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Boca Raton senior community working to keep residents happy and healthy during pandemic

Socially-distanced visits, phone calls helping to curb loneliness
Posted at 6:46 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 18:46:39-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — As coronavirus concerns continue, the impact on many senior communities is still being felt across our area. Problems include the difficulty of finding enough personal protective equipment.

However, a Boca Raton senior community is tackling these hurdles to keep their residents happy and healthy.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus

It's difficult to catch Dorothy Wizer without a smile.

"My cup is half full," laughs Wizer.

Her days now look a little different, and she said she misses playing tennis. She is in her 80s but isn't letting the global pandemic slow her down.

"When it's time for my children in Israel to sit down for Shabbat dinner, we Zoom," said Wizer.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Wizer has found comfort online.

"Not as far as actually using the computer, but shopping by way of the computer," said Wizer.

Dorothy Wizer
Dorothy Wizer says she has stayed positive during the pandemic by using Zoom to stay in touch with her family.

Executive Director of Sinai Senior Community executive director Chris Newport said keeping their hundreds of residents safe from the virus is a group effort.

"We've done everything from working with our local vendors, working with connections in our community and on our campus. We did everything to get PPE," said Newport.

According to the National Center for Assisted Living, half of their members reported having less than a two-week supply of PPE. Newport said they are thankful they stocked up early.

As lockdowns continue, he acknowledged another battle -- mental health.

But they keep their residents' staying positive with outside socially-distanced visitations and a buddy system.

"Our residents would receive anywhere from three to five calls a week, just talk about their wellbeing, talk about their families, talk about their kids," said Newport.

This community in Boca Raton is keeping its residents connected.

"Eighty percent of folks over 80 usually have some sort of depression, so we had to be all over that," said Newport.