Everybody has their own story about the pain and inconvenience that the past year of pandemicking has caused. One group that hasn’t been heard from is the senior citizen crowd living in area nursing and assisted living homes. It’s not because they’ve been living the life of Riley. Rather, due to strict restrictions to safeguard their vulnerability, they have in many cases been cut off from friends and families.
But even within the senior community, there are those who have had an even worse lot.
According to “seasoned hospice and home care nurse”/Acappella in Home Care Founder Jo Alch, “I saw firsthand that most patients admitted to nursing homes only had one possession — a stained, worn hospital gown. Necessities like a warm set of pajamas to sleep in are a rare luxury.”
Jo recognized that 70% of the 1.3M elderly Americans living in nursing homes “have little to no income or savings. More than half of Americans living in nursing homes have no close relative, and rarely have visitors… these residents are given less than $60 per month to cover all their personal needs, including things like face wash, seasonal clothing, holiday cards, batteries, things we take for granted.”
This situation really hit home for Jo, who was “raised by her grandmother in New Orleans, (where) she receive pajamas for Christmas instead of toys.”
To provide some comfort for these seniors, Jo started gathering pajamas for seniors. Her effort was so successful, she officially launched the nonprofit Pajamas for Seniors in 2018 to provide “a new pair of pajamas to low income seniors” in care facilities.
Over the years, she has relied on church groups like Concord Church Nursing Home Ministry that deliver over 400 pairs of new PJs to Skyline Nursing and Health Center, Lake West Rehab and, this month, Skilled Care and Heritage Oaks Nursing Home.
Last week’s storm only grew the number of displaced seniors, so Jo and Julie Mercer put together Pints and Pjs. It will take place on Saturday, March 6, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 3 Nations Brewing in historic downtown Carrollton. Admission is $20 (aka the price of a new pair of pajamas). In addition to mugs of of all types of beer, award-winning 3 Nations Brewing is just made for a fun get-together. Why, you can even bring along your pooch for free! Plus there will be a raffle for a Playstation 5 console, accessories, and game.
But if you’re more into wine or just can’t make it, why not consider making a donation. You’ll sleep better knowing that a senior will, too.
* Graphic/photo courtesy of Pajamas for Seniors