The past year-and-a-half has forced us all to reevaluate. Residents and staff at Berwick by the Sea came up with creative ways to nurture physical and mental wellness, including hallway happy hours.

The past year-and-a-half has forced us all to reevaluate. Residents and staff at Berwick by the Sea came up with creative ways to nurture physical and mental wellness, including hallway happy hours.

It’s been a year and a half: How are you REALLY feeling?

Check in with yourself and your loved ones, then make a plan to tackle the challenges ahead

No matter who you are, the upheaval of the past year and a half has likely forced you to re-evaluate major aspects of your life. For some it’s changed their relationship to work, how they balance relationships, or where they choose to enjoy vacation time. For many of us — young and old — the pandemic has changed our priorities around aging, and how we’d like to live in our 60s, 70s and beyond.

“I’ve met many families who have moved to Vancouver Island in search of a different lifestyle, and they’re bringing their aging parents along because it’s now more important that everyone lives close by,” says Callinda John, Community Relations Manager for Berwick by the Sea. “We’re seeing adults in their 60s and 70s recognize that the time to move is now — they don’t want to be isolated again. Some have moved from more remote homes in the Gulf Islands or on Haida Gwaii, because they recognize the benefits of a full-service community for the next adventure in their lives.”

If you dreamed of travelling or living on a cruise ship in your 60s, luxury independent living on Vancouver Island is an attractive alternative. If the continued protocols and winter looming are making you feel restricted, a supportive, independent community abuzz with friends and adventure might be the perfect antidote.

3 Strategies to improve wellness in challenging times

1. Check in. Ask family, neighbours, staff and managers how they’re doing. “Many people have coped by keeping their heads down, and haven’t really acknowledged what they’ve been through,” Callinda says. “When you ask someone how they are doing the standard reply is ‘fine.’ When you repeat the question and pause, the answer is very different. Be prepared for a wave of emotions and take the time to sit with friends or neighbours to help process everything that’s happened.”

2. Create a new routine. At Berwick by the Sea, although residents could not go to all group activities offered due to COVID-19 protocols, the active living team developed new ways to engage safely:

  • Hallway happy hours with a music and a drinks cart travelling to all floors.
  • Patio dance parties, inspired by residents in Milan who danced on their balconies during the first Italian lockdown.
  • Virtual bridge games, so card sharks could play games with old friends on their iPads.
  • Technology training sessions to keep our residents connected to loved ones, and ‘Doc Talks’ via Zoom to keep residents up-to-date with COVID-19 research. “We also brought in speakers from different cities and countries, who gave really unique and interesting webinars,” Callinda says.
  • Physically distanced meditation, chair yoga and stretching in the beautiful ocean and mountain view multipurpose room.
  • New and innovative art techniques (including giant bubbles) on the lawn bowling green.
  • Lipsynced rap videos with intricate choreography.
  • Ramen, smoothies, banana splits, build-your-own donut, schnitzels and other tasty pop-ups.

3. Be proactive. “It’s very common for older adults to delay a move to an independent living community until a health emergency forces them to move into special care,” Callinda says. “If you’re thinking of downsizing, moving closer to family, and living your best life with minimal house work, we can help design a transition plan that best suits your needs.”

Berwick by the Sea is an award-winning independent community where residents can continue to live nourishing, active lives. To learn more, call Callinda John at 250-914-8055 or email bcr.marketingmgr@berwickrc.com. Follow Berwick on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates!

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Residents of Berwick by the Sea take advantage of the gorgeous views in the top floor multipurpose room.

Residents of Berwick by the Sea take advantage of the gorgeous views in the top floor multipurpose room.