Louisiana nursing home residents make pen pals across the country

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NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — Residents in nursing homes haven’t been able to see their family and friends for months now, and that can get pretty lonely.

Residents at New Iberia Manor South Nursing Home, however, used the power of Facebook to make some new friends.

“It’s been wonderful for them. They love seeing the letters, especially in the quantities they’re coming in. I don’t think they realized they were that loved and appreciated, so it’s really a wonderful sentiment to see this coming in,” said New Iberia Manor South Administrator Kevin Doerr.

On July first, New Iberia Manor South posted pictures of residents holding up signs on their Facebook page.

On the signs, the residents wrote their name, a little bit about themselves, and asked for pen pals.

The response was overwhelming.

“We’re getting letters from children as young as four and five just introducing themselves and saying some of the things that they like to do. It’s senior citizens as well offering love and support and encouragement,” Doerr said.

He says the residents are now getting dozens of letters every day from people across the country, and the residents’ letters from pen pals are helping them stay positive through this pandemic.

“It’s very hard on the residents. It’s taking it’s toll on them emotionally, and this is really, really helping to brighten up their day and their week. You should see the smiles on their faces when you hand somebody a stack of letters, and it just shows all of these people care about you and are thinking about you. Even though they can’t come see you, they’re out there thinking about you and they love you,” he added.

New Iberia Manor South is still encouraging anyone and everyone to write letter and send gifts to the residents.

Their address is 600 Bayard St. in New Iberia.

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