Berwick by the Sea offers plenty of outdoor options for physically distanced socializing.

Independent, together: Social lives thrive at this retirement residence

Balcony dance parties, chair yoga, parades 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 by the Sea from having fun.

In the early days residents connected bubble-to-bubble from their suite balconies, dancing to music pumped up from the courtyard and performing physically distanced chair yoga and exercise classes. There was also lawn bowling and watching (from a distance) the North Island Cruisers parade through the entryway. Berwick Qualicum Beach earned internet fame with their KISS music video, and Berwick by the Sea is working on a choreographed music video of their own.

“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 by the Sea resident.

The Berwick Bubble

As the pandemic spread through communities across the country, Berwick by the Sea 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.

Residents have stayed fit with Bocce Ball and kite flying in Berwick by the Sea’s beautiful gardens and jumping rope in the safety of their suites.

“We have arts classes as well — painting Spanish Tiles, watercolour, and writing groups. There are lots of ways for residents to get creative,” Sikorski says.

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 by the Sea’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 by the Sea 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 by the Sea is a retirement community that provides meals, housekeeping and engaging programs for Independent Living and Enhanced Living Services. Studio, one bedroom and two bedroom suites are still available. Contact Teri Fillion for more information or to make an appointment for a tour by calling 250-850-1353 or emailing And don’t forget to follow Berwick by the Sea on Facebook and Instagram!

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Berwick by the Sea in Campbell River offers the perfect mix of independence and community. (Photo: Sean Fenzl)

There’s lots of space at Berwick by the Sea to stretch out while connecting with friends and neighbours.

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