With residents of care facilities like Columbia View Lodge (CVL) in ongoing isolation as a prevention against the spread of COVID-19, life has become very quiet.
And for many, quite lonely.
To help brighten the spirits of locals living in-care and to let them all know they are not forgotten amid this pandemic, the daughter of a CVL resident launched a heartwarming project called the “Community Love Wall.”
“I initially started the program after I got the idea from a friend who told me her daughter had made cards for residents at the home she worked at in Alberta,” volunteer coordinator Alison Worsfold told the Trail Times.
“That sparked my interest to do it here. I started it at Columbia View Lodge as my mom has lived there now for six months and all the residents there have touched my heart,” she shared.
“I couldn’t not do it!”
Worsfold says the response has been stellar, and it definitely wasn’t hard to find 70 people to make cards for all the residents.
“And the feedback from Margot was nothing but positive,” she said, referring to Margot Wright, Interior Health’s recreation therapist for CVL.
“From the sounds of things, it truly put a huge smile on the residents’ faces. Not only did they each receive a personalized card, as I provided their names and hobbies to their partners who did up cards for them, but we also had an anonymous donor provide funds,” explained Worsfold.
“So that the cards could be professionally printed at Halls, and Margot put copies of all of them on a wall in the centre (lounge), too.”
Since Worsfold brought this thoughtful project to Trail, volunteers in other local residential care facilities have picked up the initiative as well and brought loving messages to their residents living in isolation.
“This just goes to show that small acts of kindness go a long way,” said Worsfold. “What I did had a ‘domino effect’ and ultimately encouraged other locals to do the same for other facilities.
“This whole thing has made my heart so happy! We live in such a wonderful, caring region.”
There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes of the viral disease in vulnerable populations, including those aged 65 and older, people with underlying medical conditions, and individuals with compromised immune systems.
“Unfortunately, it continues to differentially affect our elders who are in long-term care,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said of COVID-19. “Our hearts, as well, go out to those people, their families, and the care teams in the long-term care homes who are doing so much to try and protect and care for people.”
Residents are isolated from family and community and their only personal contact is with care staff, says Margot Wright.
“So it’s lonely,” she said. “Receiving a letter lets them know people are thinking of them, and it means the world to our residents.”