Berwick Qualicum Beach Hosts Weekly Social Distancing Dance Parties!

Dancing on balconies and courtyards! Berwick Qualicum Beach residents & staff throw weekly ‘social distancing dance parties’ and invite the Town of Qualicum to join in, while still maintaining the 2m social distancing rule. It’s their unique way to stay active and bust a move as the world continues fighting the Coronavirus.

Tune into our Berwick YouTube Channel weekly for our social distancing dance parties: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLNCEzEbA0o

COVID-19 Statement: Berwick by the Sea Confirmed Case

Victoria, BC March 26, 2020 – Berwick Retirement Communities has announced that there is a confirmed case of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Berwick by the Sea in Campbell River. The individual who tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been self-isolating in their room since their return to Berwick by the Sea on the 24th of March, 2020.

Berwick Retirement Communities and Berwick by the Sea is working with Island Health to take the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of all residents and staff, as well as those in the broader community.

Island Health has also confirmed that close contacts of the individual who tested positive have been notified and all necessary steps are being taken. If you have not been contacted by Public Health, you are not considered at risk of exposure to this individual.

All of Berwick’s leadership teams are working hard to closely monitor the situation at Berwick by the Sea. All Berwick communities have been diligently preparing for this situation and outbreak protocols have been in place since last week out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of our residents and staff. 

We are taking every step possible to ensure the virus is contained. The health and safety of our residents and staff is a top priority for Berwick Retirement Communities.

Berwick Retirement Communities is working rigorously around the clock with Island Health to control and contain the virus. Berwick is also communicating daily with the Communicable Disease Nurse.

As communicated to all family members yesterday, the most efficient way to receive a response regarding the confirmed case at Berwick by the Sea is to send an email to the following address: bcr.outbreak@berwickrc.com as all staff within the Berwick by the Sea community are supporting outbreak procedures.

This also serves as a reminder that COVID-19 is a concern that is not isolated to one region or city on Vancouver Island and it is imperative for everyone to follow the Provincial Health Officer’s directives around physical distancing, hygiene and self-isolating if you have symptoms.

For further information about COVID-19, please visit http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19

Letters regarding the confirmed case at Berwick by the Sea were send to residents, family members and staff yesterday and to the entire Berwick community this morning (March 26th, 2020).

A letter to our Valued Employees

To our valued employees,  

Dad and I would like to express to you, our Berwick and Marquise team, how grateful we are for your hard work and dedication, under difficult circumstances, in keeping our residents healthy and safe. We have been moved by your dedication and resiliency.

We all understand that we face continued challenges in the days and weeks ahead. We know you are working tirelessly, working short-staffed and working overtime in addition to dealing with everything going on in your personal lives. We want you all to know that you have our full support and that your safety is paramount. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure your health and safety during this global pandemic.

The work you are doing, even more so during this unprecedented time, is incredibly important for the wellbeing of your Berwick community. But it goes far beyond that. What you do for each and every one of our residents is playing a crucial role in our regional, provincial and national fight against this virus.

On behalf of our residents, your fellow team members, as well as the greater community, thank you so much for your selfless dedication and commitment. Thank you for being there, thank you for your unwavering commitment, teamwork, compassion and your courage. We are humbled to know we have such an incredible team of people. You are our Berwick Heroes.

Please, please remember to take care of yourselves and continue to support one another as we navigate these uncharted waters together.

Sincerely,

Chris Denford
President & CEO, Berwick Retirement Communities 

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we are keeping our spirits up!

March 20, 2020

A message to all of our residents and families,

Today, we wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for your patience, your support and your cooperation during this difficult time. This situation is changing so quickly, and we cannot believe how fortunate we feel to have such supportive, resilient residents. You have been adapting to our policy changes with optimism and gratitude, and we cannot thank you enough for bearing with us as we navigate these uncharted waters together. 

We also wanted to take this opportunity to thank the many families who have been sending us well wishes and words of inspiration. This has kept our spirits high on the most challenging of days. One of our families said “every person that does not get infected is a victory, every day that infection does not spread within our communities is a victory…” and we could not agree more.

Hearing words of gratitude from you mean so much to our entire Berwick team, and if you have any more words of widsom or encouragement, please feel free to email: dailyinspiration@berwickrc.com so that we can continue to keep our front line workers feeling appreciated.

While we are on the topic of daily inspirations, click on the link below for a quick clip of our Berwick Qualicum Beach residents and staff following in Italy’s footsteps and dancing on their balconies to keep spirits up!  

We also want to take this opportunity to remind you all of what has NOT been cancelled: 

  • GETTING EXERCISE… not cancelled 
  • MUSIC… not cancelled
  • DANCING FROM OUR BALCONIES… not cancelled
  • LAUGHTER… not cancelled
  • READING… not cancelled
  • SINGING… not cancelled
  • VIRTUAL VISITS WITH FAMILY… not cancelled
  • HOPE… not cancelled

Thank you again for your unending support. As always, we will continue to work vigilantly day and night to ensure we are keeping our sites as safe, clean and sanitized as possible. 

