Social media group to expand care home postcard initiative

The national appeal, set up by Your Health Limited, comes after 10 care homes owned by the provider carried out its “Postcards of Kindness” initiative last year.

During last year’s appeal, the Cedar Court Dementia Care home in Bretby was inundated with around 1,000 postcards, as reported by Nursing Times.

The care home provider has now launched a Facebook group to help “spread the joy” its residents experienced last summer.

The social media group provides a platform for care homes across the country to leave their addresses for holiday-goers to send the cards to.

Rather than keeping the postcards for themselves, the provider wants to spread the initiative nationwide.

cedar court resident daisy with postcards

Cedar Court resident Daisy with postcards

Cedar Court resident Daisy with postcards

Staff at Your Health Limited hopes the page will become a “one-stop-shop” of addresses for travellers and holiday-goers.

Managing director Vicki Weller first came up with the postcard idea after her family sent a card to all of the homes last year.

Speaking of the initiative, Ms Weller, said: “Last year’s Postcards of Kindness appeal went better than we ever could have hoped for, with thousands of cards pouring in from around the world.

“Residents wholeheartedly engaged with the words and images, discussing their own fond holiday memories and reminiscing about the places they had travelled to,” she said.

Ms Weller added that the project helped connect staff members, residents and visitors and “brightened up” the homes too.

“This year, we wanted to spread the joy that we experienced and launched Postcards of Kindness – The Group on Facebook,” she said.

“We want to encourage other care homes to get involved, and to tell even more travellers about the initiative,” she added.

“It’s become a way to connect care homes and those sending postcards, hopefully with the same amazing outcomes as we had last year,” said Ms Weller.

“The cards provide an escape for our residents, enabling them to talk about holidays destinations they wanted to go to visit”

Sharon Dube

The managing director added that the hashtag #PostcardsOfKindness will help to unite everyone taking part in the campaign and ensure every act of kindness is recorded.

Mental health nurse at Cedar Court, Sharon Dube, explained the importance of the postcards for residents with dementia.

“We have asked for people to send us postcards as every delivery helps residents to reminisce about their holidays and provides the mental stimulus or memory triggers to talk about holidays they have had in the past and all the amazing places they have visited,” she said.

“The cards also provide an escape for our residents, enabling them to talk about holidays destinations they wanted to go to visit – or would choose to go to now,” she added.

Ms Dube noted that the homes’ residents who have more advanced dementia “enjoy the more tactile aspects” of the postcards, including the colours and textures.

“Some of our residents enjoy collecting objects, and the postcards form a key part of this too since they can hold and keep them,” she said.

“They come in such a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colours and textures, this is really important from a sensory perspective,” she added.

The Facebook group includes two photo albums that can be added to- one for addresses from care homes and one for care homes to leave pictures of what they have been sent. It is open to care groups and anyone who might want to send a card.

https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/older-people/social-media-group-to-expand-care-home-postcard-initiative/7029564.article