“Social isolation and loneliness can have negative impacts on seniors’ health. We all need to make sure we keep seniors mentally engaged while physically keeping them protected from the infection.”
How to support seniors during
the COVID-19 outbreak
– Dr.Roger Wong,Clinical Professor,
Division of Geriatric Medicine, UBC
Fighting social isolation the old fashioned way: handwritten letters (and cards!)
April is known in letter writing circles as National Card & Letter Writing Month. The original plan was for the Burnaby Letter Writers Society to launch with a “letter writing social” where letter writers would gather together to write and share their love of “snail mail.”
However, since COVID-19 has cancelled all gatherings we thought we could bring this initiative online, for a specific audience. We would like to connect with seniors, realising they are facing increased social isolation while their facilities have restrictions of visitors. But we will continue this program once we get beyond the pandemic.
Part of the inspiration for this project was participating in calls for holiday cards or milestone birthday cards for seniors.
We also learned about a group called Love for the Elderly, who collect handwritten letters to uplift an elders in senior communities. According to a joint Claremont Graduate University, Pennsylvania State University and UC Irvine study, everyday small gestures, like showing compassion and performing random acts of kindness, help us feel loved.
There have also been requests on Social Media from care homes requesting mail for isolated seniors. Click the images below to read about some examples.
How You Can Join the Fight Against Social Isolation!
On the following page, you will find a list of centres whose residents would appreciate a handwritten card of letter to brighten their days. Along with the location, you will see numbers indicating how many seniors at the location who would like a pen pal for correspondence as well as one time greetings.
“In the digital age, words on paper are a novelty that we overlook. Letters are something to cherish: to set on a desk, to stick to a fridge, to bind in a scrapbook.”
Letters of Love
Love for the Elderly