COVID-19 Resident & Families

March 18, 2020

A message to all of our residents and families,

On March 17th, the Deputy Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency amid the significant and rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the Island Health and Interior Health regions.

In her announcement, she ordered that any restaurants, bars and cafes not able to facilitate social distancing be closed and transition to take-out or delivery service to further prevent the spread of this pandemic.  We have made the difficult but necessary decision to temporarily close our dining services and implement room service effective noon today, March 18th, 2020. This was a difficult decision, but made without hesitation as the safety and well-being of our residents and staff is paramount.

Please be assured you will still receive full meals with multiple options and twice daily coffee and snacks, but for the time being they will be hand-delivered to your room during regular meal times.

We know that this is going to be an incredibly challenging time. However, we believe you appreciate that we cannot take any unnecessary risks and out of obligation to you, our staff and our civic duties to act responsibly we must do everything to help prevent the further spread of this virus within our broader communities.

Please understand that any policies, decisions and changes Berwick has put into place have been intentionally above and beyond the guidelines and direction as provided from the BCCDC, our local health authorities, Dr. Bonnie Henry and our Minister of Health Adrian Dix. These are very difficult decisions, but made with the intentions and hope that this will only benefit us in the near term as it relates to the health and safety of those in our communities.

As you are aware Berwick is closed to visitors and only essential visitors delivering medical assistance are admitted entrance after they have passed our pre-screening protocol.   We are asking for your help and cooperation in letting your families know that we are closed and to please find alternative means to stay connected. Any non-essential visits could jeopardize our entire community.  

It is important to note that our provincial health officers are strongly discouraging seniors from being out in the community at this time.

At Berwick we are working vigilantly day and night to ensure we are going above and beyond standard infection control measures to keep our sites as clean and sanitized as possible. We cannot confidently say the same for the environment outside of our doors. Should it be essential that you must leave the building, please note that effective immediately you will be asked to comply with our pre-screening protocols and sanitized prior to reentering the building. 

To reiterate our most up to date policies and procedures:

  • Berwick is closed to visitors
  • Essential medical visitors must be buzzed in to allow for pre-screening and ensure they sanitize their hands
  • Only disposables will be used for room service
  • Brio is closed to all visitors including Berwick residents
  • All delivery carts will be sanitized between meals
  • Tablets will be made available to facilitate virtual visits with families

COVID-19 is the most challenging crisis we have faced together and we need your support and mutual compliance now more than ever. Given the sizeable increase in community cases from yesterday’s press conference, drastic steps must be taken out of necessity to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The speed of our actions need to supersede the perfection of our decisions. 

We cannot stress enough our heartfelt gratitude for your patience, understanding and tremendous effort during these unprecedented times. This situation is changing daily, and we are going to keep adjusting to it. Just remember, this is not permanent. This is a temporary approach out of an abundance of caution for your health and safety. 

Berwick Retirement Communities join the StrongerU Senior Fitness Instructor Community!

At Berwick Retirement Communities, we strive to foster a sense of belonging, dignity and respect with residents, families and team members. We are dedicated to creating an energetic life force within our communities so it was a perfect fit for us to certify our Active Living Staff as StrongerU Senior Fitness Instructors and launch the StrongerU Senior Fitness Program in our communities.

Our mission is to create a wonderful environment where residents enjoy exceptional services from friendly staff. It’s no surprise that Founder of Berwick Retirement Communities, Gordon Denford, was the recipient of the 2019 BCSLA Pioneer Award presented by British Columbia Seniors Living Association (BCSLA). Further, Berwick Comox Valley was the recipient of a 2019 ICAA NuStep Beacon Award for “Best in Wellness” Presented by International Council on Active Aging (ICAA).

We were first introduced to StrongerU Senior Fitness at the 2019 BCSLA Conference where StrongerU Senior Fitness was a Finalist at the Aging 2.0 Global Innovation Showcase . We had the opportunity to connect with Emily at the BCSLA Conference in Whistler in September 2019, and after hearing her pitch, we knew this was something we wanted to pursue and roll out at all our Berwick communities. Our goal is to further enhance the lives of our Residents, and empower them to stay active. StrongerU Senior Fitness is a safe, effective and fun choreographed program that bridges the gap between exercise and science knowledge, and gives our employees the instruction they need to ensure our residents are achieving Canada’s physical activity guidelines.

Our Active Living Teams are thrilled to be a part of the StrongerU Senior Fitness Instructor community!

