Think for a few seconds how you feel when someone takes the time to send you a physical birthday card. Do you feel surprise, joy and that smile on your face even if the card is not funny? We are aiming for all three feelings plus more.
Since December 2020 we have been working with a single nursing home as a pilot program to send greeting cards and a present for residents who have a birthday each month. We consult with the Activities Director to identify the passions of the person as well as cognitive state to receive items. For example we had one person who just loved large mugs so that was his gift. Another loved bags so she received a brand new bag. Another was excited to get a large ornate watch that we were told he wears every night.
Other residents receive socks and tolietries like lotion and simple yet pretty bracelets , pearls and beads and handmade items like lap blankets and jewelry depending on the person. This month we also provided an assortment of Hot Wheel Cars for the staff activities as well as mounted large advertising sheets for the staff to discuss the patient.
We plan to expand this program to other facilities and will enlisit the help of volunteers to help us provide safe items, handmade items, write cards plus more. We are also working with Artist, Raymond Horner Jr to develop our branded “5×7” greeting cards that can be hung on their bulletin board.
Hopefully, we can still put a smile on the faces of a nursing home resident while maintaining a safe distance.
If you have other ideas let us know.