When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US, and healthcare organizations were required to place restrictions on social interactions and activities within retirement communities, our leadership team began brainstorming ways to keep our residents active and engaged, while ensuring their health and safety remains first priority.
One idea that has been successful is our Pen Pal program. Children from local elementary schools have been encouraged to mail letters to “Pen Pal” at Kirkwood. Many residents have received letters and are writing back and forth with sweet kids from around Birmingham, who are also in quarantine. This has been such a positive program that everyone has loved. Our residents look forward to receiving and sending letters to a local youth, and it brings a bright glimmer of hope and connection in such a hard and uncertain time in our world. Our staff have really proven their creativity and care for our community as they innovate new ways to spread love and joy to each resident and family. We realize that we have so many things to be thankful for that are often taken for granted, and one of these is the human connection.