The secondary effects that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic are more evident than ever in the elderly community, and one Dartmouth woman wanted to make a difference by spreading some love and teaching kids an important lesson about empathy.

Jill Valadao is a patient care advocate who sets up home services for the elderly in the community and has worked with the elderly community for years.

“It’s my passion,” she said. “My grandmother helped my mom raise my sister and I and she was a huge part of our lives. I just have always been passionate about this because of her. It’s my calling.”

Due to her involvement in this community, she sees first-hand the mental effects of the pandemic on the residents. Depression and a decline in overall well-being are sweeping through nursing homes like the virus that started this sad trend.

“This is not how they expected the last years of their lives to go,” she said, so she came up with a clever idea.

She is asking the SouthCoast to send Valentine’s Day cards to brighten their spirits. Her plan is in the early stages, but her hope is that students, families, and local residents will make thoughtful cards that she will disperse to nursing homes in the area.

“It’s a great opportunity to teach our children some empathy,” Valadao said, and the small gesture has the capability of making a huge impact on a community who could use some cheering up.

If you are interested in making or purchasing a Valentine’s Day card for the elderly, message Jill Valadao on Facebook and she will get your thoughtful card into the right hands.

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