Guest post provided by Roo Ciambriello.
The holidays are generally a time of family togetherness, special traditions, and giving. For many senior adults in nursing homes, however, the holidays can be kind of cold and lonely. My husband sings at over a dozen nursing homes and hospice centers in our state each month, and had the idea for us to get our children involved in some outreach. In a season where kids (and adults) can easily get wrapped up in the ‘getting,’ it’s a nice idea to reach out to the older members of the community and make this time of year a little less isolating for them.
I pulled out construction paper, markers, stickers, crayons, and paints, and explained to my daughters that we’d be making cards for older adults to make them smile this winter. They were totally on board (even the baby) and drew pictures (or scribbles) of houses and trees, flowers, and even robots. No parameters here. We didn’t address any of them, but they did sign them with their names and folded them carefully.
You can call a nursing home ahead of time to see if they allow young visitors (in general, nursing homes can expose little kids to germs and vice versa). You can always do what we did – make a stack of bright, pretty cards, and send them with a grown-up to deliver with a hug and some warm wishes. Alternatively, this is a great idea for any older people in your neighborhood who don’t get out much. Store-bought Christmas cards are nice and photo cards are lovely, but it’s nice for them to receive a hand-drawn card and a spoken wish for a happy new year.
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Roo Ciambriello (that’s ru cham-bree-yellow) is a copywriter and the blogger behind the sort-of-funny NEON FRESH. When she’s not writing stories on the back of potato chip bags or blogging, she spends her time hanging out with her kids and obsessively mopping her kitchen floor while listening to early 00s hip-hop jams. Roo lives in coastal Connecticut with her husband, three daughters, and possibly a rabid raccoon, and she’d *totally* love it if you said hi on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.