Elderly residents combine pen and paper with social media to keep in touch

Residents at a care home for the elderly which is under Covid-19 lockdown have sent messages to their loved ones combining old-fashioned pen and paper with social media.

Staff at St Vincent’s Retirement Home for ex-service personnel in Ryde, Isle of Wight, came up with the plan to take photographs of their residents holding messages for their loved ones which were emailed and posted on Facebook.

A message to loved ones (St Vincent’s Retirement Home/PA)

Acting manager Jessica McGovern said that the home’s 21 residents wanted to do something positive and show they were coping amid the crisis which has caused the home to be in lockdown since last Saturday (March 14).

She said: “The idea came about on Monday when Boris (Johnson) started his 5pm speech on TV, it was all doom and gloom and the staff were all quite concerned for the residents.

The home has received a ‘wild’ response to the messages (St Vincent’s Retirement Home/PA)

“But we had a proper chat with them and they turned it around, we are a home for ex-servicemen and women and they said to us ‘We fought in the war and we can get through this’ so we thought we should be more positive.

“As we cannot have any visits from families, we thought we would use old-fashioned pen and paper because that is what the residents are used to and sent the pictures out by email and put them on Facebook as well.”

Describing the response, she said: “It’s gone wild, for the families they have the reassurance that their loved ones are safe, fed, warm, happy, smiling, and they are not letting the fact that families cannot visit have a big impact on them.

“The families are over the moon, we have had nothing but positive feedback, people have been quite emotional.”

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