L to R – Harris sisters, Maylie, 9.5 years, Ella, 7 years and Izzy, 4.5 years holding letters they received from Nancy, Jacquie and Pat living at a near-by senior community. Palatine, IL — June 23 — Today, following the second cloth mask distribution for seniors in Lake County, Elderwerks is pleased to announce the continuation of the Make a Senior Smile Program. Although the restrictions for social distancing are starting to ease, the impact on one of the largest populations in the US continues. Seniors can feel alone and isolated as restrictions from visiting with family and friends in person continues. For seniors and ourselves, normal contact with the outside world has been impacted due to the pandemic. Seniors can feel more alone and are searching for opportunities to stay connected. It is wonderful that many have learned to use virtual technology on their computers, tablets and smart phones. Some lucky seniors are being taught these tools by their grandchildren! Video calling and conferencing has become a great way to stay in touch during these stressful times. Attending family parties and celebrations through new virtual options is a positive connection. Seniors and their families are embracing virtual education as a way to ease isolation. Chris Petrik, a nurse and training specialist for Elderwerks Educational Services, teaches workshops weekly on topics of interest to community members and licensed professionals. “Attendance of our educational events has more than doubled since the pandemic”, she noted. The community classes are free of charge to anyone who wants to learn with prior required registration. Subscribers receive a weekly email schedule or can visit Elderwerks.org to see upcoming events. Register for the Elderwerks Virtual Senior Fair on August 12th and 13th now. This free event will bring 22 classes to all interested in learning about aging successfully! The Make a Senior Smile program was announced in April through various news outlets. Since then, Elderwerks has received thousands of homemade cards, letters, drawings, and creative works of art. They range from toddler drawings to professional artwork, short cards and long letters. These items are delivered to residents of senior communities including nursing homes, assisted & independent living communities and seniors who are home-bound. Some of the seniors have requested an ongoing writing relationship; Pen-Pal Partners. The Harris family read about the program and wanted a senior match for each of their three children. Their mother, Christine Harris stated, “The girls love being pen pals. It gives them something to look forward to and helps practice their writing skills. It’s fun to have a connection with an older adult too”. This is one of many positive responses from the Elderwerks Make a Senior Smile program. We continue to expand the program and ask for your help to send pictures, letters, or drawings from you and your kids, your social and network connections, your church family, your neighborhoods, and your friends! Let our older adults know that they are cared about and they are not alone. Thank you for your support and participation. Everyone can participate by sending or dropping your creative communications to: Elderwerks ATTN: Make a Senior Smile 251 E Northwest Hwy, Palatine, IL 60067 Open from 9am to 5pm, Monday- Friday, safe drop bin at door Phone: (855) 462-0100 or email@example.com with questions Elderwerks Educational Services is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization providing older adults, seniors and families information, referrals and guidance for senior living, home care and support. This includes education on senior topics for community members and professionals. The guidance we provide helps seniors stay home well or transition successfully into a new senior living opportunity. Elderwerks does not endorse or recommend any specific community, facility, or care provider as we believe everyone should have choice and families need to make their own decisions.