Residents of care homes across the UK have been using a template that aims to connect them with their loved ones. As visitors are currently unable to go into care homes, the template means they can catch up without the need for physical contact.
“Missing you lots! Can’t wait until the virus lockdown is over and I can take you out”
Focusing on the positives, the template has space for drawing pictures, sticking photos and writing messages, as well as noting down the things that have made them smile that week. The document is then sent to friends and relatives, who fill in the other side with their own drawings and messages. These are returned to the home for the residents to enjoy.
Encouraging regular communication
One home, Brookvale House in Southampton, part of Brookvale Healthcare, has found the template to be hugely successful at connecting residents with loved ones in a meaningful way, receiving plenty of replies.
A resident at the home and her daughter have been using the templates regularly to exchange messages and clippings as a form of reminiscence. One of the communications included a photo of blue flowers, with the message “A lovely picture for you – blue forget me nots. Remember your song, Two Little Girls in Blue, when your father used to sing it to you. It was a famous song in 1921!”
The resident replied, “I remember the song Two Little Girls in Blue – I remember my dad singing this song together!”
Tunbridge Wells Care Centre, part of Canford Healthcare, have also had replies from loved ones. One child replied to a resident, “Thank you for the letter, I really enjoyed reading it. My positives include splashing in the paddling pool, writing poems and writing this!”
Keeping up spirits
The template has also proven that it’s the simple things bringing us joy during lockdown – some of the positives noted by residents of Brookvale Care Home and their loved ones include “cups of tea”, “seeing my son”, “singing” and “sunshine”. One resident said her positives were “When my daughter sends me flowers and when my daughter calls me on the phone – it makes me smile!”