Simple request from residents of local nursing home isolated by COVID-19 goes viral
GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) - A Facebook post Monday afternoon from Hillside Medical Lodge was going viral after the nursing home posted pictures of residents asking for pen pals. By Tuesday night the post had been shared more than 2,000 times.
“It is just blowing up, people are reacting amazingly,” said Susie Meelbusch-Woods, Director of Public Relations at Hillside Medical Lodge. “We even had someone comment on our Facebook post that they were going to share it in the Netherlands, so we’re hoping it goes worldwide.”
By Tuesday evening the post had been shared about 1,600 times.
Nursing home officials say it’s been a challenging time for seniors who have been unable to see their families and friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our residents, like residents all over the world right now with COVID-19, have been on lockdown, they’re not getting to see their families,” said Meelbusch-Woods. “We’re hoping that this is a way to connect our residents with people still outside the facility with similar interests, plus, who doesn’t love getting mail that’s not an actual bill?!”
They hope to brighten the day of the 52 seniors in the pen pal program including husband and wife Matt and Dean Ware.
“When we’re gone, who’s going to tell these stories?” said Mr. Ware.
Ware, 97, and his wife Dean have been married for 76 years and says they have plenty of tales to tell.
“We got a lot of stories to tell, and I’ll be glad to tell some of these stories so it’ll be remembered for years to come,” said Ware.
Mr. Ware, a WWII veteran, wants a pen pal to share war stories with, meanwhile, Mrs. Ware is looking for someone who enjoys cooking and sewing.
Nursing home officials say they’re looking to match residents with pen pals who enjoy everything from Elvis and roller skating to Unsolved Mysteries and collecting Barbies.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a pen pal can send their letters to:
Hillside Medical Lodge
C/O "name of resident"
300 S. Hwy 36 Bypass
Gatesville, TX, 76528
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