Assisted living home residents are in need of pen pals in this time of isolation

To curb the spread of the virus, Victorian Senior Care, which manages 14 facilities in North Carolina, has implemented strict protocols to safeguard their residents, with one being a ban on visitors.

“It has been mentally straining on them not to see family members and loved ones,” Meredith Seals, the principle operating officer of Victorian Senior Care, told CNN on Wednesday. “When you are used to having family there every day and then you can’t, it’s very lonely for them.”

Isolation isn’t impacting only those at senior domiciles but many individuals around the world since the pandemic continues to change just how we are able to connect to each other. Seals said one of the administrators at a facility came up with a concept to match residents with the others looking to it’s the perfect time.

Residents in the various Victorian Senior Care communities smiled for images while holding signs making use of their names and interests. Staff then shared the pictures on Facebook with the address of where to send the letters.

From sports to gardening to music, these seniors’ interests may be matched with anyone.

In one photo, a resident named Macy writes he could be looking for a pen pal with interest in church, singing and playing checkers, because he is the existing champion.

Ms. Judy says she loves cats and crossword puzzles, while Ms. Edna is seeking someone to talk about her favorite show, “Family Feud” with Steve Harvey. Another resident, Lenora, isn’t picky about what she’s sent — she just wants to receive some mail.

“They are overcome with joy when they see the mail,” Seals said. “It’s good to bring people together as much as we can.”

Lenora is looking for a pen pal to send her mail.

The mail and packages are sanitized per CDC instructions, Seals says, before being distributed to the residents. She added they have had no cases of Covid-19 and desire to keep it that way.

Since this program started a week ago, mail and packages for residents have now been received from all over the world including Germany, countries in Africa and New Zealand.

“We posted a world map in each facility and they are tracking where they are getting letters from,” she said.

She added that the residents are enjoying getting photos of pets and individuals. They are working to get yourself a pen pal board put into each facility so residents can say goodbye pictures they get.

Anyone can send mail to the residents. People can click through the images on the Victorian Senior Care Facebook page to select a pen pal, and their addresses are in the captions.

For anyone having a hard time picking, the primary office is collecting themed packages it’ll distribute to the appropriate residents. Seals asks that the sender write on the envelope what the theme is — for example, sports, veteran, dog, or crafts.

Those may be mailed to:

4270 Heath Dairy Road

Randleman NC 27317

Attn: VSCPenPals