"Adopt a Nursing Home" outreach program launches in Texas

People living in nursing homes were among the first to have visits restricted to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. With the isolation now extending for at least another month, the Texas Health Care Association is offering a way to reconnect.

"The purpose and the goal is, its times like this when communities pull together, communities pull together in a time of need,  and this is definitely one of those need times," said THCA President Kevin Warren.

The association on Wednesday launched an initiative called Adopt a Nursing Home.

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"We are trying to engage the local communities to reach out to the nursing home residents and the staff in these communities that are working long hours, who are missing their families, and just provide the words and encouragement and telling how much they are thinking about them, thanking the staff, and thinking of the residents and hoping they are staying safe and healthy," said Warren.

Those who want to participate must register online. The portal identifies more than a thousand facilities statewide. After making contact with management, items like letters, emails, artwork, crafts, and even some games can be sent.

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It could be a good project for his kids, said Eddie Schmidt. "Oh absolutely, by drawing pictures, sending letters, anything that will make anybody smile," he said.

Denise Fawcett, a local musician, also liked the idea. 

"I love the idea, I love the idea, it would be nice to get some people to participate in that, I have a neighbor who works with senior citizens and she plays an instrument too, she might want to get in on that also; play them a song and send it, sure why not," said Fawcett.

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The campaign, according to Warren, has taken into consideration the problem of cross-contamination. 

"It's a general rule of thumb for safety purposes we ask people in the community, if they are sending letters, don’t lick the envelopes but at the same time note the mail when it gets to the facilities, it will be held for 24 hours in order to protect residents and staff safety," said Warren.

The adoption campaign right now does not include assisted living facilities. When the threat from the virus ends Warren hopes the adoption idea will continue.

"And would it not be great if there is an opportunity to bring the community that so much closer together," said Warren.

You can get more details about the campaign and sign up here.


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