MIAMI – Studies have repeatedly shown that strong connections and social interaction with friends and family are vital to overall health, helping to ease stress and increase longevity.
Diana Hernandez does just that for her 93-year-old grandfather Arcelio Bejarano.
“He raised me so he is my dad and grandpa and he is just the most important person I have right now,” Hernandez said.
When the pandemic struck, Hernandez was no longer able to bring Bejarano to the Conviva Care Center in Little Havana but they didn’t skip a beat in their routine.
“He lives with me so we do everything together. I try to include him in everything we do and he easily adapts,” Hernandez said.
With the vaccine rollout Bejarano and the other clients at the center are now able to comfortably interact again.
“They can already start doing some activities like exercises, they can do games and they can interact with each other already,” said Dr. Mercedes Pino with Conviva Care.
“It’s good for him to have somewhere to go and he would typically be here four or five days a week, whether he had a doctor’s appointment or not, so that social interaction, it got cut off immediately,” Hernandez added.
Bejarano was among the many seniors struck by COVID-19 and he spent two weeks in the hospital last November.
Now that he’s back to his daily routine, he doesn’t hesitate to spread the word about the importance of vaccination.
“He says it’s so important for everyone to be protected from this virus,” Hernandez said.