Alexandria, VA

A letter-writing campaign in Alexandria is underway to help break the isolation at some local senior care facilities.

The campaign is aimed at getting letters to three facilities: Sunrise of Alexandria (3520 Duke Street), Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center (2729 King Street) and Brandywine Living at Alexandria (5550 Cardinal Place).

“Nursing home residents need some love!” the letter-writing campaign organizers said on the website. “They can’t have visitors right now so they will appreciate cards. In your cards think about including an uplifting poem or quote, or a funny joke.”

Each sign up is for writing a group of ten cards to one facility, but those who want to write more are invited to take multiple slots.

“We’ve heard about it,” said a spokesperson for the Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. “We just found out about it yesterday. I think it will brighten spirits here.”

The spokesperson said the residents at Woodbine have not been allowed to have visitors, so the hallways have been really quiet lately.

The letter-writing campaign was praised and encouraged by Dr. Stephen Haering, director of the Alexandria Health Department, at last night’s city council meeting. Haering said many seniors — one of the populations most vulnerable to COVID-19 — are currently shut-in and isolated and could use the cheering up.

Some on the council worried that the virus could be passed through mail delivery, but Haering said it was unlikely the virus would survive long enough on a letter for that to be a hazard and, in case a mail carrier is infected, people handling packages should wash their hands after opening them.

Photo via Sunrise Senior Living

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