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Old 04-08-2020, 08:24 AM   #1
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Default Cards for nursing home residents?

I feel so bad for elderly in nursing homes who are not allowed visitors, or even to gather with other residents. I thought about making cards, but would nursing homes even allow that, or is there concern about contamination from anything coming from outside? Anyone done this?
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:53 AM   #2
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I have. I called my local nursing home and asked. They have a cart in the vestibule for deliveries. When I have a batch, I can drop them off there. I leave a note card for the staff as well, letting them know how much we appreciate the care and concern they have for the people they are caring for. I recently called and asked again and so far, this method is working for all of us. I imagine they quarantine any incoming items before handling anything.
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Old 04-10-2020, 12:47 PM   #3
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For those of you doing this, how do you address the cards? Or do you leave them blank for the staff to distribute?
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:57 PM   #4
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I've sent a quite a few, addressing one to the healthcare/office staff, and several to patients, in care of the facility. No names, just Attn: patient, on the outside of the envelope. Used a sponge to dampen the flap. I have even gotten thank you notes back signed by all the office staff! It's been so fun to be a part of bringing joy for a moment. Do it, it brings you joy at the same time.
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SarosaView Post
I feel so bad for elderly in nursing homes who are not allowed visitors, or even to gather with other residents. I thought about making cards, but would nursing homes even allow that, or is there concern about contamination from anything coming from outside? Anyone done this?
Every nursing home (or corporate headquarters of a chain) will have its own guidelines, so you can call to find out.

The coronavirus can iive on cardboard for 24 hours, so if concerned the staff could set mail aside for that long. That’s what we do in our house with mail and packages. If plastic we disinfect it or set it aside for three days.

(The only slight risk apparently is if the person delivering/handling the item was sick and coughed/sneezed/exhaled on it, then someone touched it and touched their mouth/nose/eyes. But after 24 hours even that slight risk should be gone if it’s cardboard.)
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:40 PM   #6
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There's a group in a neighboring town to me that had an 'adopt a grandparent' program, asking for people who want to send cards and be a penpal to folk in their nursing home. For me, I'm doing batches of cards with an inside message along the lines of ' sending hugs and love your way' but letting the staff choose who needs a bit of encouragement. Envelopes are included with the stack.

The activity director of your local nursing home is a great person to chat with about what they need and what you want to do.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:56 PM   #7
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Mahalo everyone! My Dad is in an assisted living home. I know there are a number of residents that have very few visitors in good times. I’ll have to send some extras over.
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Old 04-11-2020, 07:13 PM   #8
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I love the idea of doing a card for staff as well, thanks for the idea! I did finally call, and the activities coordinator was delighted at the idea of cards. I asked about other things, and she said puzzle books (crosswords, Soduku, etc) and coloring books would also be great.
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Old 04-11-2020, 07:18 PM   #9
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I am considering posting the need on my facebook page, and telling people I will pick up their cards (they can hang them on their mailboxes) and deliver them all to the nursing home. I am a great idea person, but not so great on follow-through, not to mention being a slow cardmaker, so I'm hoping I can get a bunch of people interested!
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Old 04-13-2020, 12:16 PM   #10
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The nursing homes I contacted in my area both said they are not accepting outside mail because of contamination concerns. I don't understand the extreme isolation - those residents must be SO lonely. My grandmother is in a rehab facility and she told me, "I'd rather take the risk and have you visit. I'm 89. I want quality of life at this point!"
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Old 04-13-2020, 12:59 PM   #11
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Just a thought . . . How can they stop the mail?? In the home where my Dad (90) lives people have bills to pay. Isn’t it a federal offense to mess with someone’s mail?? Just throwing out my thoughts, please don’t think I don’t care, I definitely do. My husband and I self isolated back in mid-February.
I get their concern about contamination, how about a 24 hour delay? The poster above hit it on the nail, quality of life matters. These folks are susceptible to being lonely as is. My heart goes out to them and their families. I miss my Dad terribly. 🙏🙏🙏
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Old 04-13-2020, 03:23 PM   #12
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That is terrible! And yes, I do think it's a crime, not to mention the fact that there have already been statements that risk of infection from mail is very low. Perhaps not provable, but I believe the virus is impacting length of life for our elderly. So, death by complications caused by coronavirus may be lowered, but how does one ascertain death by complications caused by depression, by just giving up on life?
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:52 AM   #13
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My WWII Dad is living in an assisted living center. We are very thankful that the dedicated staff has taken extreme measures to protect all of the residents there. We havent seen him since 3/11/20 but the staff posts pictures on facebook and will also email photos of him to us. We can do "window visits" and phone calls but no hugs and no face to face time. I have been sending cards including to the staff members. Next week he will celebrate his 97th birthday...without us. We are having baked goods and balloons delivered. So painful to not be with him but is necessary at this time.
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:14 AM   #14
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Quote:

Originally Posted by cnsteeleView Post
The nursing homes I contacted in my area both said they are not accepting outside mail because of contamination concerns. I don't understand the extreme isolation - those residents must be SO lonely. My grandmother is in a rehab facility and she told me, "I'd rather take the risk and have you visit. I'm 89. I want quality of life at this point!"
Nicole, this is so sad! I don't understand why the staff doesn't isolate the mail longer, if it's for residents. The facility itself would be receiving mail anyway. And as someone else said, anything addressed to a specific person belongs to that person. I pray the staff reconsider this.
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:03 AM   #15
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There is a great organization that sends thousands of your handmade cards to nursing homes, veterans homes, assisted living, etc throughout the US called Bring Smiles to Seniors. You can find them on the web and Facebook.
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:20 AM   #16
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I send cards to the assisted living and nursing part of the building I live in. I myself am living in independent living and we are following all the guidelines issued by the CDC and our governor and local public health. I am sending cards, which will be addressed by the staff in those areas to people I don't know, nor do I know what their condition is.
I am struggling to know what to say inside the card. Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 04-15-2020, 11:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by StampelaineView Post
I send cards to the assisted living and nursing part of the building I live in. I myself am living in independent living and we are following all the guidelines issued by the CDC and our governor and local public health. I am sending cards, which will be addressed by the staff in those areas to people I don't know, nor do I know what their condition is.
I am struggling to know what to say inside the card. Any ideas would be appreciated.
This is my problem, too. On the front one can put "thinking of you" or "just for you" but unless you know what to write inside to a specific person, I'm at a loss.
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Old 04-15-2020, 11:57 AM   #18
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For the insides of cards, I collect favorite quotes and poems. I especially like to use Irish Blessings. If you Google Irish Blessings, you'll find lots of them. Things like:

"A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you."
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:30 PM   #19
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Quote:

Originally Posted by psmillerView Post
My WWII Dad is living in an assisted living center. We are very thankful that the dedicated staff has taken extreme measures to protect all of the residents there. We havent seen him since 3/11/20 but the staff posts pictures on facebook and will also email photos of him to us. We can do "window visits" and phone calls but no hugs and no wh. We are having baked goods and balloons delivered. So painful to not be with him but is necessary at this time.
Be glad you can at least celebrate by window or pictures on facebook. My uncle died on Easter Sunday and his wife and kids/grandkids couldn't be there at his last breath. So sad. This virus is causing extra pain. His burial will be a small mass said by a friend who is a priest and the ten immediate family members. No more.
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:04 PM   #20
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So very sorry for the loss of your uncle. Not being able to see him or attend the celebration of his life makes it doubly painful.
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Old 04-16-2020, 08:56 AM   #21
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My heart goes out to you and the other families affected by this. Not being able to hug and be together to celebrate their life must be terrible. The support of family and friends is so crucial. This brings home the real need to stay connected all the time and especially now. There are no words to express that loss. Prayers for us all!
I did hear my Dad is enjoying the cards I send and doing well. The memory care unit where he is has stayed fairly calm which is a good thing. Routine is so important. At least he has those few minutes knowing we’re thinking of him.

