UK Nursing Homes Are Looking for Volunteers to ‘Adopt’ a Grandparent for Virtual Visits

This woman's 'adopted' grandson is showing her some sourdough bread he baked from scratch.
This woman's 'adopted' grandson is showing her some sourdough bread he baked from scratch. / stefanamer/iStock via Getty Images

CHD Living, a chain of nursing homes in England, is making sure their self-isolated residents don’t get lonely due to the lack of visitors by launching a virtual version of its “Adopt a Grandparent” program. Before the novel coronavirus outbreak, CHD Living had a similar program in which they encouraged those who lived by the homes to come visit their residents.

As iHeartRadio reports, CHD Living—which includes 13 nursing homes in and around London—is inviting English speakers all over the globe to volunteer for the program, which mostly entails chatting with your adopted grandparent via video or phone call, sharing cheerful stories about your life, and/or mailing them letters, pictures, poems, or postcards.

"The nature of care means that we’re looking after some of the most vulnerable members of society at the moment,” a CHD Living spokesperson told iHeartRadio. “We are however keen to keep spirits in the homes high, and so have been thinking of ways that we can continue to enrich the lives of our residents whilst providing them with stimulation and companionship.”

All you have to do to apply is fill out an online form with some personal information and a few details about your interests. After that, a representative will match you with a “Grandma” or “Grandpa” with compatible hobbies and contact you to arrange a short screening call and discuss the next steps.

CHD Living prefers that volunteers have access to Facebook or WhatsApp—which, according to the website’s FAQ section, are easiest to use with the Facebook Portal TVs installed in each nursing home—but the staff will consider alternate video platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype with individual volunteers if necessary.

If you’re interested in spending some quality quarantine time with a new friend across the pond, you can fill out an application here.

[h/t iHeartRadio]