NewsPositively San Diego


San Diego seniors stay positive through 'Joys of Life'

Posted at 5:45 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 12:22:00-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The coronavirus has touched the lives of people of all ages, but none more than seniors. Despite ongoing challenges, residents at a senior living facility are finding ways to stay positive.

You can’t see their smiles but you can tell they’re there.

Residents at Belmont Village Senior Living in Sabre Springs are not only adapting to the pandemic, they’re overcoming it through "The Joys of Life."

Don Bodow started the program to spread happiness and stimulate minds. Through a series of puzzles, games, and activities he helps fellow residents stay positive.

“I’m making other people happy,” said Bodow. “Giving them joy simply makes me feel good.”

Although they can’t be with their families during the pandemic, many are happy right where they are.

“The joy of life is in all of us,” said Bodow. “We may not realize it and it needs to be brought out. You need to accept the fact that there are joys in your life.”

One of his most active students is 98-year-old Pauline Hayes.

“Some of those words are misspelled and you’re challenged to find them,” said Hayes. “I love doing Joys of Life.”

Hayes attends every session and credits the class for keeping her sharp. When we asked her about the secret to life she replied, “keeping positive and keeping active.”

Bodow says the program was built on his own experience after spending two months in a coma.

“I lost all my memory, all my muscle mass. I had to learn how to walk again,” said Bodow.

He’s made an incredible comeback while helping others along the way.

“This is never about me,” said Bodow. “It’s making the other people happy, giving them a sense of a full life.”

Through the challenges of COVID-19, Joys of Life is touching the lives of residents and staff like never before.

Bodow has a collection of puzzles and games on his website. You can check them out here.