Nursing homes looking for creative ways to support residents

Nursing homes supporting residents during outbreak

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Nursing homes across the Heartland are closed to visitors as a precaution against the coronavirus.

“To protect our senior population people should not visit nursing homes, long term care facilities, retirement homes, or assisted living homes,” Jane Wernsman warned, the director at the Cape Girardeau County Health Department.

Only essential personnel can go in and out of the entrances at places like The Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau.

For residents, this is a different way of operating.

“So many of them have family and friends that come and visit them on a daily basis sometimes multiple times a day so it is just heartbreaking for the residents and their family members really not being able to see each other or give each other that hug,” Melody Harpur said, the marketing director at The Lutheran Home.

These measures leave residents with little social interaction.

That's why facilities like The Lutheran Home are getting creative.

Friends and family are making window visits.

The Lutheran Home is also calling on the community for some additional support.

"Obviously our residents love anything from children, so any pictures, any emails, cards, things like that, they love, they love getting them," Harpur said.

Harpur said the goal is to keep these residents not only happy but healthy, too.

People looking to send some love to nursing homes might consider:

  • creating a drawing showcasing your best artwork,
  • writing a letter wishing them well,
  • making a digital picture,
  • shooting a short video.

People can send mail to The Lutheran Home. The address is 2825 Bloomfield Rd., Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63703.

Since there are concerns the coronavirus might be able to live on certain surfaces, many nursings homes say electronic messages might be best.

“If they want to put on a little performance and send it, I guarantee that would bring so many smiles to our resident’s faces,” Harpur said.

The Lutheran Home has set up two email accounts for these messages. You can send videos, letters, and artwork to residents at the skilled center. The email is lhfriends@lhcape.com. The email for people at the assisted living campus is alfriends@lhcape.com.

Nursing homes across the Heartland are encouraging similar acts of kindness, many of which are posting contact information on Facebook.

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