No place like Rome

Residents at Longlands are discovering there’s no place like Rome during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With restrictions preventing indoor visits to care homes in the UK, Longlands has turned to Italy as a way of keeping up the spirits of residents, as well as keeping their minds occupied.

Earlier in the summer, a resident named Pasquale Mongillo sadly passed away at Longlands, but his family were so grateful for the care and support he received at the home. They even sent the home a tree to plant in the garden in Pasquale’s memory.

Pasquale’s daughter, Maria Mongillo, lives and work in Italy teaching at school in Rome, so she suggested that children in her school could write letters to the residents.

Not only would this help with the students’ English language skills, she thought it would also be nice for residents to read the letters and send their own back to the children.

Maria was correct and the pen pal programme is already proving a success.

Tina Kendall, Manager of Longlands Residential Care Home, said: “At the moment and since the first lockdown in March, we have been unable to allow any visitors into the home in order to protect our residents from Covid-19.

“Over the summer, for a while we were able to offer socially distanced garden visits and we now have a visitor pod where people can talk to their loved ones through glass and using a microphone, and residents can also speak to their loved ones via telephone or video calls.

“However, not everyone, unfortunately, has been able to do this due to their specific personal care circumstances, so when Maria offered to start a pen pal programme, we were only too happy to take part.

“The residents have received their first letters from the children and are now preparing their own letters to send back to Italy.”

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