Homemade card, letter campaign brings cheer to isolated geriatric clients

By Jan Jarvis

Card

A team of social workers in the Center for Geriatrics is raising the spirits of older patients in the Clinical Practice Group who are isolated at home.

The Cheer over Fear campaign was designed to support older adults through handmade cards, letters and artwork. The idea came from the social workers’ interactions with patients during their wellness, annual and new patient follow-up calls, said Social Worker Natasha Bahr.

“During calls and social worker screenings, we identified patients who were having a very hard time with this quarantine,” she said. “This is a really hard time for everyone, but it can be especially difficult for our older population.”

The team launched the campaign in early April and have sent out about 50 cards.

Kate Taylor Sons“We have more items arriving daily, and we are continuing to send them out, along with calling the patients to check in on their emotional well-being,” Bahr said.

Kate Taylor, a Nurse Practitioner in the geriatric clinic, got her family involved in the project.

“My son Kade said he learned about how to think about others when making the cards,” she said. “He recognizes that they must be lonely.”

The idea of doing something to make the quarantine less lonely for geriatric patients quickly caught on, said Kathryn Lytton, Communications Manager.

The elderly are at high risk for getting COVID-19, and they are vulnerable to loneliness during the isolation.

Because of our physical distancing this time can impact their ability to see their grandchildren, family friends,” Bahr said. “We decided we needed to do something to bring some sunshine into their lives.”

 

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