Sending a little love during a global pandemic

During this global pandemic, everyone has had their breaking point…the moment when you questioned “wait, is it this serious?”

For me, I was rushing to make dinner with news on in the background. I heard our Governor say nursing home residents could only have one visitor each day. I called my mom, because this means we would have to come up with a flow chart or schedule to make sure my grandma was covered daily.

“No, she can’t have any visitors at all,” my mom said calmly.

That’s when panic set in.

What do you mean NO visitors? She can’t sit in a room alone for weeks!! Isolated?!? I couldn’t shake the thought of her sitting in her medical bed, wondering where we are. Would she understand?

My grandma is one tough cookie. But she’s on the verge of her 104th birthday. She can’t hear on the phone anymore. She can’t get out of bed. She asks the same questions a few times in one conversation. But she can remember the names of my three little girls who run around at her bedside chatting her up about unicorns, swim lessons and how they ate a sucker in the car. And after an hour long visit, it’s almost like my toddlers spread some of their youth back in her veins.

But now we are worried about what else they could spread to her.

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It was hard for me to step back and realize, this isn’t about me. Or just her. It’s about everyone on her floor who wants to see their grandparent again.

“Maybe we can write her a big card saying ‘I love you’,” suggested my six year old.

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So we got out our Sharpies and poster board and wrote in big bubbly lettering so her strained eyes could see.

And we obviously aren’t the only ones. Pretty much every Facebook feed is filled with people suggesting to send cards to your local nursing home to keep their spirits alive. But, for as many suggestions, there are plenty responses saying nursing homes won’t accept drop-offs.

I called my grandma’s nursing home to ask. To my relief, they will take anything made of paper, clothing and even food. I would be able to come to the front desk, but don’t be surprised if I will get a temperature scan.

Each facility will be different, but there’s one thing that is likely universal … all of these shut in residents would probably love papers filled with crayon, cards folded by hand and acknowledgment that they are not being ignored.

So, what can you do?

  • Call first! Some will allow drop offs, some are asking you mail the letters
  • Mailing is probably a pain, so maybe go a step further and ask if you can donate a Tupperware box to sit outside the door to collect drop-off cards and letters.
  • Bake, bake, bake!! Whether it’s for the people who live there or the nursing staff working. Another great gesture would be making sure they don’t go hungry

If your kids are anything like mine, they love making cards. And maybe this could be a great lesson on how human kindness will get us through any sort of global crisis.

 

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