Some Uplifting Nursing Home Stories Amid Coronavirus

Dear Hayek,

My grandmother is in a nursing home and I am worried about her. I write her letters and talk with her via phone and FaceTime, but I can tell she is still lonely. Are there any uplifting stories you can share about nursing homes during this difficult time? I’m hoping for some creative inspiration.


Brighton Therday

Dear Brighton,

During this difficult time, people have found creative ways to bring joy to nursing home residents while following CDC guidelines. These areexamples of people spreading cheer from all over the US. Hope this helps give you ideas to brighten your grandmother’s day!

“Elvis” makes a visit: Residents at the Cedar Grove Nursing Home in West Virginia were greeted by “Elvis.” He went around to each window and talked and sang to the residents. Residents were overjoyed about his unexpected visit!
Teens writes letters to nursing home residents: Chloe Coleman-Houghton and other eighth grade softball players in Salt Lake City have been writing letters to patients of the Life Care Center who are unable to have visitors due to concerns about COVID-19 spread. “There’s so much kindness around and we just have to get it out, especially right now,” she said.
Bingo from their rooms: A nursing home in Kansas City held bingo for residents. Residents sat in their doorways and were given a bedside table, bingo cards, and chips, and had a blast playing from their rooms.
Sewing masks for local hospitals: Residents of the same nursing home in Kansas City, as well as sewing and quilting groups around the country, are using donated materials to sew masks for local hospitals and nursing homes.
Tree professional uses tree cutting truck to visit mother’s room: Charley Adams’ 80-year-old mother was going “stir-crazy” staying at Windsor Estates Assisted Living in Ohio, after the facility restricted access due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Charley surprised his mother by using his tree-cutting truck to lift himself to her window for a surprise visit.
• Florist deliver’s flowers to nursing home: A florist in North Carolina whose business is suffering packed up her flowers and donated them to a nursing home. Each resident got flowers in a vase to brighten up their dinner table.
Nursing home offers virtual “adopt a grandparent” program: The virtual program allows English-speakers from around the world to volunteer spending time with “grandparents,” through video calls during this difficult time.
Nursing home residents receive a prehistoric surprise: Staff at Mount Carmel Home in Nebraska said they’re trying their best to keep their residents happy. A staff member dressed as a dinosaur walked around the building, greeting people and showing off encouraging signs that she made for the residents.
• Virtual dinner: One of our staff members in Virginia had dinner with her mom over Skype. They planned a time and both dined together, enjoying a nice visit and lively conversation.

If you have any additional ideas or creative ways you have connected with a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living, please share them in the comments. We hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this difficult time.


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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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