Senior living facility starts pen pal program, promotes messages of hope

Published: Apr. 2, 2020 at 4:48 PM CDT
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At Heritage Oakwood Hills Assisted Living in Eau Claire, residents and staff are getting used to life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are all trying to adapt as much as possible," says Cherylin Yealey, community relations director.

Social distancing is in full effect and visitors are not allowed into the building, leading directors at the facility to find unique ways to spread positivity among the residents.

Residents are being encouraged to hang paper hearts on their windows and doors with messages of hope. Some messages read, “Hope”, “The sun will shine again tomorrow”, “We will all be together again soon”, “Peace to you all” and “You are loved”.

Because of social distancing, residents have had to adapt to new activities like hallway bingo and communicating with family and friends on Facetime and Skype.

"In a community we have so many activities on a daily basis and they get to see their friends and neighbors and now we are limiting that to just sticking to your room so I think that it is a little bit harder for them," Yealey says.

The facility has also just started a pen pal program, accepting letters and drawings from community members. The letters will be distributed to individual residents so they can write back.

If you would like to send a letter, you can send it by mail to Heritage Residents, 3706 Damon St. Eau Claire, WI 54701. Letters and pictures can also be emailed to

Letters can also be sent to Heritage Court Memory Care at Heritage Residents 3515 E. Hamilton Ave. Eau Claire, WI 54701.

"They are very excited to get these pictures and just to see that people reach out to them is just heartwarming as well," Yealey says.

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