Residents of Berwick House and Berwick Royal Oak have plenty of opportunities to be active and engaged. To learn more visit berwickretirement.com. (Photo: Derek Ford)

Residents of Berwick House and Berwick Royal Oak have plenty of opportunities to be active and engaged. To learn more visit berwickretirement.com. (Photo: Derek Ford)

Independent, together: Social lives thrive at this retirement residence

Physically-distant spin classes, balcony science experiments, bird spy bingo and more!

COVID-19 has forced us all to practice physical distancing, and this time has been particularly isolating for at-risk populations. But that hasn’t stopped the residents of Berwick House and Berwick Royal Oak from having fun.

In the early days residents connected bubble-to-bubble from their suite balconies, dancing to live music performed in the courtyard and performing egg drop science experiments. There was Bird Spy Bingo, Ice Castle building and physically-distanced cocktail hours.

“During Spain week we hosted Spanish Wine tasting. Residents loved it, so we’ll continue through the fall with different countries and drinks,” says Kendra King, Active Living Manager at Berwick House.

Berwick Qualicum Beach earned internet fame with their KISS music video, and Berwick House followed up with a This Little Light of Mine music video complete with a dextrous solo from a mandolin player in his 90s.

“COVID-19 doesn’t seem to interfere too much with our lifestyle here. We know it’s there and we have to behave ourselves, but we’re well looked after,” says one Berwick House resident.

The Berwick Bubble

As the pandemic spread through communities across the country, Berwick residents felt safe and connected inside their social bubble.

“For seniors living on their own, tasks like buying groceries, staying connected and maintaining physical and mental health have become increasingly daunting during the pandemic. But with independent living seniors have access to nutritious meals, activities and social connection without any increased risk,” says Lesley Sikorski with Berwick in Victoria.

Residents have stayed fit with daily Nordic Pole walks through Berwick Royal Oak’s beautiful gardens and jumping rope in the safety of their suites. They also hosted a physically distanced spin class fundraiser for the Heart & Stroke foundation.

“We have arts classes as well — painting Spanish Tiles, watercolour, and writing groups. There are lots of ways for residents to get creative,” King says. “We all planted seeds during Plant Week, and residents are still in competition to see whose plant grows the most!”

Independent, and part of the family

Worried about losing your independence when you move into a suite at Berwick? Sikorski talked to the ‘pros,’ some of Berwick House’s proud residents, to see how they felt about the transition.

“I still drive to visit friends and participate in the all the clubs I belong to. PLUS I’ve got a Berwick family that I can go to share a laugh — or a cry!” says one resident.

Berwick offers technology training and support to help residents stay connected to family and friends on video conferencing platforms like Zoom, and the community inside Berwick House adds extra companionship face-to-face.

“From the first day we felt that we were being welcomed into a family. That sounds like a cliché, but I really did feel that.”

Berwick House and Berwick Royal Oak are retirement communities that provides meals, housekeeping and engaging programs for Independent Living and Enhanced Living Services. Studio, one bedroom and two bedroom suites are still available. At Berwick House contact Linda Lord for more information or to make an appointment for a tour by calling 250-853-5492 or emailing berwickhouse@berwickrc.com. At Berwick Royal Oak reach out to Amanda Guignon at 250-419-4012 or berwickroyaloak@berwickrc.com. And don’t forget to follow Berwick House and Berwick Royal Oak on Instagram!

Seniorsseniors housing

 

Beauty surrounds you at Berwick Royal Oak. (Photo: Jo-Ann Richards)

Beauty surrounds you at Berwick Royal Oak. (Photo: Jo-Ann Richards)

Berwick House in Gordon Head offers safety, independence, and community.

Berwick House in Gordon Head offers safety, independence, and community.

Just Posted

GIF
’90s rock band resurfaces with songs never properly recorded or released

Underwater Sunshine’s online reunion involves four guys who lost contact for years

Tim Siebert, one half of the partnership behind Citrus & Cane, says opening the Douglas Street cocktail lounge during a pandemic had challenges, but the bar is ready to adapt to whatever comes next. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
New Victoria tropical cocktail lounge designed with COVID-19 safety in mind

Citrus & Cane opens in site of former Copper Owl after eight-month delay

Kennedy Nikel, applied marine biologist at Cascadia Seaweed, here seen in late September, shows off bull kelp (in her left hand) and rock weed. The company is spear-heading an annual seaweed festival scheduled for May 13-21, 2021, with Sidney council have signed off in principle. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Cascadia hopes to see Sidney host seaweed festival in May 2021

Council supports the idea in principle following a presentation by Cascadia Seaweed

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read