While Social Distancing, Westchester Community Spreads Cheer to Seniors and Staff
Now that nursing homes and assisted facilities have had to close their doors to visitors, it’s important to go the extra mile to be sure residents don’t begin to feel lonely.
To fill the gap, United Hebrew implemented virtual visits with loved ones, and it’s been a huge success! As our residents connect with their families over FaceTime and Skype with digital tablets provided to every unit, they are able to “visit” with their families and friends often.
But there’s been another source of unexpected joy during the Covid-19 emergency — the arrival of very warm and encouraging letters from the outside community.
“Notes from school children, high schoolers, and college students have been arriving to our campus daily,” announced Rita Mabli, president & CEO. “These are all inspiring notes of support and they are warming the hearts of our residents and our staff who are working day and night to keep everyone healthy and safe. This wonderful outpouring from the Westchester community is an enormous source of comfort, and a way to ease the feeling of being alone, while staying apart.”
Akhila Ramesh, a Pace University junior, says that the letters are a friendly reminder that there are ways to interact with one another and “get through whatever comes our way.”
“Writing a nice letter to someone goes a long way in making them feel good about themselves,” she told News 12 (see video). “I’ve tried to put myself in the shoes of someone who doesn’t have anyone to come and see me, and it makes me happy that I can make someone else happy.”
Ramesh has encouraged people to write back to her if they need a companion.
Ninth graders at New Rochelle High School have also sent words of encouragement. One recent letter promoted positivity during the pandemic:
“I heard the news that you will not accept any visitors outside of the nursing homes. I understand because it keeps you safe. But it must get very lonely…I am writing this letter to tell you that you are not alone. Many people are scared during this time as we all should be….Spread love, be kind, and have an amazing day.”
Other students included United Hebrew’s staff members, who have put in long hours to care for and engage seniors across the campus.
To the staff and residents at the nursing home, you are all in our thoughts and prayers and we thank all of you for your hard work and bravery during these difficult times of isolation. We hope all of you are safe and we will all make it through these tough times together. The safety and health of all of you is our concern and we will all do our jobs to keep each other healthy and well. Hang in there!
United Hebrew welcomes your letters! If you would like to send a message of support to a resident of United Hebrew of Rochelle, or to a staff member working in our nursing home or one of our assisted living facilities, please send to:
United Hebrew of New Rochelle
391 Pelham Road
New Rochelle, NY 10805