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Helping nursing home residents

Fidel and Doris Rodriquez look out their window at the Munday Nursing Center, seeing flowers provided by Linda and George Oustad and their daughter Leann Harlan. Others were also reaching out to residents in this manner since no visitors are allowed.

Special to The News-Courier

AUSTIN—The Texas Health Care Association (THCA) announced the Adopt a Nursing Home initiative to connect willing Texans with a local nursing home to safely communicate during the COVID-19 outbreak to send words of comfort to both residents and their caregiving staff.

“In a time when we must protect residents by restricting visitors, human connection is more important now than ever. This initiative will help boost morale and support the emotional and mental health of our residents and those staff caring for their daily needs,” said Kevin Warren, President and CEO of THCA.

The initiative allows Texans to visit an online portal (, enter basic information, and identify local nursing homes where they can then send letters, emails, artwork, crafts, needed materials and more. While offering a method to send electronic words of encouragement, support for mailing through USPS is available to give residents and staff something they can touch, hold, or even hang. For additional prevention, facilities are encouraged to hold mail for 24 hours before distributing to residents.

The COVID-19 outbreak has particularly affected nursing home residents, who look forward to regular visits from friends and family. Concurrently, nurses, administration, housekeeping, dietary, and other essential staff are also struggling, working even longer hours now to provide care for these residents in the absence of outside visitors, community groups and family.

“With more Texans sheltering in place, we hope to move hearts of the local community through a safe and creative outlet for them to connect and provide comfort to our seniors and the amazing staff caring for them every day,” Warren stated.

To learn more and get involved with the Adopt a Nursing Home initiative, visit the website or reach out to Cara Gustafson at 561 797-8267.

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