For Paul’s Run resident, Oscar Freezeman, puzzles mean more than a simple game. They symbolize unity and connection pieced together by the memories throughout his lifetime. Having lived in this beautiful retirement community since 2017, Oscar has been making puzzles long before his retired years. “It began a long time ago when my first son, who passed away, was just three years old. He used to like to put them together and eventually I started making them,” Oscar explains.
Creating puzzles mainly from photographs, especially of his family and friends, Oscar has made hundreds throughout the decades. Experiencing great loss in his life, including the loss of a son, a daughter, and his first wife to cancer, these puzzles have served as a reminder of love, togetherness, and joy. “We all used to do puzzles together as a family. I lost them, but my time with them was beautiful and I can’t ask for more than that,” he reflects.
As Oscar is thankful for his time with loved ones who have passed, his love and connection with family will always be strong. “I have eight grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. I talk to them at least once a week,” he says. And they all appear in his puzzle creations. Whether he’s making a puzzle of his grandson getting married at the Eiffel Tower, or his great granddaughter’s collection of stuffed animals, Oscar greatly cherishes these meaningful commemorations
Grateful for Paul’s Run Staff…
Today, Oscar is in the process of creating an especially meaningful puzzle that celebrates Paul’s Run staff and their dedication to compassionate care. “The puzzle I’m making now has about 20 to 30 staff members who work here,” he says. Motivated to display the caring staff members he knows so well, Oscar says it is their big hearts that continue to inspire him.
The people who work at Paul’s Run, they do their jobs from the heart. They do their jobs because they love to take care of the residents who live here. It’s just beautiful.Oscar Freezeman, resident at Paul’s Run
For Oscar, the staff at Paul’s Run are more like family. “I don’t know them as staff. I know them as brothers and sisters,” he affirms. Oscar predicts his most recent puzzle will likely take him four months to finish. “Each piece is about an inch big and it’s made of 1,000 pieces,” he explains.
A tremendous amount of detailed work that certainly keeps Oscar busy, he hopes this puzzle will bring joy and togetherness to the people of Paul’s Run. “I hope that when it’s all finished maybe they’ll hang it in the lobby and people can look at it and go, ‘Oh that’s me!’ and it can bring back memories, and make people happy,” he says. Indeed it will, as staff and residents at Paul’s Run are very excited to see the completed masterpiece.
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A life of fulfillment and joy in a beautiful community
Puzzle-making for Oscar is not the only thing that fills his life with joy. He says living in this beautiful community brings him happiness each day. “I’ve lived in this neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia all my life. I saw them build Paul’s Run. Paul’s Run is the best place I could ever be,” he says. Oscar’s wife also lives in the community, receiving a higher level of care. He says the attention provided to her by nurses and aides gives him a great sense of comfort. “It brings a tear to my eye to see how deeply the staff here care for my wife and residents,” he reflects.
Safety amidst COVID-19
As Paul’s Run continues to uplift the well-being of older adults across all levels of care, their dedication to safety and security for their community amidst COVID-19 remains strong. “I absolutely feel safe living at Paul’s Run through this pandemic. 100 percent safe,” Oscar emphasizes. Following the proper safety guidelines set out by the CDC and Department of Health, Paul’s Run staff have gone above and beyond to engage residents in new and creative ways.
Whether residents are signing up for socially distant flower arranging class, making puzzles in their apartments, or playing socially distant BINGO, they experience plentiful opportunities for safe socialization with the friends, families, and neighbors of this community. As Paul’s Run continues to provide compassionate care for their residents, Oscar says there’s no better place he could ever be. “There is no better place than Paul’s Run. Me and my children know that this community is the best place I could ever be,” he affirms.