Seniors coping with challenges brought on by COVID-19

By Sheila Phibbs

The Haldimand Press

HALDIMAND—While COVID-19 has been a challenge for all Canadians, seniors are among the most vulnerable in our communities. Whether living independently or in long term care, seniors have been impacted not only by the health risks but also by the isolation caused by imposed restrictions and, like everyone else, they look forward to a return to normal.

At Leisure Living Retirement Home in Jarvis, staff have worked diligently to provide care and protect residents from the virus while offering activities to make life as normal as possible. Two seatings at mealtime ensure social distancing and face masks are mandatory for residents in the common areas when distancing is not possible. A deep cleaning is done every four hours.

Prior to lockdown, activities included Bingo and “patio parties” were held when weather permitted. Live entertainment was set up on the back lawn for residents to enjoy from their patios or the walkways. According to Kristina Kasza, RPN, “Some of them would even get up and start dancing … a nice thing to see during a difficult time.”

While activities such as Bingo have currently been suspended, residents are still able to play Wii in groups of five or less with masks on.

Kasza states, “Leisure Living is proud to say we have remained COVID-19 free through this past year because of all the hard work from our staff, the co-operation of all the families and residents, and the multiple supports we have received from the community. We would like to thank everyone in our triumph thus far … and ask that everyone continue to help us stay COVID-19 free by remaining at home.”

Beverley Lymburner

Beverley Lymburner moved to Leisure Living with her husband Bob in late 2019. Beverley says the past year has been difficult, especially not having freedom, but she adds, “I’d rather lose our freedom and be COVID free.”

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