A 2012 study from the National Institute on Aging found a link between loneliness and serious health problems, including death. Of the 1,604 adults over age 60 surveyed, 43% percent experienced loneliness. Writing a letter to an elderly person can help them ease these lonely feelings. Just in time for the season, we will review everything you need to know about holiday cards for seniors.
Why Write Letters to the Elderly?
Why send cards to elderly people when you can always call, text, or email? While many nursing homes have internet access and seniors are becoming more adept at technology, there is still something sentimental about receiving a letter or card. Here are a few upsides to making cards for the elderly:
- Making tangible memories: Emails and text messages fade away over time as one is inundated with electronic files. But when you make holiday cards for seniors, you are also giving them a chance to relive these feelings of love over and over again.
- Showing you care: Even the seniors unfamiliar with the ease of electronic communication know the effort it takes to write a letter or make a card. They will surely appreciate you going above and beyond to make them feel special.
- Calming distressed minds: Seniors are known to have feelings of loneliness and isolation. A card simply showing they are cared for can calm their minds.
- Helping yourself: Putting pen to paper gives you the opportunity to express your thoughts free of distractions electronics often provide. It will also give you the chance to really think about this person you love and give you a deeper appreciation for them.
- Helping others: If you don’t have a senior loved one or if you want to spread positivity elsewhere, you can also send cards to other seniors in need through various card services. These include projects such as Love for the Elderly and The Angel Card Project, which let you send cards to other seniors or you can submit your loved one’s name for them to receive more cards.
What to Write in Cards for Nursing Home Residents
Other than celebrating the holiday season or birthdays, you can write letters to seniors for various reasons. Here are a few things you can say in your card or letter:
- “Just thinking about you and wanted to say hi.”
- “You are amazing because…” and then list the reasons.
- “Wishing you a day filled with love and sunshine.”
- “‘Grandpa/Grandma/Mother/Father/Uncle/Aunt/Etc.’: Another word for ‘love.’”
- “I love you. Just wanted to let you know.”
How to Address a Letter to a Nursing Home Resident
When sending letters to the elderly, it’s important to make sure it reaches the intended recipient. To address a letter or card, be sure to always include a “care of” or “c/o” line with the name of the nursing home below the name of your loved one. Here is an example of how these envelopes should be addressed:
c/o Griswold Nursing Home
123 Love Street,
HappyTown, NJ 08060