Beulah Garden Homes Society in Vancouver is home for 350 seniors in five separate residences. Of that number, 89 are identified as being part of the “assisted living” community while the others are “independent living”. “Assisted living” designation means that one’s health and well being are more fragile and require a greater level of care in order to live well.
During this Covid 19 pandemic, we have discouraged visitors to all our residences but we have “locked down” the Cedars, our assisted living building. The residents are vulnerable and we can’t risk them being inadvertently infected by well intentioned family and friends. It’s not been easy for anyone, and it’s provoked some interesting reactions. We are closely following the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry, and have been careful to err on the side of caution rather than riskfulness.
In the case of the Cedars residents and their family, a lock down saw at least 4 different responses from family:
Covid 19 is not over yet. We continue to practice careful behaviours on all our campus. As restrictions are slowly being lifted, we are slowly adapting to new realities. Yesterday I stopped by the Cedars and was pleased to see a young woman visiting an older gentleman outside on the patio. He was seated in a chair and she was about 10 steps away talking with him. She still can’t go inside, but he can go out to her and on sunny days, it’s a great relief to residents to “get outside in the fresh air”. As is my custom I thanked her for showing love and care to her grandpa. She responded “no, thank you for taking care of my grandpa when we can’t”. I think that’s a fair arrangement. It’s an honour to care for those that need care. We can’t replace a family, but we can assist them as they honour their elders.