Residents of Berwick House and Berwick Royal Oak have plenty of opportunities to be active and engaged. To learn more visit berwickretirement.com. (Photo: Derek Ford)

Independent, together: Social lives thrive at this retirement residence

Physically-distant spin classes, balcony science experiments, bird spy bingo and more!

COVID-19 has forced us all to practice physical distancing, and this time has been particularly isolating for at-risk populations. But that hasn’t stopped the residents of Berwick House and Berwick Royal Oak from having fun.

In the early days residents connected bubble-to-bubble from their suite balconies, dancing to live music performed in the courtyard and performing egg drop science experiments. There was Bird Spy Bingo, Ice Castle building and physically-distanced cocktail hours.

“During Spain week we hosted Spanish Wine tasting. Residents loved it, so we’ll continue through the fall with different countries and drinks,” says Kendra King, Active Living Manager at Berwick House.

Berwick Qualicum Beach earned internet fame with their KISS music video, and Berwick House followed up with a This Little Light of Mine music video complete with a dextrous solo from a mandolin player in his 90s.

“COVID-19 doesn’t seem to interfere too much with our lifestyle here. We know it’s there and we have to behave ourselves, but we’re well looked after,” says one Berwick House resident.

The Berwick Bubble

As the pandemic spread through communities across the country, Berwick residents felt safe and connected inside their social bubble.

“For seniors living on their own, tasks like buying groceries, staying connected and maintaining physical and mental health have become increasingly daunting during the pandemic. But with independent living seniors have access to nutritious meals, activities and social connection without any increased risk,” says Lesley Sikorski with Berwick in Victoria.

Residents have stayed fit with daily Nordic Pole walks through Berwick Royal Oak’s beautiful gardens and jumping rope in the safety of their suites. They also hosted a physically distanced spin class fundraiser for the Heart & Stroke foundation.

“We have arts classes as well — painting Spanish Tiles, watercolour, and writing groups. There are lots of ways for residents to get creative,” King says. “We all planted seeds during Plant Week, and residents are still in competition to see whose plant grows the most!”

Independent, and part of the family

Worried about losing your independence when you move into a suite at Berwick? Sikorski talked to the ‘pros,’ some of Berwick House’s proud residents, to see how they felt about the transition.

“I still drive to visit friends and participate in the all the clubs I belong to. PLUS I’ve got a Berwick family that I can go to share a laugh — or a cry!” says one resident.

Berwick offers technology training and support to help residents stay connected to family and friends on video conferencing platforms like Zoom, and the community inside Berwick House adds extra companionship face-to-face.

“From the first day we felt that we were being welcomed into a family. That sounds like a cliché, but I really did feel that.”

Berwick House and Berwick Royal Oak are retirement communities that provides meals, housekeeping and engaging programs for Independent Living and Enhanced Living Services. Studio, one bedroom and two bedroom suites are still available. At Berwick House contact Linda Lord for more information or to make an appointment for a tour by calling 250-853-5492 or emailing berwickhouse@berwickrc.com. At Berwick Royal Oak reach out to Amanda Guignon at 250-419-4012 or berwickroyaloak@berwickrc.com. And don’t forget to follow Berwick House and Berwick Royal Oak on Instagram!

Seniorsseniors housing

 

Beauty surrounds you at Berwick Royal Oak. (Photo: Jo-Ann Richards)

Berwick House in Gordon Head offers safety, independence, and community.

Just Posted

Sooke RCMP searching for two people, reported missing on Sept. 10

Alannah Brooke Logan, 20, and Beau Richard Santuccione, 32, last seen on Otter Point Road

New branch of Royal BC Museum to be built in Colwood

New faclity in the Royal Bay development will house collections, archives and research department

Victoria man plans 30-hour walk to raise funds for vulnerable youth

Take a Hike engages youth in intensive, clinical counselling and outdoor experiential learning

Opponent of proposed Sidney cannabis store calls on councillors to heed health authority advice

Council to consider revised application from Happy Buddha Cannabis on Sept. 28

Metchosin inmate sentenced to 12 months in jail for escaping custody

Sentence to be served concurrent to a life sentence he was already serving

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read