Family celebrates local woman's 98th birthday from a window

Published: May. 8, 2020 at 6:27 PM EDT
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Getting together with loved ones is challenging these days. That's especially true for residents of Brookridge Heights Memory Care Unit, where social distancing is crucial.

But Ida Juidici’s family wasn't about to let social distancing stop them from celebrating an important milestone in her life, that’s according to Ida’s daughter, Ruth Forgette.

"To live to 98 is unbelievable. And the things she's gone through in her life, the world wars and everything. This is just one more notch on her belt. She survived that and she'll survive this," Forgette asserted.

Since it's too risky for her visitors to come inside, several of Juidici's family members gathered outside of her window at Brookridge Heights to help her celebrate her 98th birthday.

"She’s inside with her friends and cake. We’re outside with our own cake and decorations and getting to see her. It's kind of hard because I haven’t seen her physically for two months. So this is going to be the best that we can do. I didn't want her birthday to go unnoticed. So this is what we're doing," Forgette declared.

Brian Gaudreau, Memory Support Director at Brookridge Heights talked about some of the challenges staff and residents at Brookridge Heights face each day.

"We'll we're in the U.P. and it's snowing," Gaudreau commented.

Indeed, the weather was less than ideal for such a visit but, especially with the pandemic, everyone still felt blessed to simply be able to catch up and visit for a few minutes.

"Imagine not knowing if you’re going to see your loved one again. We have residents in varying stages of dementia and the interesting part of it is they all of a sudden have to not see their loved ones that visit on a regular basis. And suddenly they’re looking at us with masks on and trying to figure out who we are,” Gaudreau shared.

After 98 years, there’s no way anyone might have predicted Juidici and her family would have to celebrate this one through a window. But for Juidici and for her family it's better than not seeing each other at all.

"It’s been a hard thing. But she's a real positive person and she doesn't get depressed. So that makes it easier for me, she'll be happy today because it's a party,” Forgette announced.

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