HAMILTON — Christopher Crout, of Hamilton, hasn't been able to see his parents for almost one month.
"I'm used to being very involved in their life," he said.
Bonnie and Norman Crout are in Brookside Healthcare Center on Lilienthal Street in Cincinnati.
They both have Alzheimer's Disease and have battled it for 15 years.
Crout said he and his sister are used to coming to the facility three to four times per week to spend time with their parents. But that all changed a few weeks ago, as the coronavirus concern swept the country - and nursing homes closed to visitors to protect high-risk older Americans.
Crout got down about it, but then remembered something one of his friends had done for years in troubling times.
Love Must Win, Inc. is an outreach and support group, among other things. Its Hearts and Hugs Program sends physical statements of love and support to those in need.
This time, there would be no hugs – but plenty of hearts.
"What better time then now, when we can't get into the local nursing homes, where we can't see our family members," Crout said. "Why not spread a little love and joy by sending them hearts and little inspirational notes and letters?"
Crout, along with Love Must Win's founder Ryan Joseph Allen, have used social media and its existing support network to organize a remote campaign to support those in assisted living or nursing homes that have been quarantined away from their families and loved ones.
According to its Facebook page, "artwork, letters, cards, or handwritten hearts on foam/construction paper are all wonderful ways to share some kindness when we are all physically separated. There's connection in words and acts of kindness!"
The project was working with more than one dozen nursing homes as of Saturday night.
"I know one of the workers here at Brookside and she will send me pictures of the letters and notes that are being handed out," Crout said. "The feedback is that they're really enjoying it and it makes their day."
Want to help support at-risk seniors in quarantine? Below are the locations, according to Love Must Win:
Brookside Healthcare Center
Attn: Love Must Win/Hearts and Hugs (Renee)
315 Lilienthal St.
Cincinnati, OH 45204
Florence Park Nursing and Rehab Center
Attn: Love Must Win/Hearts and Hugs (Allie Lee)
6975 Burlington Pike
Florence, KY 41042
Chesterwood Village West Chester
Attn: Love Must Win/Hearts and Hugs (Reception Desk)
8073 Tylersville Rd
West Chester Township, OH 45069
Cedar Village Retirement Community
Attn: Love Must Win/Hearts and Hugs (Tracey Hayes)
5467 Cedar Village Drive
Mason, Ohio 45040
Maple Knoll Communities
Attn: Erin Navaro
11100 Springfield Pike
Cincinnati, OH 45246
Episcopal Retirement Services
Attn: Christine Lemmon
5515 Madison Rd.
Cincinnati OH 45227
Artis Senior Living of Bridgetown
Attn: Mary Young
5799 Bridgetown Road
Cincinnati, OH 45248
Atria Summit Hills
Attn: Sherry Otten
2625 Legends Way
Crestview Hills, KY 41017
Attn: Tina Hamel
4580 E Galbraith Rd
Cincinnati, Oh 45236
Cyprus Pointe Health Campus
Attn: Jessica (Hearts and Hugs)
600 W National Rd
Englewood, OH 45322
Brookview Healthcare Center
Attn: Love Must Win/Hearts and Hugs (Shauna: Activities Director)
214 Harding St
Defiance, OH 43512
Attn: Rose Eagle (Hearts and Hugs)
990 Bayley Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45233