This year, and beyond, there are an awful lot of people out there that are incredibly lonely, with that in mind we would like to breakdown the steps of how to send a care home resident a letter. From the young to the old loneliness can strike anytime. And is IS possible to feel completely on your own in a crowded room. We wanted to help, so decided we’d make some suggestion on how can send care home residents a card….wherever you are. For the UK, Postcards of Kindness is a wonderful initiative, but what about across the globe. How can we all help make loneliness easier to bear?
It is hard to know what to do to help the lonely, and it isn’t just seasonally that loneliness strikes, for those that have lost relatives, and in some cases their partners for life, it can be incredibly tough day to day, regardless of the time of year. John Lister, a 1010 year old war veteran, lost his wife of 70 years earlier this year, and his loneliness is heart-breaking.
“It’s so lonely.”John Lister, with tears in his eyes
If you are like us, you will want to know what small things we can do to help residents like John Lister, across the globe, so, we thought we would help them, and you out, by putting together a little advice on how you can write to them. Let’s make the kindness of strangers mean someone has a much less lonely time of year than why would have done otherwise?
How to send a care home resident a letter
It is surprisingly easy to actually do this; all you need to do is have a little time and patience and you are good to go:
- Decide whether you will take part in a local or a national initiative by searching Google for care homes near you, or finding out about the national initiatives in your country,
- Local care homes typically do have a process in place to manage resident’s post, so just give them a ring and explain what you are doing and check that they are OK for you and / or your family to send one of their residents a quick postcard,
- For the UK, Age UK have a wonderful program called Postcards Of Kindness. Join the Facebook group, find the local residential home, and off you go,
- Within the US, there are also local and national initiatives as well, including a video message website focused on sending messages of hope to residents nationally, and Timeslips who have a list of care homes accepting cards. BUT if you want to send to residents not on its list, as we have already recommended, give them a call,
- In Australia, there is a Letterbox initiative, and you can both register on this site as a writer, or nominate someone to receive a letter. If you are located here, why not take a look?
- Think about what you are going to say within the letter. We think it is a wonderful idea to encourage kids to write a little to a care home resident. What a brilliant learning activity! Let’s help the art of letter writing continue by focusing on a kind activity?
What to think about when writing your letters to car home residents
Once you have decided where to send a little, we need to think about what should be IN your letter:
- Address the elderly residents with respect – “Yo” probably isn’t the way to start, but a kindly Dear, or Hi, could work really well,
- Tell them a little bit about yourself, perhaps your name and what you look like,
- Ask them how they are, and be as positive as you can be about how you are feeling,
- Explain a little bit about what you like, and what you are doing. If you are at school, maybe explain what topics you enjoy, and what you maybe don’t like. You could even ask them if they remember what they liked at school and why!
- What do you like doing? Do you have any pets? Where are your favourite places? What do you like to do as a hobby? Just write freely, and kindly, and the residents will totally appreciate it.
- You can write to a single person (and the care home will pass it to someone that needs it), or to the whole care home. Whatever works for you
- If you need some resources and ideas to help, we have some positivity postcards, and even some hugs to send with your letters / postcards! Check out the Kindness resources we have on site to see what there is to help.
There are some wonderful examples of what others have done if you are really stuck too! Check our Community Senior Letters for an excellent example from Spain to a UK resident!
We hope that this has given you some excellent ideas, and perhaps you and the family will now write a letter to brighten someone’s day.
It WILL make a difference.
Thanks so much for reaching this and do share it with others so we can spread the word.
We’ve got loads of Kindness ideas on the site, so do check these out:
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