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A New Service Helps You Stay Connected To Loved Ones

September 16, 2010

Among the greatest threats to seniors’ health are feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Because of fewer relationships or unrewarding relationships, both of these feelings can grow and lead to depression, the most common mental health problem seen in the older population. It’s often difficult to find the time to stay connected with older loved ones, especially when you live faraway. Having firsthand experience with this situation prompted Leslie Kennedy to create a card subscription service that helps you maintain that connection. Called Constant Joy, the perfect way to show your love every month, not just at special occasions. Constant Joy will deliver beautiful, personalized cards for you. As Leslie says, “You choose the message and add your signature —we get the stamp and mail it.”

Constant Joy is the result of what Leslie learned as a caregiver. “I know the impact of my touch, letting my loved ones know that I care. Receiving personal mail is one of the ways that people stay connected to each other. I was my own first customer, striving to be a successful long-distance caregiver. My mother was 88 when we decided she needed the support of a nursing home. It was a very difficult decision and a very tough transition for all of us, especially my Mom. The blessing was that I lived nearby and was able to provide a great deal of emotional support through my visits. It was with Mom that I started learning what it really means to be a resident of a senior facility.

“My next experience came with my mother-in-law. This time I was not fortunate to live nearby, but I so much wanted to be a part of her life. My husband and I spoke to her frequently, except that was simply not enough for me to let her know how much I cared. So, I sent her cards and candy from time to time to brighten her days. This time my learning included being a long-distance caregiver.

“What did I learn? First I learned that no matter how wonderful the facility and compassionate the staff, my mother-in-law had sacrificed her independence, her old friends and her mobility to get the care she needed. A lot to give up! Her physical needs were taken care of, but I became aware of how much she needed her family for emotional support to deal with all the loss in her life. Second, I learned that while I thought of her frequently, I was a lousy card sender! I had great intent, but my actions were inconsistent and infrequent. Basically, I got inspired for the standard events, holidays and birthdays. But I quickly realized that loneliness and depression are not isolated to holidays and birthdays—they happen every day for people who have lost so much and deal with physical infirmity every day.

“Now my sister needs assisted living because of early-onset dementia and I am once again in the role of long-distance caregiver. She has the same loss as seniors…loss of independence, mobility, old friends and her old neighborhood. Her physical needs are not an issue as there are many compassionate people helping her. It is the emotional support factor where I attempted to place my focus. Once again, I found the same pattern emerging. My phone calls are fleeting, and my consistency with card and gift sending was inconsistent, no matter how much I thought of her. What’s so important to me is to make sure she knows how much I care. Constant Joy was born from the understanding of the needs of the elderly and those with physical challenges and the desire to support them in a simple, loving way. Knowing that my sister has a constant reminder that she is loved, brings joy to my life and hers.”

With Constant Joy you can sign up once and cards are delivered throughout the year for you, breaking the paradigm that cards are only for special occasions. “We send bright, seasonal cards that are highly personalized with user-selected messages scanned signatures and personal notes that can be input at any time,” says Leslie. “We then send real cards with real stamps on a regular basis.” To learn more, go to http://www.constantjoy.com.