Marguerite is a fun character. She loves to sing, she'll pick you up in an instant," she said.

DiMeo says increased socialization is a great way to help seniors who may be missing their family.

"And they decided that we needed to do a little bit of something, a little bit more special for them at the holidays to make them feel that they're cared for and loved," she said.

"She likes a friend to talk to, so it's very important for us to come every day because she needs that to be happy," added Screnci.

"But I'm happy I got Nina. I still joke around," said Valentino.

Elders' elves will also help with familiar holiday traditions, such as baking cookies.

"This is a good thing that they're doing, but some people just do it once a year. They take care of you all year," said Valentino.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.