Residents of Berwick Royal Oak enjoy a laugh and some exercise in the Zoom Room. (Photo: Derek Ford)

Residents of Berwick Royal Oak enjoy a laugh and some exercise in the Zoom Room. (Photo: Derek Ford)

Healthy aging starts with conversation

How this retirement community’s social calendar improves mental and physical health

When Linda Lord gives a tour of Berwick House, the retirement community in Gordon Head where she works, she always makes sure to ask one question: why are you here today? Why not six months ago, or six months from now?

“The way seniors answer that question tells me so much about how they’re living now, and what their hopes are for the next part of their lives.”

Some say they’re tired of cooking and doing housework. Some say they’ve lost a spouse or had to give up driving and feel lonely or isolated. Many still love living at home, but say looking after the house has become a source of worry, perhaps because they don’t have as much energy as they did in their 60s.

“Living in a Berwick Retirement Community allows you to use your energy to do things you enjoy, instead of spending that energy on chores! We clean your suite, wash the linens and make your meals, leaving you the freedom and energy to do what you want.”

Strong social lives mean better mental and physical health

“Sociability is crucial to our mental health — we’ve known that since before the isolation of the pandemic. We age better when we are more socially connected,” says Kathy McAree, Community Relations Manager at Berwick Royal Oak. “When seniors move into one of our residences they’re connected to a community of people their own age who share common interests. There’s all kinds of things they can do, whenever they’re in the mood to be social.”

  • Music: Entertainers performed via Zoom during the pandemic’s first wave, and have played music on the Berwick patio when weather allows. “We’ve also built a performing area separated by Plexiglas for indoor live performances,” Lord says.
  • One-on-one conversations: For residents who aren’t as keen on group events or want to limit their COVID contacts, staff make time for one-on-one conversations, or set up a coffee chat with two or three residents.
  • Seminars: Travel, gardening, help setting up Zoom calls — whatever residents are interested in, staff at Berwick help organize seminars in the theatre to educate and entertain.
  • Nature and exercise: Residents regularly hop aboard the Berwick Bus to go for a hike at Elk Lake, practice yoga in the park or go for a stroll at Willows Beach. “Sociability means connecting with other residents, and also helping people feel connected to the world,” McAree says.

No matter what your passion, staff at Berwick will work to help you pursue it.

“It’s up to you,” Lord says. “Everyone who lives here was brand-new at some point, and we’re ready to welcome you.”

To schedule a tour of Berwick House contact Linda Lord at 250-721-4062 or email berwickhouse@berwickrc.com. To schedule a tour of Berwick Royal Oak contact Kathy McAree at 250-386-4681 or email berwickro@berwickrc.com. See what residents are up to at instagram.com/berwick.royaloak or instagram.com/berwick.house!

Seniorsseniors housing

 

“Living in a Berwick Retirement Community allows you to use your energy to do things you enjoy, instead of spending that energy on chores! We clean your suite, wash the linens and make your meals, leaving you the freedom and energy to do what you want.”

“Living in a Berwick Retirement Community allows you to use your energy to do things you enjoy, instead of spending that energy on chores! We clean your suite, wash the linens and make your meals, leaving you the freedom and energy to do what you want.”

Residents of Berwick House sing songs around the campfire.

Residents of Berwick House sing songs around the campfire.