NURSING Homes Ireland (NHI) is encouraging children to support older people during this difficult time, by reaching out to people in nursing homes and writing them a letter.
With almost 30,000 people across the country in nursing home care, Comfort Words is encouraging children to support older people by writing to them.
NHI believes children can fulfil an important role in promoting positivity amongst residents and maintaining contacts in the weeks ahead by connecting with them.
Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, explained the concept behind Comfort Words which will see children use a “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 a smile to their faces,” he said, “We want children who know residents in their local nursing homes and also those who don’t know the people living in them to participate.”
Mr Daly said this initiative will give children who know people in nursing homes an opportunity 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.
“We believe letters to individual and collective residents will bring great comfort and pleasure to people in our nursing homes. Comfort Words can demonstrate the power of inter-generational solidarity during these extraordinary times.”
A listing of nursing homes is available to download from the Nursing Homes Ireland website.
Mr Daly urged children to be mindful of the importance of hygiene in preparing the letters, urging children and their parents to wash their hands prior to preparing. He also advanced the possibility presents for the letters to be emailed to nursing homes.
“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,” he added. “We would also encourage people to utilise the free postcards being provided by An Post for connection with residents in nursing homes.”
Mr Daly paid tribute to staff in nursing homes across the country who are making exceptional efforts to ensure residents are positively engaged and supported during Covid-19.
In exceptionally difficult circumstances, he said nursing homes are delivering broad programmes of interest for residents and are being creative in ensuring they have regular access to relatives and friends via face-time technology
NHI is encouraging the sharing of Comfort Words letters and they can be emailed to [email protected] or shared on social media under #ComfortWords