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Staying Away Out Of Love: Families, Assisted Living Facility Residents Miss Visits During Coronavirus

DEDHAM (CB)S -- Inside the walls of assisted living facility The Linden at Dedham, you'll find no shortage of smiles - despite required the social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's been a little quieter because we're all being careful. We're really very happy here," said resident Maryanne Smith.

"I've been lucky that way. I don't want for anything," added Maureen Tarpey.

It's not easy, but family members know the most loving, caring thing they can do is to stay away.

"I miss the naturalness of contact. I miss being able to sit with my sister and share a cup of tea, or share a meal. Have a homier visit," said Valerie Martin, whose sister lives at the Linden.

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The Linden at Deham is connecting residents with family members over social media (Photo Via The Linden At Dedham)

The Linden team is doing everything they can to keep everyone connected: socially distant hallway bingo, video calls, careful visits through the fence, and sweet social media messages from the residents and the staff who love and care for them.

"They need to keep their minds going. They want to stay active. It's hard to make sure they're happy but also mentally happy," said Linden team member Heather Payne.

With lots of life under their belts, Linden residents know a thing or two about getting through tough times. "You've got to have a sense of humor. Someone told me this a long lo by time ago," Tarpey said, laughing.

Like all of us, they are counting the days until the little things feel sweeter than ever.

"A little more freedom, not having to wear a mask to protect ourselves and distance," Smith said.

"It'll be fun to dance with my sister again. She likes to get out there and do a good cha-cha. I can't even imagine how grand it's going to be to give my sister a hug," Martin said.

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