As you’ve all read by now, long-term care facilities are being particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. What often gets missed in the headlines is a picture of what this means on a day to day basis for the residents, families, and staff members of these communities.
Most facilities have been abiding by strict no-visitor policies since mid-March, so residents have not seen families, friends, or loved ones for over a month. Quarantine protocols have prevented communal dining and activities, so residents have been in their rooms alone for most of the day. Staff is doing as much as they can to keep residents engaged, safety protocols are time consuming and the work load is staggering.
This lack of contact can be particularly devastating for families who are dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia, as phone use by people with dementia diseases can be challenging and methods of communication like Facetime or Zoom can sometimes cause more confusion than comfort.
In response, the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center has initiated the Cards for Hope Project, soliciting cards from the community to distribute to every long-term care facility on Cape Cod so that every resident and staff member knows that we are thinking of them. Our first delivery went to Pleasant Bay in Brewster, where in one day we delivered over 100 cards that were created and donated by community members. The AFSC received the following email this morning:
As someone who has a loved one at Pleasant Bay, thank you all for such a loving show of support. I’m sure that the residents and staff were overwhelmed. I was able to go over yesterday and wave through the window at my husband who has just been moved to the 1st floor and is considered Covid-19 positive. It was the first time I had glimpsed him since March 14th.
Thank you again to all who participated.
If you would like to contribute, you can drop off cards at our office at 2095 Main Street in Brewster in a Ziploc bag, or call us and we will come and pick them up from you. We will make sure that all cards and well wishes are delivered safely-please do not deliver them yourselves. For more information about the Cards for Hope Project, please call (508) 896-5170, email firstname.lastname@example.org,