It has been a challenging few months as COVID-19 continues to impact our world. With seniors being among the most vulnerable population, Berwick has been vigilant in implementing the necessary policies and procedures to ensure the safety and well being of residents and employees. With all the steps being taken to protect our residents, retirement living can actually help seniors and their families feel reassured during these times. Our communities provide both health and social supports. Even though there have been times where residents have had to isolate in their rooms, our residents are never alone. Our families have found comfort in knowing that their loved ones are safe, have supports in place to provide them with the necessities they may need and have access to staff 24/7.
“My parents are so happy and it’s mostly due to all of you, who are working so hard to keep them and the community safe. It gives our family a valued peace of mind knowing they are happy, safe and feel secure.” Berwick Royal Oak Family Member
As physical distancing protocols remain in place, we have heard from many seniors in our local communities who have started to consider independent living. Although long-term care homes have been gravely affected because of COVID outbreaks, our independent living communities have provided a safe and secure environment for our residents. Our homes are adaptive to whatever changes may come and the safety of our communities and our people is paramount.
“There is no place else I would rather be, especially during these difficult times. I cannot find words to tell you all how grateful I am to the wonderful staff of Berwick for keeping me safe, well fed and in good spirits.” Berwick Comox Valley Resident
Here are the reasons why living in an independent community is safe during these times:
Industry Leading Policies & Procedures:
Our communities are mandated to have robust policies and protocols in place to protect our residents. Berwick has been going above and beyond the direction of our Provincial Health Minister, Dr. Bonnie Henry. No stone has been left unturned during this process. The moment we closed our doors to the public was the moment we began planning to reopen our doors. It is important to note that we have significant experience in managing outbreak scenarios and are constantly reevaluating our policies in place to ensure they are industry leading. Our communities are always prepared to respond to illness outbreaks and other emergencies.
We have multiple layers of safety protocols and infrastructure in place to protect our seniors. Here is a list of the following safety measures in place across all Berwick Communities:
- Outbreak protocols in place at all Berwick Communities
- 24 hour support and security
- Enhanced and increased sanitization stations
- Staff Members are now required to wear masks when physical distancing is not a possibility
- Physical distancing decals have been placed throughout the communities to encourage safe distancing
- Active pre-screening for every essential visitor who enters any of our Berwick communities
- Single point of entry at all Berwick communities
- Bistros retrofitted with plexi-glass protective barriers
- Only disposables will be used for room service
- All delivery carts will be sanitized between meals
- Activities limited to ensure social distancing parameters are met
- Virtual activities increased and available
- Increased virtual visits available for residents and family members
- Onsite Tuck Shop stocked with essentials so residents don’t have to continue to leave the building
“Please know that having my Mom living at Berwick is a dream, and her face continues to light up whenever anyone asks “Do you still like living there?” Her thoughts are why on earth wouldn’t you? So thank you so much for all that you do in helping my Mom and so many others get through these unprecedented times.” Berwick House Family Member
Mental & Physical Health Monitoring
Our staff regularly monitor residents for any signs of illness for their protection. Unlike a senior who is living alone who may have challenges in seeking medical attention, our staff are here to support our residents and act immediately should any concerns arise. Our residents and their family members can feel assured that we are here to support them 24 hours a day should they need it. We also check in daily with every one of our residents through door to door visits.
“Just a note of huge thanks to say you have our unconditional vote of gratitude for everything you are doing at Berwick! We didn’t want to wait until the virus threat is over to tell you how happy we are with the way you manage ALL day-to-day operations, ongoing. So happy to call Berwick our home!” Berwick on the Lake Resident
Berwick has been more than prepared to continue providing the same, delicious nutritional meals during COVID. Although the dining areas have been closed for some time now, our culinary teams have been increasingly creative with delivery and presentation to make sure residents are still being engaged and enjoying their meals. As we begin to open up our dining areas again, we have outfitted the spaces with protective plexi-glass barriers to ensure the protection of both staff and residents. Despite everything, meal times continue to be entertaining, delicious and engaging!
“All is well. Berwick is doing a fantastic job in keeping us well-fed and safe. Very happy that we live here. Thanks to all!” Berwick Qualicum Beach Resident
Staying Active & Engaged
Berwick’s Active Living departments have been run off their feet with new ideas and implementing new virtual activities. Balcony dance exercise classes, physical distancing dance competitions, virtual yoga, the list goes on. Physical distancing has not prevented us from keeping our spirits high at all of our communities through engaging, fun and social (modified) activities.
In addition, our Active Living teams have set up multiple stations for social connectivity with the outside world. Whether it’s a family zoom call, resident meeting or virtual birthday party, we continue to do whatever we can to facilitate connection. For more information about all the wonderfully positive stories happening at our sites, feel free to watch our #KeepingOurSpiritsHigh Weekly Videos on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_nOBMhUQdu5OuUVh3D1gTA?view_as=subscriber
“Well done! Everyone at Berwick is doing a wonderful job during this difficult time! It’s great to know our loved ones are safe at Berwick!” Berwick on the Park Family Member
Berwick’s communities are equipped for quarantine situations. Staff are there to support a resident if they require isolation in their suite during an outbreak, including delivering three meals a day, continuing to provide care services, laundry and cleaning of their suite, and most importantly comfort and reassurance that everything will be alright. For new residents moving in and having to be in isolation for 14-days, the same supports are available. We have increased staffing to ensure that all the needs of our residents are being met, safely.
“Thank you so much for the wonderful, thoughtful and great care you are giving to your residents. I, and my family, are so ‘thankful’. This is an extraordinary time of crisis, and to have a professional, dedicated team taking care of our loved ones, is a blessing.” Berwick Campbell River Family Member
Day to Day Support
Seniors may not only have care needs, but require help with things like getting to appointments, grocery shopping and meal preparation, and even companionship. When isolated, these tasks can become increasingly overwhelming for seniors and family members, and add in a pandemic, the sheer magnitude of stress can be daunting.
Berwick’s communities provide both health and social supports; even if there is physical isolation, seniors are never alone. Our families have been so relieved knowing that their loved ones have been so well cared for, especially during these unprecedented times. Our seniors don’t have to wait in the long line-ups, they don’t have to experience the stress surrounding going to grocery stores and risk having essentials unavailable or having to risk contracting the virus. Meals, housekeeping, transportation, 24-hour support, activities and connection are all taken care of.
“These are challenging times and Berwick deserves kudos for all of their efforts and measures taken to keep us well and safe. Thank you to each and every one of you. You are all so wonderful and that helps brighten the days.” Berwick Qualicum Beach Resident
Regular updates on Berwick’s Response to COVID-19 are kept in our COVID-19 Updates section.