NEDERLAND, Texas — Two southeast Texas nurse practitioners are hoping to spread some love to nursing home residents while the coronavirus has them on lock down.
Kristen Voivedich and Melissa McKey work for Stuart Medical Group. Part of their duties involve spending time at Mid Jefferson Extended Care, and four different nursing homes.
Because no family or friends are able to visit the nursing homes, some residents are having a tough time.
"It is extremely sad for a lot of these residents, we have residents that are very tearful, that are very upset and sad," McKey said.
The residents are also aren't able to do the normal activities they enjoy.
"Not only are they cut off from their loved ones, but what kind of boosts their mood everyday, and gets them out of their rooms and what lets them continue to be active has sort of been cut off as well," Voivedich said.
Voivedich and McKey wanted to find a way to spread some cheer. McKey found some inspiration from her hometown in North Dakota.
"She saw this world of hearts was started over there where people were stuck at home and they started cutting out hearts with messages and putting them on windows and stuff at home," Voivedich explained.
McKey decided to bring the project to her patients in southeast Texas. With kids currently out of school, they thought it'd be a great way for them to get involved, and spread some love.
"We thought it was a good way to kind of get the community as a whole involved, and help us bring this to life for our residents at all of our nursing homes that we attend," Voivedich said.
They're asking for people to cut out hearts to be placed on the resident's windows. They can be plain, or have drawings and messages.
For those with family members currently in the homes, Voivedich and McKey are setting up a spot for them to come and personalize a message, and they'll make sure it gets put on the right window.
"It just is able to show them that hey their family members are still here even though they're not physically there, they are still thinking about them, they're still praying for them," Voivedich said.
They hope to get enough hearts to fill their patients windows, and even spread the project to other nursing homes across southeast Texas, outside of the ones they usually work with.
"If people are wanting to make them, we're willing to bring them, so anything to help," McKey said.
The hearts can be dropped off at St. Charles Catholic Church in Nederland. The address is: 211 Hardy Ave, Nederland, TX 77627.
McKey and Voivedich agree, the nursing homes have done a great job at finding ways to boost morale, and by sharing your hearts, you can, too.
"Thank you for everyone who does it, it means a lot, keep these people in your prayers, and keep all of us in health care as we trench through this time," McKey said, "and please stay home, stay safe, and we're going to do everything we can to keep these people happy and safe."