Buffalo County Community Partners Shares Wish List for Socially Isolated Seniors

Dec. 4, 2020, 3:52 p.m. ·

Photo by Georg Arthur Pflueger on Unsplash

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Many seniors in long term care facilities in Nebraska have been isolated from their families since March. In the spirit of Christmas, one organization wants to help by making a wish list.

Buffalo County Community Partners is sharing a wish list of gift ideas to support socially isolated seniors in assisted living facilities. Executive Director Denise Zwiener said a group of long-term care coordinators are meeting weekly to find ideas on how to relieve isolation.

"We're trying to find ways to engage them, to let them know that there are others out there that are caring about them that love them, that want to engage them in conversations, and let them know how much we care about them," she said.

Zwiener said they hope families will consider giving an electronic picture frame for their loved ones this season. Other ideas include Eversound listening devices, Ipads, smart televisions, weighted shoulder wraps and lap blankets.

Director of Country House Residence in Kearney Cheri Theesen said these gifts have an impact. Residents have been looking forward to meeting their families every Wednesday on Zoom through a donated computer.

"They do feel better about seeing their family and getting to talk to them," Theesen said. "You know, they worry when they don't see them. You know, 'Are they well? Have they forgotten about me?"

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services awarded $20,000 to help relieve socially isolated seniors, but Zwiener hopes people can support them by donating on their website or their local nursing homes.