In a time of restricted visitation and social distancing as assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities try to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a picture may be worth a thousand words. And those words have a lot of value, too.

Residents are receiving pictures and letters from children of employees of Heart of Hospice – Acadiana in an effort to help mitigate the effects of social isolation.

“The mental wellbeing of our nursing home and assisted living residents is just as vital as their physical wellbeing,” Heart of Hospice Director of Business Development Ashley Brinkhaus said. “We understand a letter or a picture does not take the place of an in-person visit, but it still connects residents with the outside community and lets them know we love and care about them. It also gives our school-aged children something positive to focus on while they remain home.”

Lafayette, LA-based Heart of Hospice provides care to 19 regions across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

“The foreseeable future will challenge us as providers to think outside the box while providing holistic, patient-centered care,” Heart of Hospice Administrator Maria Menard said. “We continue to take the COVID-19 outbreak seriously but are thrilled to see our care team supporting the community by spreading a little joy during this time of uncertainty.”

Anyone interested in sending a letter or picture to local residents can mail it to Heart of Hospice, ATTN: Ashley Brinkhaus, 1100 Bertrand Dr., Lafayette, LA 70506. Additionally, Heart of Hospice has created a hashtag to spread awareness of the campaign; anyone interested in joining in can upload a photo to Facebook or Instagram and add the hashtag #spreadsupport.

Click here to see the In Focus archive and read how to submit your photos for consideration.