To learn more about StrongerU Senior Fitness and the StrongerU Senior Fitness Instructor Course visit https://www.strongeruseniorfitness.com/ and https://strongeru-senior-fitness.didacte.com/

COVID-19 Update – Residents & Families

March 17, 2020

During this unprecedented time, we want to take a moment to thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate our way through this global pandemic. We know there is a significant amount of communication coming your way, and we know it can feel overwhelming.

It is of utmost importance to us as an organization that we stay completely transparent with you and provide you with as much information as possible to ensure you have a clear understanding of what Berwick is doing to protect you and your families.

With the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Island Health and Interior Health regions, changes to our existing policies will be occurring. Please take note of our visitation and entry/exit guidelines:

  • Only essential visits are permitted. Essential visitors are identified as family members who are tending to an actively palliative or gravely ill resident. Essential visitors also include doctors, employees, health care service providers and contractors as needed.  Non-essential visits could jeopardize the health of our entire community so we please ask that you refrain from visiting unless it falls within the definition as classified by the Provincial Health Officer
  • Any essential visitors will continue to be actively screened and those who refuse or do not pass will not be permitted within our community.
  • Residents are requested to not leave the building other than to walk around the premises
  • Any residents returning from hospital will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period
  • Our Brio Care Units have officially been closed. A memo to all families regarding policies will be deployed shortly

Here is another reminder of the other measures we have in place to ensure the utmost safety of our residents and employees:

  • Implementing social distancing (2 metres distance) in our active living programs
  • Limiting activities to groups of no larger than 10
  • Sanitizing protocols for all board games and shared items
  • Limiting the BAT car to essential services only (such as doctor’s appointments)
  • Cancelled all community events and outings
  • Cancelled all private dining events, guest meals and guest suite stays
  • Staff who are unwell have been notified and requested to refrain from coming to work.
  • Any staff who work at other sites in the community that have outbreaks are prohibited from working at our sites during the outbreak as per company policy.
  • Berwick is continuing to add additional staff and work hours where needed to help assist in cleaning and disinfecting all high touch point areas
  • Berwick has increased the number of hand sanitization & education stations within our communities
  • Our Clinical Resource Team is conducting educational in-services and providing around the clock support to our staff to help them provide the best care and services to our residents. This team is also available to answer questions our residents and families may have.
  • Promoting good hand hygiene and cough etiquette
  • We are maintaining all visitor logs
  • Regular surveillance for signs and symptoms in residents
  • Use of gloves and masks as appropriate

 
We understand the impact that this can have on our mental and emotional well-being, and we are working with our Active Living Teams to ensure our Active Living programs are limited in size, but increased in frequency to ensure some continuity. We will also be providing residents with Activity ‘To Go’ Bags complete with a variety of brain games, crosswords and crafts that they can do in their suites.  We have also implemented social distancing protocols at meal times and for resident update meetings.  We are incredibly grateful to all our residents for their resiliency and support as these changes have been implemented.

These precautions are solely in place to protect our residents and staff and your ongoing support is paramount to assisting us in ensuring the continued well-being of everyone at our Berwick communities.

At any point in time, should you or a loved one start to notice any symptoms, the Government of BC just released an assessment tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, to help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else if they are unable to. You can access that assessment here or by clicking on the image below: https://covid19.thrive.health/

COVID-19 Updates for New Protocols & In-house Services

March 16, 2020

A message to all of our residents and families,

Berwick Retirement Communities is committed to taking all steps to protect the health and safety of our residents, your families and friends, our staff, volunteers, suppliers and service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This morning, the Prime Minister announced new travel restrictions and is requiring that all those returning from outside of Canada self-isolate for a period of 14 days BEFORE interacting with the general public. Out of an abundance of caution, Berwick had implemented this policy for all staff, residents and visitors on March 13th and have further implemented personal health and travel screening for all essential visitors to our communities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

In light of the latest announcement from Dr. Bonnie Henry regarding the new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Island Health & Interior Health regions, Berwick is taking further action to mitigate transmission of this virus.  Such steps include:

  • Implementing social distancing (2 metres distance) in our active living programs
  • Limiting activities to groups of no larger than 10
  • Sanitizing protocols for all board games and shared items
  • Limiting the BAT car to essential services only (such as doctor’s appointments)

We are also implementing some additional measures to facilitate communication and support during this time.  Should you need any essential items or are expecting a delivery from a friends or family member, we will be happy to facilitate the delivery to your suite or arrange the BAT car to pick-up. Please keep in touch with your loved ones by phone or conduct a virtual visit, which our Active Living Managers can help facilitate in your suite using our tablet device. We are also reviewing the option of providing room service and insuite activities for those that wish to further socially distance or need to self-isolate.

We are adhering to our civic obligations as members of the community to ensure the health and safety of everyone and sincerely ask that you continue to help us educate family and friends on the importance of complying with our essential-only visits at this time.

