What’s it like inside Independent Living? ‘Vibrant and safe!’

Long-term care homes have been seriously — and sometimes tragically — affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, causing many to reconsider what’s safest for their parents or themselves, but not all retirement communities are the same.

“There’s a misconception in the community that Independent Living facilities are in lockdown, and that’s not the case!” says Lesley Sikorski with Berwick in Victoria. “Independent Living is still vibrant and safe, with lots of engaging activities every day.”

More security, more freedom

“We have significant experience managing outbreak scenarios and are constantly reevaluating our policies to ensure they’re industry-leading,” Sikorski says. While individual families may have been caught off guard by the pandemic in early March, Berwick already had protocols and PPE in place and has continued to adapt safety procedures to go above and beyond BC Health requirements.

“Just a note of huge thanks to say you have our unconditional vote of gratitude for everything you are doing at Berwick!” wrote one Berwick on the Lake Resident. “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!”

Seniors living alone may have had challenges accessing medical care, risked exposure at grocery stores, struggled to find essential items or faced loneliness in increased social isolation. At Berwick, residents have been spared those stresses.

“We’re here to support residents and their families 24 hours a day, should they need it. We check in daily with every one of our residents face-to-face, and have facilitated visits with family and friends both virtually and in-person,” Sikorski says. “Residents receive nutritious meals three times a day, and they’re welcome to eat in their suites or in our physically distanced dining areas.”

“This is an extraordinary time of crisis, and to have a professional, dedicated team taking care of our loved ones is a blessing,” says one Berwick by the Sea Family Member.

FURTHER READING: Independent, together: Social lives thrive at this retirement residence

In addition to physical distancing and masks for all staff, Berwick communities have improved infrastructure and implemented new protocols to keep residents, visitors and staff safe.

  • Active pre-screening for every visitor who enters any of our Berwick communities
  • Increased and enhanced sanitization methods
  • Increased staffing levels to support pandemic protocols in place
  • Bistros & other areas retrofitted with Plexiglas protective barriers
  • Onsite Tuck Shop stocked with essentials so residents can stay inside the building if they choose

Berwick offers retirement communities that provide meals, housekeeping and engaging programs for Independent Living and Enhanced Living Services. 

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