M4A begins Pen Pal Program for seniors

Published 12:28 pm Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Who doesn’t like getting a personal letter or card in the mail?

This may hold especially true for long-term care residents that are often limited in their ability to leave the facilities where they live. At 96 years old, Elsie still enjoys tatting, embroidery, and receiving letters from her pen pal.

A resident of a local nursing home facility, Elsie participates in a program through the Ombudsman program of the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging that matches up long-term care residents and community volunteers as pen pals. Elsie says fondly of her pen pal “she writes awfully interesting letters…a lot of her activities of interest match up with mine”.

The Pen Pal Program is one way that the Ombudsman Program continually advocates for high quality of life for residents of long-term care facilities. Letters from volunteers remind long-term care residents that people still care about them as individuals and also give residents a sense of connectedness to their larger communities.

Cards and letters on a resident’s wall can also serve as a conversation starter for visitors and family which aids in residents maintaining relationships with those around them.

The Pen Pal Program is need of volunteers who are eager to serve our residents in long-term care facilities. Even if your schedule is tight, the Pen Pal Program offers an opportunity to volunteer at your convenience, either as an individual, family or a group.

The program simply requires volunteers to write to their assigned pen pal at least once per month. If you are interested in serving as a Pen Pal for a senior adult in your community, please contact the Ombudsman Program at the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging at (205) 670-5770.