A group of isolated OAPs have sent a defiant message to their families from their care home, saying “coronavirus can do one.”
The vulnerable elderly residents, who are being kept away from the outside world, were asked to pose with a note to their concerned relatives on Facebook.
The old folk were keen to send out a positive message telling love ones, ‘don’t worry we are all well looked after’.
And among the messages was one written on a card which read, ‘coronavirus can do one’.
The plucky residents are all living at the Dearnlea Park Residential Care Home, Rotherham, South Yorks.
Activity coordinator Kerry Nippers, 47, said not allowing visitors has been hard for their residents and staff.
She said: “You can see on their faces they are so used to their families coming and seeing them.
“Facebook gives us that opportunity to put them in touch with the people they love.”
Kerry asked the elderly residents to pick a message she could write down and then took pictures of them holding them up to reassure worried relatives.
One of the home’s oldest residents, 100-year-old Faith Swift said she ‘wants everyone to stay safe’.
Faith’s niece can no longer visit her while the care home imposes stricter rules during the coronavirus outbreak.
June Jones, 74, wrote to her five children, ‘I love you, miss you, see you soon xx’.
Resident Edna Brown, 88, held up a sign to her two children which read ‘I would like to let my family know I am OK and I love you all xxxx’.
Kerry added: “The Facebook post really uplifted them. It actually reached about 6,000 people and I was getting messages from people in Canada and France.
“I have been telling them today I have had messages and they are all just like ‘oh my god we are famous’.”
The idea to post messages online came when Kerry was planning to set up Facetime video calls between residents in the care home and their families.
Mother-of-two Dorothy Fowler, 96, wrote “To my son love you, wish I could see you”.
With Mothering Sunday in a few days, Kerry is trying to make it a special time despite the circumstances.
She said: “We are doing them an afternoon tea for the mothers. I’m going to go out and get them some presents from the shops too.
“I’m saying to families if you want to give them presents, people can leave them outside the front door and we can collect them.”
Mother-of-one Phylis Parkes, 86, held up a sign which said ‘Don’t worry we are well looked after’.
Johnny Thwaites, 76, looked mischievous in his photo to his three children as he wrote ‘coronavirus can do one!’.
Kerry said: “I can honestly say we have the greatest bunch of laughers and jokers. We go above and beyond with dancing and having a laugh.
“We like to keep busy. We do bingo and we used to have this sports instructor come in to do chair exercises. We still do that when they’re sat in their recliners.
“They love quizzes. We might have to get the karaoke out soon.”
Staff at the care home work 12 hour shifts and have found the coronavirus outbreak difficult to manage.
Kerry said: “With all this panic buying we are thinking, when are we going to get to the shops? When we come in for those 12 hours we don’t leave until the end.
“We have got to take it seriously, haven’t we? But we have got to have it in the back of our heads.”
She added: “We have got a job to do and they don’t want to see you stressed and panicking. We all know about washing our hands and protective gear.
“We don’t let it take over our lives. We have got to keep on going.”