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Lifelong Burnage resident celebrates 104th birthday and end of lockdown restrictions

  • Residential home makes 104th birthday extra special as restrictions finally eased
  • Members of the public get involved by sending cards for lifelong Burnage resident
  • The 104 year old says the secret to long life is being happy

Lifelong Burnage resident Ada Louis celebrated her 104th birthday this weekend with a special party  - the first since the pandemic struck.

Downing House residential home worked hard to make Ada’s landmark birthday extra special after a difficult two years.

Ada, who was born in Burnage in 1918 and lived there her entire life, worked making artificial flowers by hand before working at Hans Renold chains factory in Didsbury.

Ada moved to Downing House in 2020, at the very start of the pandemic.

During the pandemic, lockdowns and restrictions meant that care homes could not receive visitors in order to protect residents and staff from COVID-19.

This meant residents were unable to see their loved ones for many months, making it a very difficult time.

Chief Executive Prof Martin Green said care homes had been "right at the frontline of this dreadful pandemic".

Figures released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) showed that more than 39,000 care home residents died with the virus between 10 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Activities coordinator, Rubina Hewitt, told NQ: “It’s been a difficult time for Ada and all the residents throughout the pandemic – being restricted from seeing their loved ones”.

Downing House posted Ada’s story on social media, asking the public to help make her day extra special by sending birthday cards after being unable to celebrate properly last year.

Rubina said: “It’s been going really great. We’ve had some great responses”.

Ada was “overwhelmed” by the amount of cards she received from the general public wishing her a happy birthday.

The party, held at Downing House, included a live singer, who sang plenty of Frank Sinatra – Ada’s favourite musician.

The events of the day were well received by residents and staff who took part by wearing Frank Sinatra inspired hats, singing and dancing along.

Ada also thoroughly enjoyed the celebrations, telling NQ she had a “beautiful day”.

Rubina said: “Ada really is the life and soul of Downing House.

We love her so much, she has a beautiful smile that lights up any room

Ada, described as having great sense of humour, still recalls spending time going out in Burnage and even dancing on the tables.

Rubina said: “Whenever there is music playing, she’s up dancing and singing along.

“She is always up for a laugh with the residents and staff members”.

After the celebrations, Ada told NQ the secret to a long life is ultimately “being happy”.

She added: “I only feel 25.”

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