‘Tis the season to be merry! For most people, Christmas represents a time of family, friends and cheer. But unfortunately for some others, especially those living on their own and away from family, Christmas can be one of the loneliest times of the year. Instead of creating new and fun memories, some isolated people are left to remember Christmases past.
Rose Deck, one of our Berwick residents, is busy decking the halls for the season with her highly coveted crocheted tree decorations.
“I’m involved in almost everything; shuffleboard, yoga, boot camp, line dancing, carpet bowling…a group of us learned to do ballet dancing. There’s something going on all the time.”
Rose and her husband researched a number of retirement communities in the area a few years ago and had their names down at Berwick. Then, unfortunately, Rose’s husband passed away and the pandemic hit and Rose had to move into Berwick on her own.
“It was the best thing I ever did. It relieved me of a lot of stress back home, and sad memories,’ she says. “I quarantined at first, but they treated me very well. They brought goodies to the door every day and everybody on staff made a point to come check on me. I called it heaven.”
Berwick offers an instant community to seniors who are feeling isolated and alone. With daily opportunities to socialize and plenty of special events to make new memories, we see our residents thrive amid new friendships and exciting new opportunities.
“Christmas here last year, that just blew my mind! I’ve never had so much fun, they thought of almost everything,” Rose remembers.
At Berwick we strive to make everyone feel like family. Staff and residents alike form bonds that make life at our retirement communities truly magical.
After a year of travel restrictions, in December of 2020, one of our Berwick site’s staff organized an imaginary flight to Hawaii. Staff dressed as flight attendants, checked diners’ passports, announced safety instructions and even passed out peanuts and pretzels with a pre-dinner cocktail. Then they disappeared and came back dressed in tropical clothes during the main course and, finally, after one more costume change, returned as reindeer pulling a sleigh.
“The staff put on a skit every year. It’s not exactly professional entertainment, but it’s a lot of fun!” says Community Relations Manager, Jolene Shaw. “There’s a lot of stress and anxiety in the world, and in our little corner of the community, we try to spread joy.”
According to Rose, “It’s not an old folks’ home, it’s just like a resort.”
Of course there’s no obligation to clock in at Santa’s Workshop, dress up like a reindeer or haul out the holly, but the residents and staff of Berwick pull together an impressive variety of events for anyone feeling even a little bit festive.
There are plenty of fun activities for those who enjoy getting into the Christmas spirit from making special Christmas cards and decorations to Christmas entertainment including music and skits. Each Berwick location has its own special traditions including an “Elf on the Shelf” hide and seek each day to special baking classes and demonstrations.
And the fun doesn’t end at Christmas. At Berwick residents are continually learning new things, going new places and forming new and long lasting friendships. The benefits to living in a community with like- minded people, surrounded by staff who truly care and treat you like family, are endless.
From our family to yours, we wish you all a very healthy, happy and safe holiday season!