I am writing this afternoon to encourage your participation in a letter writing campaign which I believe can make a significant impact on improving spirits and bringing a bit of joy to the vulnerable populations residing in skilled nursing facilities across the nation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided limited opportunity for two distinct populations to interact with others:
The Elderly residing in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) and Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) secondary to the declared state of emergency March 13th 2020 resulting in limited family visits and social engagement within the communities, secondary to necessary changes to protect their health. (Memo attached here)
The Young and school-aged secondary to school cancellations across the nation.
Why does this matter?
Other than the obvious heart wrenching fact that families, mine included, are unable to spend time with their loved ones. We know that social isolation can have a significant and negative impact on the overall mental and physical functioning of this population.
This challenge also presents a unique opportunity for us all to bridge the gap between these generations by encouraging letter writing campaigns between our students and nursing home residents.
Where should you start?
Step One: Determine your outreach group (i.e. are you going to collaborate with your organization, your kiddos school district, professional society, or other?)
Step Two: Research which nursing homes are in your area via CMS.GOV Nursing Home Compare and contact them directly to determine best method to send messages based on their infection control protocols
Step Three: Put to pen, pencil and even paint to paper!
Messages of encouragement can be created by children of all ages.
For younger ones, in my household, they are creating art work for their grandmother.
Older children can include messages that are in alignment with the school work they are already completing tied to history, their favorite subjects, and recent books they have read.
Finally, for general guidance on making the most of distance visits using high, low and no tech options considering viewing the additional attachment and training below.
Additional training offering March 18, 2020 2:00 PM Eastern Time, Option 2
We are all in this together! I look forward to hearing from you all regarding your thoughts, ideas, and results!