A member of our enrichment night committee works at our local assisted care facility and told us that several of the individuals there did not receive visits from family members. When they ask staff members when their family members might visit, the staff has to say they will be coming soon, regardless of circumstance.
We called the assisted care facility ahead of time to schedule a time, and so they could find out which individuals were not receiving visits. (We also should have asked which people could have cookies or not before hand.)
After arriving at the facility and picking up a list of those who desperately needed visits, we separated into groups of 2 or 3 to visit individuals in their rooms. We were able to talk and provide a treat and service to many very lonely individuals in the facility.
After visiting the assisted care facility, we went to the Alzheimer’s unit in back of the facility. There we held hands with patients, delivered more cookies, visited, and sang some older songs. Some of the patients perked up when we sang and began singing with us — even requesting that we sing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” again.
This was a very successful service project, involving members of many ages, including our transitioning young women and elderly sisters. After the activity, we walked to a nearby house for a visit and refreshments with a ward member’s elderly mother.
In addition to strengthening lonely patients in the Assisted Care and Alzheimer’s facilities, the short walk, refreshments, and separating into groups for the service project strengthened many friendships with our ward sisters.