With so many seniors feeling remoted and depressed throughout the pandemic, a McHenry County outreach group is organizing a number of “Undertake A Grandparent” applications, together with a Valentine’s Day occasion, to assist increase seniors’ psychological well being.
“With COVID it has made all the things worse for folks, particularly with the aged, and , they really feel extra remoted,” stated Beverly Miles, a resident at Gable Level, a senior housing facility in Crystal Lake run by Lutheran Social Providers of Illinois.
Sharon Saunders, one other resident, just isn’t solely battling the isolation, but additionally ovarian most cancers.
“Generally it’s actually onerous to simply accept the loneliness,” Saunders stated.
Like so many others, Saunders doesn’t have any family who reside close by.
“I might say 80% of what we have been capable of finding, their households are both out of state or they only haven’t any household anymore. So there isn’t a one to help them and simply remind them like hey, you matter, like, I see you,” stated Jacci Richards, director of Fisher Outreach Group, Inc., a non-profit that does group fundraising in McHenry County.
Fisher Outreach Group has supported many causes over time, however in 2020, Richards turned her consideration to serving to seniors, after seeing a social media publish from a neighborhood nursing residence that stated residents have been depressed and remoted throughout the coronavirus lockdown.
Richards first organized an “Undertake a Grandparent” vacation program, fulfilling seniors vacation want lists. That has since expanded into a number of occasions a yr, together with Valentine’s Day.
“We have six completely different amenities of low earnings seniors, over 500 seniors, that we are going to be placing collectively goodie luggage for,” Richards stated.
Presently, Richards has a couple of quarter of the donations she must fill goodie luggage with varied objects that may be purchased off of on-line want lists at Amazon, Goal and Walmart. Presents embrace crossword puzzle and coloring books, and toiletry objects, like cleaning soap and physique wash.
They’re additionally in want of a hand-crafted card to enter every goodie bag, which regularly is the spotlight of every present.
“Oh my gosh, I could not even imagine that final yr once I obtained Valentine’s playing cards and Valentine’s items? I imply, I do not get (items like) that anymore,” stated Bonnie Castellonas, a senior residing in Gable Level who obtained a Valentine’s goodie bag final yr.
It’s the increase that resident Beverly Miles stated all seniors, not simply her neighbors, might use proper now.
“It is like a dream come true for lots of people. I am certain it is a dream come true,” Miles stated.
“It makes you are feeling such as you matter. It makes you are feeling particular. You recognize, you are not invisible, as a result of seniors get to be of the invisible technology after which the older they get, they disappear. Lots of people have stated that. I really feel that. I do know my sister feels that,” stated Anita Thompson, additionally a resident at Gable Level.
“I do not wish to cry, , but it surely’s simply fantastic to have a gaggle like that, , that may make it easier to out or do issues for you,” Castellonas stated.
Should you or a area people group desires to make handmade playing cards for the “Undertake A Grandparent” Valentine’s program, you’ll be able to ship them to:
Fisher Outreach Group, Inc.
8600 US Hwy 14, Suite 106A, Crystal Lake, IL 60012
You may also discover the goodie bag want lists by clicking right here.