Rose Deck putting decorations on the Berwick Comox Valley Christmas tree. To book a tour or learn more about Berwick, contact Jolene Shaw or Michelle Williams at 250-890-2346.

Rose Deck putting decorations on the Berwick Comox Valley Christmas tree. To book a tour or learn more about Berwick, contact Jolene Shaw or Michelle Williams at 250-890-2346.

Rose Deck is busy decking the halls, bringing cheer to her neighbours!

Retirement residence gave her ‘instant community’ during a time of increased stress and isolation

Rose Deck has had her Christmas decorations up since mid-November, but the display on her door at Berwick Comox Valley hasn’t reached its final arrangement.

“I keep changing it. I do a lot of crafts, both on my own and with other residents, so I have to keep updating my door decorations,” she says.

Rose is currently busy crocheting little Christmas tree decorations for all her neighbours, since many of them loved the display on her door, but that’s far from the only thing filling her days.

“I’m involved in almost everything: shuffleboard, yoga, boot camp, line dancing, carpet bowling… a group of us learned to do ballet dancing. There’s something going on all the time.”

‘It was the best thing I ever did’

Rose and her husband researched a number of retirement communities in the area a few years ago, and had their names down at Berwick. Then Rose’s husband passed away and the pandemic hit, and she moved into Berwick alone.

“It was the best thing I ever did. It relieved me of a lot of stress back home, and sad memories,” she says. “I quarantined at first, but they treated me very well. They brought goodies to the door every day, and everybody on staff made a point to come check on me. I called it heaven.”

Berwick offers an instant community to seniors who are feeling isolated, with daily opportunities to socialize and plenty of special events to make new memories.

Rose Deck at last year’s Berwick Comox Valley holiday dinner, where staff and residents pretended they were taking a trip to Hawaii.

Rose Deck at last year’s Berwick Comox Valley holiday dinner, where staff and residents pretended they were taking a trip to Hawaii.

“Christmas here last year, that just blew my mind! I’ve never had so much fun, they thought of almost everything.”

After a year of travel restrictions, in December 2020 the Berwick staff organized an imaginary flight to Hawaii. Staff dressed as flight attendants, checked diners’ passports, announced safety instructions and even passed out peanuts and pretzels with a pre-dinner cocktail. Then they disappeared and came back dressed in tropical clothes, and did one more costume change to return as reindeer pulling a sleigh.

“The staff put on a skit every year. It’s not exactly professional entertainment, but it’s a lot of fun!” says Community Relations Manager Jolene Shaw. “There’s a lot of stress and anxiety in the world, and in our little corner of the community we try to spread joy.”

“It’s not an old folks home,” adds Rose. “It’s just like a resort.”

Berwick Comox Valley offers flexible, upscale and affordable senior living options. To book a tour or learn more about Berwick, contact Jolene Shaw or Michele Williams at 250-890-2346 or email bcv.marketingmgr@berwickrc.com. Follow Berwick Comox Valley on Instagram to keep up with all the events happening inside and around this vibrant community in the Comox Valley!

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