Should you be utilizing any of our mobile services such as the dental hygienist, massage therapist, hairdressing, foot care nurse or companion services please ask yourself if these are truly necessary and reschedule any non-essential appointments. This will also help reduce the risk of exposure to our sites from the community.

Your continued support is paramount in assisting us with doing whatever we can do prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our entire Berwick community and we greatly appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.

COVID-19 Updates for Travel, Pre-Screening Measures & Cancellations

March 14, 2020

The Provincial Director of Health has strongly recommended that travel outside of Canada be avoided if possible while the COVID-19 outbreak continues.   For all those who are returning from outside of Canada, a self-isolation period of 14 days is to be observed BEFORE interacting with the general public.  In our ongoing effort to ensure everyone’s health and well-being, Berwick will be implementing this recommendation immediately for all staff, residents and visitors.

We strongly recommend that our residents and staff do not travel at this time, avoid large groups and request your family and friends to refrain from visiting.  Should your travel be essential then please be aware that you will be required to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days.  We are also taking the added precaution of implementing personal health and travel screening for  visitors to our community to mitigate transfer of this virus. Please note, if you do not contact us prior to arrival, you will be met at the door by a staff member who will be asking the following pre-screening questions:

  • Have you or any person(s) you reside with returned from China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea or been on a cruise ship in the last 14 days?
  • Have you had close contact with or cared for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
  • Have you or someone you reside with experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days (to include fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory illness, difficulty breathing)? 

If you answer yes to any of the questions below, please refrain from visiting any Berwick Retirement Community for a period of 14 days.

Berwick is sincerely asking for your support in adhering to this direction by avoiding any visitation to our communities while in this self-isolation period or if you are exhibiting any outbreak symptoms.  Please ask yourself if your visit is truly essential or if there is a different way we can assist you such as delivering dropped off supplies to a resident.

We all share the same collective sensitivities to help ensure our Residents and Front-line staff remain healthy during this unprecedented time of outbreak.

What other things are we doing to help prevent COVID-19 in our residences?

  • Berwick has cancelled all community events and outings
  • Berwick is cancelling all private dining events, guest meals and guest suite stays
  • Staff who are unwell have been notified and requested to refrain from coming to work. Any staff who work at other sites in the community that have outbreaks are prohibited from working at our sites during the outbreak as per company policy.
  • Berwick is continuing to add additional staff and work hours where needed to help assist in cleaning and disinfecting all high touch point areas
  • Berwick has increased the number of hand sanitization & education stations within our communities
  • Our Clinical Resource Team is conducting educational in-services and providing around the clock support to our staff to help them provide the best care and services to our residents. This team is also available to answer questions our residents and families may have.
  • Promoting good hand hygiene and cough etiquette
  • We will be maintaining all visitor logs
  • Regular surveillance for signs and symptoms in residents
  • Use of gloves and masks as appropriate

While there have been a lot of changes that have been happening, one of the things that has not changed is that proper hand washing is paramount to reducing the spread of germs and viruses so we continue to urge everyone to maintain good hand hygiene practices.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Lesley Sikorski, Director of Sales & Marketing
email: lsikorski@berwickrc.com 

Taking precautions to protect yourself and others amid COVID-19 concerns

Our clinical team lead by Regional Manager of Clinical Services, Joti, has been providing virtual and onsite education to all the Berwick sites over the last few weeks to ensure our residents, families and staff are informed of our outbreak protocol and are provided all the necessary recommendations and suggestions of how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our communities. It is important to note that we have significant experience in managing issues such as influenza and Norwalk Virus, including an outbreak scenario.

Taking precautions to protect yourself and others amid the COVID-19 pandemic is critical. Here is what you can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands, often. Use soap and water, wash the fronts, the backs, under fingernails and between fingers. Watch the following video that we have been sharing with our staff and residents regularly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PmVJQUCm4E
  • Exercise proper cough etiquette. Cough or sneeze into your elbow, or use a tissue then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. Watch the following video that we have been sharing with our staff and residents regularly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl8NXvPlIBg
  • Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth)
  • Practice social distancing
  • Stay home if you are ill – do not go into work or to visit loved ones. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are ill 
  • Get your flu shot

Proper handwashing is paramount to reducing the spread of germs and viruses so we are urging everyone to maintain good hand hygiene practices year round. 

We all need to do whatever we can to help “flatten the curve” – “Mitigation efforts like social distancing help reduce the disease caseload on any given date, and can keep the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.” Drew Harris

Your continued support of our common goal of keeping everyone at Berwick Retirement Communities and our local communities in British Columbia safe, healthy and happy is greatly appreciated.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Lesley Sikorski, Director of Sales & Marketing
email: lsikorski@berwickrc.com