Gayle Beveridge is a past winner of the Boroondara Literary Awards and her work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing. Gayle is passionate about family, writing, photography, and with Victoria’s beautiful Bass Coast which she now calls home.
Published April 9th 2020
Let seniors know they are important to us
Isolation measures put in place to protect our vulnerable aged population are a necessary step to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens but it is important that our elderly remain socially connected. Even those who previously had regular visitors may now be feeling isolated and alone. In order to combat this feeling of loneliness, aged care providers and aged facilities across Australia have been setting up pen pal and letter writing programs.
These programs present an opportunity for you and your children to connect with an elderly person or an aged care resident, to let them know they have not been forgotten or overlooked. What you send will not only put a smile on their faces but will leave you with a sense of purpose and wellbeing. In a time when you may feel powerless to help, this is something worthwhile to do.
These are just two of the many programs in place across the country.
HOME INSTEAD PEN PAL PROGRAM Home Instead Senior Care offers a range of care services to help seniors with their day-to-day activities, in and out of the home. Many of their clients live alone or in care. Their motto is, Senior Care – It's Personal to Us. Recognising that social distancing and self-isolation can cause seniors to feel lonely or disconnected from the community they have established the Home Instead Pen Pal Program.
They are encouraging members of the public to write to a senior. You might choose to send a one-off message or connect with a regular pen pal. You might like to write a hopeful message, share a poem of an amusing story, or perhaps draw a picture. Children are encouraged to get involved and Home Instead has some fun templates for them.
Image by Carola68 Die Welt ist bunt... from Pixabay
Even though you may be stuck at home yourself, you can reach out to a senior with this simple gesture of kindness. Whether you want to send a message or you're a senior who would like to receive a message, visit the Home Instead Senior Care webpage at https://homeinstead.com.au/penpals/ to register for the program.
SOUTH GIPPSLAND AGED CARE FACILITIES Aged Care facilities in South Gippsland are inviting children to send letters and pictures to residents during this time of social distancing. Bass Coast Health, a regional hospital in Wonthaggi, this week shared the contacts of a number of South Gippsland aged care facilities who are seeking to provide their elderly residents with some happy connection to community.
Children can choose to write a letter, or send a scanned picture or card which can be emailed to the addresses below. The letters and cards will be then be printed and distributed to residents;
So, if you've been stuck at home, wondering how you can help, start composing your message now. If you or your children are feeling a little lost or disconnected, these programs may help you, as much as they help the elderly.