Brookfield seniors 'meet' pen pals through video chat

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 21:28:40-05

After months of writing letters to pen pals, residents of a local senior living community got to put a face to the words. Only, their pen pals live in California, so they were introduced through technology.

The pen pal program at Silverado Brookfield Memory Care started about six months ago. On Wednesday, the residents involved in the program were able to meet their pen pals through a video chat.

"I have no idea how to run a computer but I can read a letter," said Carol Nawrocki, a resident at Silverado Brookfield.

All of the residents in this community have some kind of memory loss, but writing and receiving letters can help. They've been writing to pen pals at a senior living community outside of San Diego.

"This is what I wrote to Joanna, 'Dear Joanna, it was great hearing from you. Working in real estate, you must have met a lot of interesting people,'" said Rita Dufek of West Allis.

Dufek says she mainly writes about her family, including her 14 grandchildren.

"I'd love to see your grandchildren, I know you're busy," said Dufek. "But once a month or once every couple weeks would be very nice."

She says she was excited to finally see her pen pal Joanna through the computer.

During the video call, they talked about the weather and the Green Bay Packers. One resident in California even introduced her cat, who she had written about in one of her letters.

"It definitely stimulates their brain," said Nada Rodriguez, the director of resident engagement at Silverado Brookfield. "They get to reminiscence, they get to tell them about what they've done in their life and that's what helps their brain."

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