Valentine’s Day Cards for retirement communities

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By Hannah Lester
hlester@opelikaobserver.com

Retirement communities, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities around Auburn and Opelika regularly accept Valentine’s Day cards for their residents.

Monarch Estates is one facility that encourages people to send in cards, said Abby Ensinger, director of sales at Monarch.

Although many residents in facilities like Monarch Estates have family and friends close by, others do not have anyone to visit them or write letters.

When they receive a valentine’s day card in the mail, they feel remembered, Ensinger said.

“Just to get that little happy in the mail or hand-to-hand, it just means somebody’s thinking about you,” she said. “Somebody does care about you.”

The last year, 2020, was especially hard on residents, Ensinger said.

In facilities across the United States, many residents could not even leave their rooms. Prior to the pandemic, Monarch Estates was an active community, she said.

“We know that socialization is the key to longevity of life,” Ensinger said. “So, whether that’s through a card, that hey, somebody’s just thinking about you or  walking down the hallway and just saying ‘good morning Ms. Jones.’”

To write a card for a resident, address them generically and the facility will make sure they are delivered to residents.

At Monarch Estates, the facility places the notes in each resident’s mailbox.

“Like they received a little happy in the mail,” said Abby Ensinger, director of sales at Monarch Estates. “Going to the post office, our little postboxes out here, is kind of an event every day.”

There are other places around town that also encourage notes for their residents, such as The Harbor at Opelika.

The Harbor at Opelika accepts cards by mail or in-person. Well-wishers cannot deliver cards directly to residents this year because of COVID-19, but they can still drop cards off at the desk.

Stacey Wallace sends Valentine’s Day cards to her mother’s assisted-living facility in Dadeville, but said she would like to find some local facilities too.

“I want the residents  to know that my husband and I care about them and are praying for them,” she said. “According to the owner of the facility [in Dadeville], the families at this facility  are good to the residents; however, in some places, the poor old folks are dumped in there by their rotten children and are forgotten.

As my grandmother, who lived to be 104 said, ‘Antiques are very valuable; I’m older, so I’m an antique, and I’m valuable.’”

Monarch Estates is located at 1550 E University Dr, Auburn for those who want to drop cards off or mail them. The Harbor at Opelika is located at 1001 Fox Run Parkway, Opelika.

To send cards to other residencies, call first to see if they are still accepting cards due to COVID-19.

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