During COVID-19, one of the many ways that our Sagora Senior Living residents have stayed connected with others is through pen pal programs at our communities. People from all across the country have taken the opportunity to write to our residents to share life stories, common interests and words of encouragement.
At The Westmore in Westworth Village, Texas, the program started small but grew rapidly. The community’s Memory Care Program Director, Mandy Hoover, shared a post on Facebook about how our residents would love to hear from writers on a wide array of subjects. The post gained quick attention with people asking how to get involved and what supplies they could donate. The community has since received personalized letters, cards from a local children’s ministry, stamps, paper and lots of love and kindness!
The Brennity at Vero Beach in Vero Beach, Florida also started a pen pal program and even gained local media attention. “I love to write, I always have enjoyed writing,” said resident, Muriel. As far as what she would like to hear about, Muriel says, “really basically their lives, everyone’s life is different and there’s always something interesting.” Letters have poured into the community from all across the country – one resident even received $20 for a haircut!
To our residents at The Westmore and The Brennity at Vero Beach, the letters have meant everything to them. They love reading the letters, sharing with their friends and laughing at some of the fun things people have written to them about. “Our pen pal program has done so much more than I could ever imagine for the residents,” said Memory Care Program Director, Mandy Hoover. “It has brought a spark back into their eyes. Just knowing that someone cares for them and has taken the time to write to them has made them all feel so loved.”
While these programs have exceeded our expectations, we hope it’s one that continues well past the COVID-19 pandemic. Writing to senior living residents is a wonderful way for writers to feel connected to the senior population and have an opportunity to learn from them. Seniors have such wonderful stories and wisdom to impart!
If you’re looking for ways to connect with our residents especially as we move into the holiday season, feel free to contact any of our communities directly by following this link. The letters don’t have to be anything long or wildly creative. A simple hello or word of encouragement will really mean the world to our residents – you can even get the kids involved to teach them the importance of connecting with elders. We look forward to hearing from you!