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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive effect on seniors’ lives this past year. Many seniors in retirement homes and long-term care have been in lockdown since last March of 2020. This has resulted in minimal contact with friends and family, as well as other residents living in the same building. This isolation, although to help fight against the pandemic, has led to feelings of loneliness and uncertainty for many, when support and inclusion was desperately needed. To help combat this, Debbie Abfalter, CEO of Ottawa based eldercare company Seniors Solution, came up with the idea to collect handmade cards, letters, and crafts from people of all ages to send to seniors in Ottawa, Ontario. She started a Facebook Group at the beginning of April in 2020 called ‘Cards etc. for Seniors in Isolation’ with the hope of receiving a handful of items to distribute. However, she wasn’t prepared for the huge outpour of support from the community and strangers from much further afield. Within weeks, Debbie was receiving cards and crafts from entire classrooms, local artists and people who simply wanted to take the time to brighten a someone’s day. Others were realising that it was therapeutic for them to use their creativity to bring joy to seniors, and it was a wonderful collaboration to let them know that they weren’t alone. In a recent interview with CTV News Ottawa, Debbie mentioned, “A lot of people were confined in their rooms, they’re not tech-savvy, they’re not on Facebook. A lot of them don’t have families, so that’s why we created it. ” This project grown into something much larger than initially intended. Debbie has received crafted items from all over the world, including England, Mexico, and the US. She now continues to collect cards and letters to celebrate upcoming holidays. “As long as they’re coming in. Hopefully for years to come. Hopefully it’s not because of COVID. Hopefully it’s just because.” Debbie mentioned in a Capital Current interview. Debbie has now received more than 10,000 crafted items and intends to continue this heart-warming campaign for years to come. If you are interested in joining this incredible project, check out Debbie’s ‘Cards etc. for Seniors in Isolation’ Facebook group, or you can email her directly at debbie@seniors-solution.com. Check out the CTV News segment here! Nevin Colak Operations Director




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