Senior kits support those isolated by pandemic
United Way, Tri-County Health Care, MAHUBE-OTWA and Meals on Wheels partnered to provide 100 senior active mind kits.
For the health of many residents in long-term care facilities and seniors, isolating has become a common practice. The routines of playing dominoes together might continue in small groups but exercise classes, going grocery shopping on your own and stopping by friends' apartments aren’t as common with the pandemic changes. Along with the lessened visitors as family members are asked to limit their time together.
With seniors remaining isolated, United Way of Otter Tail and Wadena counties wanted to find a way to connect with seniors and remind them how loved they are. Local partnerships brought senior mind kits of crossword puzzles, word searches, playing cards, dominoes and blank cards. The kits encourage mind activities and staying healthy, as Perham and Wadena area coordinator Summer Hammond said.
They also include resources on wellbeing, prescription discount cards and a face mask, as well as added encouragement. The joy of writing a letter or card to a friend or family member is one way Hammond hopes seniors can send on the happiness.
The employee voice committee at Tri-County Health Care prepared 100 bags for senior Wadena County Meals on Wheels recipients. The Tri-County Foundation also sponsored a grant for the project.
Hammond said the kits are also a way for United Way to begin going into the community again as the pandemic “hunkered” people down. Seniors in the area have reached out to them about programs and events, and sometimes simply to chat, she noted.
“Sometimes we just find that they’re calling because they just want to talk to somebody, and so we sit and visit with them. They’re just lonely,” Hammond says. “Hopefully these little kits are good for them and they find enjoyment with them and just have a lot of fun.”
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