The lockdown and other safety measures means many seniors are homebound and isolated.READ MORE: New York City Dismisses Thousands Of Prostitution Cases, Will No Longer Prosecute Many Offenses Related To Sex Work
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reports, Santos Macaya says his 78-year-old wife Rosemary used to love to travel and teach, but about seven years ago she started suffering from dementia.
“This is an incredible person, and now it’s really like having another child,” he said.
- Tri-State Coronavirus Travel Advisory Quarantine List
- Resources, Hotlines, Unemployment & Covering Bills
- Remote Learning Tools For Parents Teaching At Home
- CBS2’s Dr. Max Answers Your Health Questions
- What To Do If Someone Isn’t Social Distancing Or Wearing A Mask?
- Expert: Parents Be Mindful Of Children’s Stress After Months Of Isolation
- Chopper 2 Over Empty NYC Streets, Landmarks
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
“She would spend all our time inside the house. This came along, and it was a godsend. It truly was,” he said.
But in March, the state forced centers like it and senior centers to close because of the pandemic and the high risk COVID poses on the elderly.
“Everything stopped, yes,” said Josephine Brown, executive director of the New York Memory Center.
They went from a lively building pre-COVID to now only Zoom sessions.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine In New York: 16 State-Run Vaccination Sites Will Accept Walk-In Appointments For New Yorkers Over 60
Brown says since the center shut down, six of their members have died from various illnesses. She says they declined rapidly without the stimulation and services they were used to.
“It’s not only us. Senior centers. Do you know how many seniors are suffering in their homes, you know they’re isolated. They’re depressed and they can’t get all of these programs,” she said.
For Rosemary, home with family, her husband says she became afraid to go outside.
He called into the mayor’s radio show last week, asking for help to get the center reopened.
“It’s vitally important. It’s her only chance for socialization and stimulation,” he said.
Brown believes city and state officials are doing the best they can navigating unchartered waters. She and many others just hope they can safely open their doors again soon.
Macaya says the mayor’s team has offered several options for other services for his wife until the state deems it safe enough for these centers to reopen.
MORE FROM CBS NEW YORK:MORE NEWS: New Rochelle High Schooler Accepted At 17 Colleges & Universities, Including 5 Ivy League Schools
- Stimulus Package Update: What Happens To The Economy Without A Second Stimulus?
- City Says Woman Killed By Falling Debris From Times Square Building May Have Been At Fault
- Coronavirus Impact: Popular Columbus Circle Underground Market Attempting Climb Out Of Pandemic’s Clutches
You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.