OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Back in March, many nursing homes and senior living facilities had to put a stop to visitation in response to COVID-19. The Sunplex Subacute Center is still on lockdown but has welcomed another avenue of communication for its residents.
Adopting the old school way of communicating with paper and pen, residents are connecting with the public as pen pals.
“Oh my goodness, it has been so much fun. They’re piling in every day and they’ve responded. It’s been such a joy,” said Community Relations Director Sandy Moore.
In addition to the many letters, residents have also bee showered with much more.
“They’re excited about it. They’re getting packages in every day. Packages of goodies, snacks, chess boards and checkerboards, games and puzzles,” Moore said.
With one post going viral on social media, receiving 1,800 shares, 29 states and four countries have connected with their residents.
“We had no idea we would get the response that we got, but it’s been such a blessing,” Moore said.
Before the pen pals, Moore expressed how difficult it was for residents to connect with family and friends.
“It’s just been really difficult not being able to have visitors, not being able to leave their rooms. It just makes it really hard for them to connect and for them to find the joys of life the way they used to,” she said.
Now, with pen pals across the world, the staff believes many residents have found some joy. On the posters and boards, the staff wrote the resident’s name along with things he or she enjoys, putting that on social media so the pen pals can get to know them better.
“It was our hope that we could re-connect them to the things that they love and the things that bring them alive,” Moore said.
To become a pen pal, visit the facilities Facebook page.