Washington nursing home residents lift spirits amid COVID-19 lockdown with notes to families

Two residents smile as they hold up signs with messages written to their families.

Residents at a Washington state nursing home are spreading positive energy and smiles with photos of their personal notes to loved ones who are unable to physically visit them at the center as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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View Ridge Care Center in Everett, about 28 miles north of Seattle, closed its doors to visitors weeks ago to prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading among the residents. But in the face of isolation, the residents have taken the time to engage in a creative project to spread happiness to their families.

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“Your loved ones wanted to say ‘hello!’ in the form of love notes from their hearts to yours,” the center wrote on Facebook, posting over a dozen photos of smiling residents holding personalized messages written on white boards.

Some messages were short and sweet, like Bonnie’s “Hi kids. Am good, how are you?”

Another resident updated her family, writing, “I had lots of therapy today and I’m getting stronger every day.”

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All the residents expressed how much they love and miss their families, with each photo garnering nearly 1,000 likes as of Sunday afternoon. The pictures elicited a slew of kind responses from strangers for lifting their spirits during a time of anxiety for many around the world.

The residents' photos each garnered hundreds of likes on Facebook and also received many thank you messages from social media users for brightening their day.

“We need more positive (sic) in life!!” one comment read. “Thanks for putting a much needed smile on my face!!!”

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The virus has taken a toll on the elderly, deemed a high-risk group for contracting the virus. The first outbreak of coronavirus in the U.S. was at a nursing home in Washington state last month. Dozens died after becoming sick.

Keeping the residents engaged during this time of isolation was the best way to keep them emotionally and physically healthy, the center said.

Virus clusters have popped up at other care facilities since the outbreak began, with the most recent being in Maryland, where 66 tested positive and 11 were hospitalized Saturday.

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Nursing homes across the country have taken measures not only to protect their residents from the virus, but also to keep them engaged during this period of isolation.

“[Professionals] have done studies and they have shown that isolation can be really bad for people’s emotion as well as their physical health,” Pete Wolkin, the center’s owner and director of operations, told Q13 FOX. “So, staying engaged in the best way you can is good.”

Caregivers at the center wrote their own message, expressing their commitment to the physical and mental care of those who reside there.

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"We are so grateful to our community of supporters and friends who have shown us nothing but love and compassion during this time," the center wrote. "We will continue to shower our residents with the best care and as much joy as we can possibly spread under our roof. Be well and remain safe!"

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