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Be glad you can at least celebrate by window or pictures on facebook. My uncle died on Easter Sunday and his wife and kids/grandkids couldn't be there at his last breath. So sad. This virus is causing extra pain. His burial will be a small mass said by a friend who is a priest and the ten immediate family members. No more.
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Old 04-16-2020, 10:36 AM   #22
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Sometimes I just write a short note about something nice that happened that day, but of course I never know when the card will be delivered. Thanks for the suggestion about the Irish Blessing quotes. I will check that out.
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Old 04-16-2020, 11:51 AM   #23
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So very sorry for the loss of your uncle. Not being able to see him or attend the celebration of his life makes it doubly painful.
Thank you for the kind words. My uncle was very important to me. I was only 11 years younger than him and the first grandchild. So very spoiled.
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Old 04-16-2020, 02:27 PM   #24
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Deeply and sincerely sorry for your loss.
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Old 04-17-2020, 10:54 AM   #25
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Deeply and sincerely sorry for your loss.
Thank you again.
Sandy
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:30 AM   #26
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In my county, located in southern Illinois, my craft group has supported a NFP organization that supports all Seniors in senior facilities in our county (apartments, assisted-living, nursing home, memory care). There are just over 800 residents, county-wide. We provide tray cards--3"x3" for all major holidays (valentines, Easter, mothers/fathers day, July 4th, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, & Christmas) for each resident. We have a special standard holiday greeting for the inside of the card, which fits on a business card size insert. As noted in another response, all facilities have a drop place outside. Locally, their only request is for us to bring the little cards at least a week in advance, so they can abide by the CDC guidelines for mail. Not a problem! We have done this for over 5 years! It is so wonderful when we get feedback from staff and the community of how many smiles are made from this simple act of kindness.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:46 AM   #27
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Our church decided to send cards to a local nursing home. They have 91 beds. I grabbed a handful of cards (71 per the lady handling the project, I didn't count them myself), and left the inside blank but did die cut lots of sentiments that can be glued inside (Thinking of You, Big Hugs, Prayers, Laugh often). A few women from the church (actually an 84 year old mother, her 2 daughters, and her 2 granddaughters) will finish them off, adding a note just saying "bless you, from the Clinton church". I have sent several cards myself, and used this verse: He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deut 31:6. HOWEVER, some requests for cards ask them not to be religious, so you do need to be careful when sending cards with scripture.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:47 AM   #28
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I put a generic message on the inside; Something like I hope this brightens your day we are thinking about you and praying for you. The nursing home wouldn’t give me the names of the residents, which I understand due to privacy issues. But I left a room at the top of the card for someone there to put each individual‘s name.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:23 AM   #29
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A dear friend of mine just took cards to the nursing home her daughter works at. A bunch of us donated cards so that every resident got a card. I usually just stamp a thinking of you sentiment inside and write a very generic note like susanGC just mentioned.

We also donated cards to their community room. I package them with a matching envelope inside a clear envelope. So the front of the card faces out, the envelope is in the middle, and then I use a piece of printer paper to stamp the inside again and make a note that it is the inside sentiment. I hope that makes sense. We donated birthday cards and thinking of you cards.
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Old 04-21-2020, 02:47 PM   #30
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I've donated cards to the local nursing home. They suggested I leave the insides blank so that residents could send them to their family members and friends. I was quite happy to know the cards would make a resident and their recipient happy.
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Old 04-21-2020, 05:17 PM   #31
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I have taken over 100 cards to a local facility. The residents have to even eat their meals in their rooms. The staff puts a card on their meal trays and so far they are loving it. The staff quarantined my cards as well beforehand.
The staff is so thankful and said it definitely has helped spirits. So sad we can’t visit our MIL.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:52 PM   #32
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For those that sign the inside of the card for a resident, how do close the message? I struggle with the closing on these types of cards so don't send them as often as I could.
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Old 04-22-2020, 06:06 AM   #33
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How about: Best wishes, Best Regards, Cordially, or Sincerely

and then follow with your name and where you're from
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:52 PM   #34
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I’ve been speaking with admissions people at some nursing home/rehabilitation centers today about my 95-year-old mother-in-law who’s been in the hospital and unfortunately needs daily in-patient physical therapy for a bit.

One of the directors of admissions told me they love and welcome mail, and put it and newspapers aside for 24 hours; if plastic, longer. That’s just in case the person delivering the mail is Covid positive, not because of envelope contents.

She said there were a group of teenagers engaged in a wonderful writing campaign to make sure residents get mail, especially for Mother’s Day!

I mentioned I had heard about a nursing home that wouldn’t accept mail, and she said it may be not because of over panicking, but because of the extra work. Guidelines from the state or feds (i don’t remember which) require they log in all mail and set it aside. She said maybe those nursing homes are short staffed.
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