Local kids brightening days for quarantined SCW assisted living residents

‘Operation Smile’ mission welcomes ‘a joke, a card, a poem, a story’

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Older adults are among those at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19, and one Sun City West retirement community is focusing on lifting the spirits of its residents during pandemic precautions.

While residents are staying safely self-quarantined and group activities remain on hold, Sun City West Assisted Living, at 13810 W. Sandridge Dr., is asking the public’s help to maintain its residents’ spirits. And while many members of the public are self-quarantining themselves, they, too, may have extra time to devote to the cause.

“Help us give back to our seniors with Operation Smile,” Sun City West Assisted Living Life Enrichment Director Judy McNeill stated in a March 24 email. “Why not share a joke, make a card, write a poem or send a favorite story to our seniors? Your correspondence or gift will bring a smile and brighten their day!”

Ms. McNeilll invites members of the public to send submissions to Judy McNeill, C/O Operation Smile, Sun City West Assisted Living, 13810 W. Sandridge Dr., Sun City West, AZ 85375, or by email to Jmcneill@pegasusseniorliving.com.

Residents have already starting receiving artwork from Girl Scout members and from the Young Rembrandts, which is an after school club in Surprise.

Sun City West Assisted Living first opened its doors in May 1998.

Older adults, 65 years and older, are at higher risk for severe illness, the CDC states.

“COVID-19 is a new disease and we are learning more about it every day,” www.CDC.gov explains, adding that 8 out of 10 deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years old and older.

Those older adults keeping in safe quarantine could have other issues, according to the CDC.

“Fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions,” the public health institute noted.

The CDC also offers ways seniors can support themselves during quarantine time, including: take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media; take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate; try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs; etc.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline is 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)

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