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Modesto assisted living home surprises seniors with parade

Family and staff at the Stratford at Beyer Park assisted living home presented its residents stuck inside due to the coronavirus with a parade.

MODESTO, Calif. — For weeks, seniors living in The Stratford at Beyer Park assisted living home in Modesto have been cooped up inside, sheltering in place while the coronavirus continues to spread.  

For the most part, residents haven't been allowed to leave and visitors have been restricted. But on Tuesday morning, the staff found a creative way to keep folks connected to their loved ones.

"With everything that's going on, it meant that people cared," Patsy Ferguson, a resident at The Stratford at Beyer Park, said.

Like so many others, Ferguson misses her daughter, who, on occasion, has dropped off supplies at the front door and waved through the window since she isn't allowed inside.

"It's hard, I only have one daughter close," Ferguson said. "She doesn't come down every week, but I really have missed her so it's hard."

Complete with signs, stuffed animals and honking cars, the staff at this assisted living home invited family members of the nearly 100 residents to participate in a parade, surrounding the entire facility so most residents could watch from the comfort of their apartments.

"We're trying to do as many fun things to keep them happy, engaged, still living a vibrant life but also in a very safe environment," Jeffery Smith, a spokesman for Integral Senior Living, which owns this facility in Modesto, said.

A gesture Smith hoped would touch as many people as they could, including his own 80-year-old mother, which he has been separated from, too.

"I think the one thing that we're missing right now in this environment is that personal touch, literally, hand to hand, personal contact and I think this is something that's going to get us as close to that as possible," Smith said.

So when the parade came to cheer Ferguson and her friends up, let's just say, she found the opposite of loneliness.

"It felt good, it really felt good," Ferguson said.

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