Every cloud has a silver lining. For the independent-living senior community Carlton House of Oak Bay, when COVID restrictions affected their residents, it presented a unique opportunity to change for the better.
“As we were adjusting to the challenges of the pandemic, we had the chance to speak to our residents and make some awesome improvements,” notes Shelby Clark, Digital Marketing Manager at Carlton House of Oak Bay.
With a goal of countering the negative side effects of the pandemic on residents, Carlton House fulfilled duties to combat isolation, especially prevalent with friends and family not being able to visit.
Perhaps the biggest change was the introduction of the Wellness Program Manager, headed by Jamille Morrison, a psychology and applied ethics graduate of the University of Victoria. A perfect fit for the role, Jamille grew up down the street from Carlton House, making her very familiar with the area! The program is built around three main pillars: physical health, mental health and social engagement.
But those aren’t the only changes – below are some other improvements Carlton House of Oak Bay has enjoyed.
- Wellness Program: The team revisited the activity program to offer more mental support to residents – key to nourishing both mind and body. By creating virtual events and safe activities, its helped residents stay connected to the world. Educational webinars and talks over Zoom are hosted, followed by conversations and debates. The introduction of Helping Hands also brought residents more one-on-one sessions. Time slots are available throughout the week for residents to book an appointment and the program is helping foster personal connections and building relationships with residents. For those that choose not to participate in group activities, Jamille provides individual support as well.“Moving to Carlton House means you become a part of our community and our family. We are here to provide support and fight the isolation that many seniors face living at their own homes,” Shelby explains.
- Food and dining: “Dining is a very important part of their routine – it’s an opportunity to get out of their apartments and socialize, and it’s something they can look forward to every day,” Shelby notes. Many of the resident’s communicated how important a healthy breakfast is to them, so the Carlton House introduced a daily a la carte breakfast and extended breakfast hours until 10:00 am. The team also transformed the Carlton House driveway area into a courtyard space for residents to safely meet with loved ones. Happy hours, ice cream socials and live music are often featured, making for a fun-filled afternoon!
- Transportation: Recognizing that public transportation posed a safety concern for residents during the pandemic, Carlton House purchased a passenger van to ensure residents can safely get to where they need to go. Having support in attending their essential appointments brings peace of mind to residents and their family members. Since the early stages of the pandemic, they also introduced personal shopping for residents twice a week, so residents can always have their favourite treats on hand.
To learn more about the very best of all-inclusive senior living in Oak Bay, visit Carlton House online or call them at 250-595-1914. They’re currently open for in-person and virtual tours, so make sure you get in touch today!