Shaking off the isolation blues from the ground up

Former staff member gets Langley seniors at Avalon Gardens moving from out on their balconies

Avalon Gardens, a Murrayville seniors home, is launching a new exercise routine where residents can work out from the safety and comfort of their own balcony.

Anita Tito Wormald, general manager of hospitality services, said the program started on Wednesday, April 8.

“Sabine – a former staff member is bringing 10 minutes of gentle movement, nostalgic music, and fun to seniors,” she explained.

All participants are required to do is go outside on their private balcony for and join in on the physical distancing exercise.

To make sure everyone gets a turn, Sabine will race around to all four sides of the building on Wednesdays and Fridays, leading ten minute sessions literally from the ground up between 10 and 11 a.m.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Avalon Gardens entertains residents with a courtyard serenade Sunday afternoon

Avalon held a concert in their front balcony last month in a similar format – a local band called Garth and the Guys played rockabilly tunes for seniors watching from their balconies.

Tito Wormald said the exercise program is another initiative to shake off the isolation blues and take part in a new initiative to get around COVID-19 closures.

“With the residents now staying in their suite at all times, we have been ordering creating colouring and puzzle activities,” she said.

Tito Wormald added that Avalon staff are organizing small group therapy sessions with two volunteer counselors to work through residents’ feelings about being isolated as well as scheduling Zoom meetings so residents can talk with their loved ones “face-to-face.”

She hopes to continue to add more programming with entertainers and specialists to help her residents feel more at ease and cared for during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tito Wormald said Avalon Gardens has been receiving numerous donations including more than 500 daffodils from Longview Farms, chocolate bunnies from Superstore Langley, and Transparencies for face shields.


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