How You Can Help Nursing and Assisted Living Homes During COVID-19
With COVID-19 seriously affecting the country’s nursing home population, many facilities are locked down to visitors, leaving residents without in-person connections to family members and friends. Many residences have also had to cut their schedule of in-house social events—think bridge groups or movie nights—and move meals to room service only.
Residents who may be feeling worried, lonely or bored need your help, and their hardworking caretakers need your appreciation. Whether you’d like to show support for your loved one’s nursing team or simply remind your community’s elders that they’re not forgotten, we have a few ideas to get you started.
Send some love
Break out your notecards, stationary and fun markers and start writing. Organizations like Letters of Love accept handwritten notes—one-way, anonymous words of encouragement and love. Their volunteers sort and package the letters before sending them to senior facilities. They also accept donations to help manage the cost of postage.
Some nursing homes have put out the call for pen pals for residents, aiming to establish longer-term correspondences. Others, like Atlanta’s A.G. Rhodes, feeling overwhelmed by the processing and distribution of letters and cards, are requesting drawings, notes and pictures sent via email. If you’re hoping to send more than a note—like new games, puzzles or unused personal items—check with the facility beforehand to be sure they’re accepting such donations.
You can also share a video message through organizations like #CareNotCOVID to let residents know you’re thinking of them.
Cater a meal
If you’d like to say thank you to the healthcare heroes caring for Atlanta’s elders, consider catering a staff lunch or dinner. If you have a facility in mind, contact them to find out what their policy is regarding food deliveries. Your thoughtfulness will also do double-duty, helping our hurting restaurant industry stay afloat as well. Also, if you order Girl Scout Cookies, you can donate a box to frontline healthcare workers without paying shipping charges.
Practice social distancing
While some businesses are beginning to reopen, consider how much you really need to shop, dine out or visit with groups. Residents in nursing homes are at risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms, and once a home has a confirmed case, it often spreads rapidly among close-quartered residents. Additionally, nursing home staff members often don’t have the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to truly keep them safe. By reducing your own circulation in the community, you help limit the spread.
Most importantly, follow all nursing home restrictions on visitors, mail and donations. While it’s hard to be apart from those we love, it’s helping protect their safety and the staff who care for them.
Speak With an Atlanta Elder Law Lawyer
Planning is more important than ever right now. At Nadler Biernath, we have experience handling all aspects of elder law. Call us today at 770-999-9799 to schedule your initial consultation (conducted virtually) to discuss how we can help your loved ones.