A pile of letters MCPHS community members wrote to older adults.
Community | 3/21/2024

MCPHS Community Sends Love to Older Adults One Letter at a Time

By Jennifer Persons

A pile of letters MCPHS community members wrote to older adults.

Students and faculty on the Boston campus came together to support a national effort to let older adults know they are not alone.

A few kind words can go a long way. Two MCPHS organizations recently teamed up to prove this point by writing letters to older adults across the country.

“We wanted to let them know we’re looking out for them and will take care of them,” said Arianna Grant, MS ’27, BS ’25, who organized the event.

The Center for Research and Discovery and the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) on the Boston campus co-hosted the event. They invited all MCPHS Community members to write notes for Love For Our Elders, a nonprofit organization that connects letter writers with older people in need of a pick-me-up.

MCPHS students and faculty writing letters to older adults to combat loneliness.
MCPHS students and faculty spent their free period writing letters to older adults across the country.

Students and faculty crafted letters using colorful gel pens, adding small drawings in the margins, hoping to brighten someone’s day.

“This is right up my alley,” said Astha Parikh, BS ’25, using pens in various shades of blue to write her messages. “I started one letter saying my name rhymes with ‘pasta’ to make them laugh. Then, I asked them a question to hopefully spark a memory. I wrote to them as if I’m making a new friend.”

Each letter MCPHS Community members wrote will be sent across the country to older adults who need them most.

An MCPHS students writes a letter to an anonymous older adult.
They used brightly-colored paper and pens to craft their messages of encouragement.

“It's an overlooked demographic,” Grant said. She learned about Love For Our Elders and asked the Center for Research and Discovery to co-host the event. “While a lot of students focus on patients, they don’t always think about geriatric patients. It’s important for anyone who wants to be a healthcare provider to think about this community.”

The Center for Research and Discovery has other initiatives promoting care for older adults. This fall, the Center brought dementia sensitivity training to the Boston campus. It also runs Operation: Elder Connect, a program that connects MCPHS students with older people who are at risk of loneliness and isolation to connect personally, and help them build technology skills.