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Seniors kept from their loved ones during pandemic try to find positives in community

Nursing homes have been closed off to visitors for months now. Without seeing regular visitors, it can be disheartening.

Is there a secret to living a long, happy life?

“Secret,” asked Albert Depetro, Jr, a Pacifica Senior Living resident. “I don’t know. Eat, be merry, happy.”

“Put your family as number one and don’t worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow. God’s in charge of tomorrow,” said another resident, Karina Price.

“Staying healthy and watch your diet,” said Allan Woolley, also a Pacifica resident.

This trio, who lives at Pacifica Senior Living, has spent months away from their families.

“It’s like you’re in a box and they don’t want you to go outside and stuff, you know,” explained Woolley.

But through the pandemic, Price says life has taught her to not dwell on the bad, so she spends every day looking for the good. “We’ve grown closer together, the buildings. We have a lot more fun, we see each other all the time and it’s been a growing process for all of us because we really learned we can’t have everything we want.”

They do have each other and they promise, they do have a good time, just like the kids do.

When asked what his favorite activity was, Depetro, Jr. said, “being with the lovely ladies.”

All of them look forward to the day they can hold their loved ones again. Until then, their messages to their families, and to us, center on, you guessed it, happiness and love.

“I’m happy and, you know living life, I hope,” Depetro, Jr. said.

“I just love them and miss them,” Price said.

“What’s the key to a happy life? Waking up every day, thanking God,” Woolley said.

Maybe the secret to a long, happy life isn’t really a secret.

Nurses and staff at Pacifica say they are working to keep the activities coming. Not too long ago, they had a car show where families could drive through the facility and wave to their loved ones.

Reporter:Gail Levy
Writer:Briana Harvath
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