‘Messages of Hope’ Initiative for Long-Term Care Residents during COVID-19

Residents of long-term and retirement homes across Canada have been in isolation since March, not being able to see friends or family or leave their homes. One can only begin to imagine how hard this has been on their mental health. A couple of weeks ago, a resident approached me and mentioned that it feels to her like no one is trying to do anything to boost the morale around the building. This got me thinking about what could be done to support all of the residents who are feeling the same way.

People across the Queen’s University community submitted messages of hope that were turned into personal cards of encouragement for residents. I noticed how isolating the halls of the home were, so I taped the brightly coloured cards to their doors and made a wall of cards across from the elevator on each floor.

Right away, the residents noticed the cards and started to read them. One resident approached me shortly afterwards, pulled her card she was carrying around with her out of her purse, and said, “This was such a lovely surprise – thank you!”

​After delivering cards to just one home so far, it has become clear that this small token of recognition and positivity can go a long way to cheering people up and reminding them that they are not alone. The plan moving forward is to look into ways to distribute cards to many homes across the country.

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