Spread some cheer this year and learn how to make and send handmade cards for seniors and nursing home residents!
So, the other day I was writing a post about making cards for troops and it got me thinking about other people in our society who can use some extra love. I started to wonder if there were ways to make cards for Seniors and nursing home residents. In fact, this really sent me down memory lane because my Grandma was in a nursing home for several years.
It just so happened that the graduate school that I ended up getting a TA position at was close to her nursing home and so subsequently, I spent more time with her in those few years than I probably ever had before. It was a blessing in disguise for both of us. I realize how lucky we are that my Grandma was reasonably happy in her situation, but I can easily see how it could also be very difficult for many nursing home residents, particularly those who don’t get a lot of visitors or those that have more difficult health problems.
In a way, isolation or loneliness is probably similar for our troops and for a lot of elderly nursing home residents. I think making and sending cards to troops is a common thing but I had never actually heard of making cards for Seniors.
Turns out, that’s a thing we can do too!
So, the good news is that I did all the preliminary work for you! Today I’m going to talk about how to make cards for Seniors, what they should say and where and when to send them to nursing homes! All you have to do is the fun crafty part and make those DIY holiday cards!
Basic Guidelines to Follow When You Make Cards for Seniors
- Decide which charity or nursing home you’re going to send your cards to first and READ all of their specifications to make sure your DIY greeting cards will be accepted.
- Some charities accept cards and letters for Seniors year round so consider sending your DIY cards to a nursing home at other times of year!
- Address your cards generically rather than to any specific individual.
- Write your messages in legible large print.
- Do not include personal information including your last name, address email, or location.
- Do not seal the card in an envelope. Some charities even ask for no envelope at all so check each charity’s guidelines.
- Do not include glitter, confetti, or any embellishments that are not securely attached to the card.
- Do not include food, candy, or other care package items with your cards.
- Include kind and uplifting messages, poems and drawings in your cards.
- Make sure your happy messages are generic and nonreligious, for example “Warmest wishes” or “Happy New Year”, as not all people celebrate all holidays.
- Also avoid mention of any other specific holiday or date (i.e. Mother’s Day) as cards may be given year round.
- Avoid any suggestion that the recipient’s situation needs improvement such as “Feel Better” or “Cheer Up”
- DO add cute drawings!
- If the organization you have chosen accepts them, consider additional monetary donations to cover postage or other costs.
How to Make Cards for Seniors
- Start with blank paper or a greeting card that’s blank inside without a pre-printed message
- Decorate, or have your kids decorate the cards with happy colorful drawings.
- Write happy, joyful messages in large print.
- Add stickers or stamps or any other decoration that can be securely attached (no glitter, sequins, confetti etc.).
What to Write in Your Handmade Cards for Seniors
Ideas for generic feel-good messages to nursing home residents and Senior citizens include:
- Wishing you a wonderful day!
- Thinking about you!
- For someone who’s special and wonderful…
- Just a friendly little hello from me to you!
- Just felt like sharing a smile with you today!
- Sending happy thoughts your way!
- Hoping you know how special you are…
- This greeting is sent with warmest wishes to brighten your day!
- Wishing a wonderful day to a wonderful person!
- You are loved!
- Sending sunshine!
Where to Send Cards for Seniors
I said it once and I’ll say it again, choose a charity to send your DIY cards for troops to BEFORE you start making them and make sure you read their specific guidelines (including any due dates) before you start!
Also, you might consider contacting a local nursing home in your community, a simple phone call to the front desk will tell you whether you can donate your handmade cards to Seniors right in your own backyard! If not, take a look at the list of options below!
- Stay Gold Society
- From the Heart Facebook Group
- Forget Me Not Facebook Group
- Love for Our Elders
- Color a Smile
- Hope for New York
- The Forgotten Ones Facebook Group
- Bring Smiles to Seniors
- The Angel Card Project
- Cards of Kindness
- Gifts for Seniors
If you are interested in forming a more lasting and regular relationship with a Senior, consider signing up for Senior Angels where you could be assigned one dedicated Senior citizen that you would be responsible for contacting weekly!
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