On Saturday, March 25, Dr. Frances Seidman, a BAYADA client of 10 years, turned 100 years old. BAYADA’s Philadelphia assistive care office’s director, client services manager, and a few of BAYADA’s communications office team members visited Seidman at home with gifts, a cake, and sparkling cider to toast to 100 years!
“The secret to a long life is enjoying each part of it,”said Seidman. When asked how she felt that day, replied, “I’m just happy to be here.” One of her favorite things to do is to walk to Rittenhouse Square and ask people how old they think she is and watch their face when she tells them the number.
Dr. Seidman enjoys living independently in Center City Philadelphia with assistive care provided four hours a day by her home health aide. Her aide helps her with personal care and helps to keep her safe moving around her apartment and neighborhood.
“When I started to get old, it made me sad at first. I would just sit on my chair alone,”she said. “But then I realized it’s not good to do that. If I could give one piece of advice it would be not to block yourself off from people.”
Today, at 100, Dr. Seidman welcomes people from all over into her home and her heart. Her boyfriend, 30 years her junior, flew in from Florida to join the birthday celebration. Now that she appreciates her age, she thinks moving from one level to another in life is her biggest accomplishment. “It’s not easy to be old,” she said. “There are a lot of things I can do without at my age, but reading is something I still can’t do without because I get lost in other worlds.”
She even doled out sage advice to one of her BAYADA visitors, who remarked how much it means to see someone turn 100 after losing her mother at a young age. “You haven’t lost her completely,” she said, “She’s still with you.”
Dr. Seidman received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and practiced as a child psychologist for many years. She says one of the most important things you can do in life is care about people, and as she grew older, she says she had to give herself her own advice at times.
Walking out of Seidman’s apartment, all her visitors began discussing what exactly it is that helped her reach such an impressive age. “I think it’s her loving heart, and the fact that she’s grateful for everything,” said her BAYADA client services manager.
Everyone agreed, leaving inspired and energized by this woman who everyone was glad to know.