Children are being encouraged to support older people in nursing homes during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis by writing to them.
Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) has launched a national initiative called Comfort Words, which aims to promote positivity among the almost 30,000 people living in nursing homes around the country.
"We are launching a national campaign encouraging children to engage in the most traditional form of communication with nursing home residents. We're asking them to write to residents in our nursing homes to connect with these special people and bring smiles to their faces," explained NHI chief executive, Tadhg Daly.
He said that this campaign is aimed at both children who know people living in nursing homes, and those who do not.
"This presents an opportunity for children who know people in nursing homes to tell them how much they mean to them and how important they are to them. And children who don't know anyone in a nursing home can write a letter for all the residents, telling of their appreciation for older people and encouraging them to remain positive during Covid-19," Mr Daly noted.
He said that he believes that these letters will "bring great comfort and pleasure" to people in nursing homes, and will demonstrate "the power of inter-generational solidarity during these extraordinary times".
A list of nursing homes is available to download from the NHI website here, and Mr Daly reminded children to be mindful of the importance of hygiene in preparing the letters. He advised them and their parents to wash their hands prior to writing their letter.
"Comfort Words does not have to be unique to older people in nursing homes and can also be replicated for older people living in the community. We would also encourage people to utilise the free postcards being provided by An Post for connection with residents in nursing homes," Mr Daly added.
NHI is also encouraging people to share their Comfort Words letters. These can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or shared on social media under #ComfortWords.
For more information on Nursing Homes Ireland, click here.
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