August 8, 2018 8:16 pm

Residents of long-term care facility in Bowmanville travel the world without leaving home

WATCH ABOVE: Postcard Pals is a new interactive program that was introduced last February to the residents of Glen Hill Strathaven, a long term care facility in Bowmanville. To date more than 400 postcards have been received from people travelling the world wanting to share intriguing facts and bringing the world to the residents without leaving the comfort of home. Susan Hay has the story.


Do you remember the last time you received a postcard? At one long-term care facility in Bowmanville, residents receive postcards daily.

“We started a Facebook page which is Postcard Pals in Long-Term Care. We shared that page throughout the home, talking to staff members, family members, sending out emails to any contacts we had asking them to search our page and share it,” said Christina McConachie, a program manager with Glen Hill Strathaven.

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“From that point on, the post has been shared worldwide.”

That was six months ago and to date more than 400 postcards have been received from people travelling the world.

“You just get excited because you see so many different places,” said Glen Hill Strathaven resident Muriel Cornelius. “People are really friendly on the cards.”

The program is interactive. Not only do residents share intriguing facts from each postcard, they’re able to take a virtual tour of different places in the world — sparking interesting conversations within the group.

“I would say Estonia is my favourite because of the ancient buildings… like Europe in general, I find that fascinating,” said Glen Hill Strathaven resident Jim Gallinger.

Whether it’s to learn about a new place or revisit somewhere they’ve been before, the purpose of Postcard Pals is to feel like they’re travelling the world without leaving the comforts of home.

“It’s bringing up a lot of memories,” said McConachie.

“Things have changed so much in terms of social media. Email, Facebook, Instagram and that’s not the world our residents would associate themselves to. They still remember the days of sending ‘snail mail,’ writing letters, and getting a postcard from across the world.'”

“It’s like travelling, like being there. It’s only a picture, but for some reason or other it stimulates your imagination,” said Gallinger.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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