UPDATE: April 26, 2020
We have fully adopted the list of 37 residents at Ocean Ridge Assisted Living, who wanted to participate. Many letter writers have already received responses back.
The response to this project has been amazing! So, we are expanding the program to work with a second assisted living facility. A new list of names ready for adoption will be available soon.
You Are Invited...
...to take a few minutes each week to make a HUGE difference in the life of a senior through the simple act of writing a letter.
In our current season, most seniors are unable to leave home or receive visitors, and could use encouragement and be reminded that they are not alone or forgotten.
My personal focus is on assisted living facilities as I know that these residents are even more isolated now that group dining and group activities have been canceled.
My mom moved into an assisted living facility near me almost a year ago. It's taken longer than expected to find a new rhythm that works for all of us.
We realized pretty quickly that her doggie would not be able to stay with her. He needs entertainment and room to move, and we knew that she would struggle to give him all he needed in her small room, so he came home with me.
Our usual routine is that I go and pick her up to spend Sundays at home with the dogs and me. It gives her a change in scenery, as well as quality time with her puppy, and me of course. 😉 Oliver loves to have her here, and rarely leaves her side during her visit.
All that has changed, of course. Her facility went into "lockdown" in early March, which meant no visitors in, and no one able to leave, except for emergency medical situations.
As the risk of the virus increased, group dining and group activities were also canceled to protect all the residents. The wonderful team where my Mom lives have worked harder than ever to keep everyone engaged, entertained, and above all, safe.
But they could use some help.
I've been talking with the Lifestyle Director at my Mom's facility and asking how our family can help. One idea was quite simple! Write a letter.
What few letters have been coming in are posted on the community bulletin board, which is great!
But, I think we can do better.
Let's let the residents know they are not alone or forgotten through the simple act of writing a letter.
I'd like to invite you to join in and help our seniors feel connected and loved by Adopting A Senior, and sending them a handwritten letter weekly (or every 2 weeks) while the quarantine rules are in effect. AND... hopefully beyond.
Here's how you can help:
A few things to keep in mind:
- While most residents will be so grateful for your time and want to answer by writing you back, not all will be able to.
- There will be a delay in delivering your letter as the facility will be using all the best practices of making sure your letter is safe to deliver to this vulnerable age group and community.
- It doesn't have to take a lot of your time; keep it simple.
- Print neatly and clearly so they can easily read it or have it read to them.
Ideas on what you can send:
- Notecard, postcard, letter.
- Drawings or artwork that you or your children have created.
- Pictures you have taken.
- Stories you or your children have written.
- Bookmarks or coloring pages that can be colored by the residents, activity pages and books can also be included but are TOTALLY optional.
How I can help you:
- There is a growing list of residents at a local Assisted Living Facility here in Coos Bay, Oregon, that would LOVE to hear from you. I have names, ages, and a short list of interests for each.
- I've put together a letter-writing starter kit with stationery, letter writing ideas, and links to resources to help you start writing letters right away.
Ready to get started!?
Enter your name and email below and I'll send you the contact info of a senior waiting to hear from you. OR if you would like to start a similar campaign in your area let me know I have tips for you too!
Letter Writing Kit Includes:
- Introduction to the letter writing campaign
- Why write a letter?
- Letter writing tips, tools, and resources.
- Printable stationery to help you get started.
- Tips on starting your own letter writing campaign!