CHEK Upside: Seniors dance on their balconies in Qualicum Beach during COVID-19

CHEK Upside: Seniors dance on their balconies in Qualicum Beach during COVID-19
WatchResidents at Berwick Qualicum Beach come out on their balconies Tuesday and Fridays to dance away the stress and loneliness of social distancing during COVID-19. 

What began as a spur of the moment idea three weeks ago is now the highlight of the week for dozens of seniors at Berwick Qualicum Beach.

“Oh it’s wonderful, great exercise too,” said resident Alma Faulkner.

“Every time they have it here we come here, and otherwise we are on our balcony,” said resident Ray Griffiths.

“I just love to be with everybody and we have a lot of fun and it really uplifts their spirits,” echoed resident Jeanne Brownell.

The whole thing started with a staff lunch on the patio.

“We just started playing the music and cranking it up and everyone started coming out,” said Berwick Qualicum Beach Active Living Manager Laurel Wright.

And the benefits were quickly realized at a time when residents are encouraged to stay in their rooms and avoid contact with other people. Even visitors are not allowed because of concerns around COVID-19.

“Obviously we are really limited in our programming now but we’re just trying to do what we can with social distancing and having everyone come out on their balconies is a perfect space for us to be doing this,” added Wright.

“I love it, it gets me out of the room it gives me exercise and I see people. Yay,” said resident Marilyn McDonald.

“This is social time, this is movement, this is good for residents and staff. It relieves some of the pressure that we are all feeling,” said Berwick Qualicum Beach General Manager Britta Neumann.

The staff started it and enjoy it as much as the residents and say these Tuesday and Friday afternoon dance parties just might have to continue even after the coronavirus concerns are behind us.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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