Seniors in Lincoln Heights reunite at beloved Senior Center after 3-year closure due to COVID

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Friday, October 27, 2023 11:34PM

Senior center in Lincoln Heights reopens after pandemic

LINCOLN HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — It’s time to celebrate the grand reopening of the Lincoln Heights Senior Center. The global pandemic forced the doors to close for over three years. But the seniors in the community were organized, reached out to their councilmember and advocated for their needs.

“They were bedridden. They were home. They weren’t out. They became stiff. They didn’t exercise. They didn’t dance. They didn’t socialize and you need that socialization with your seniors to keep your life going,” said Vera Padilla.

“A lot of them were sad and a lot of people aged a lot. My neighbors, who are seniors, aged a lot during COVID-19 because of being lonely and because they were stuck at home without any enriching programs,” said District 1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez.

More than 100 seniors joined the celebration, excited and hopeful for things to get back to normal. One volunteer said she was afraid to leave the house at the beginning of the pandemic. But now, the center feels like a safe space. Most people are vaccinated, many are triple boosted and plenty of masks and hand sanitizer are being handed out as well.

“Oh, I’ve known all these ladies for so many years – everyone. I’m so happy. Like I said, I’ve been here more than 20 years,” said Bertha Martinez

“This is what it was about before COVID,” said Padilla. “This is what happened. The excitement, the ambiance. The talking to each other, talking about their problems, their situations at home. Now they have a place where they can come and express and talk.”

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