For folks living in long term care homes, this holiday season will be a lot more challenging.
Regular scheduled visits and adapted, COVID-19 friendly activities may leave residents feeling a lack of holiday cheer. But at Oyster Harbour, a seniors living facility in Ladysmith, the staff have gone the extra mile to bring some Christmas joy to their residents.
In a normal year, Oyster Harbour residents get to ride down 1st Avenue for the Light Up parade, and enjoy Ladysmith’s famous light displays. Due to COVID-19, residents didn’t get that chance. Instead, they were treated to their own private Light Up at Oyster Harbour.
“We dedicated the day to Light Up,” Oyster Harbour recreation coordinator, Angelina Passarelli said. “Light Up means a lot to the residents here. Our maintenance manager Roy McKee and office manager Janet Gray spent the time to put up hundreds of lights in our courtyard.”
“We did a traditional spaghetti dinner in honour of what the Eagles do every year. We did reminiscing programs throughout the day about Light Up — we did Light Up trivia. We even had a count down to light up the court yard at five o’clock. Roy dressed up as Santa outside, and he flicked the switch.”
The residents said that the Light Up event was spectacular. Inside Oyster Harbour, the lights were dimmed so residents could feel the warmth of the courtyard light display. Residents were socially distanced, but were still able to join in the count down together.
Oyster Harbour’s light display will remain up for the same duration as Ladysmith’s downtown Light Up display.
“We’re trying to make it as best a Christmas around here as we possibly can within the limitations of COVID,” Oyster Harbour manager, Tracey McKee said.
Anyone wanting to add to the Christmas cheer at Oyster Harbour is encouraged to write letters or send cards to residents that they may know to wish them a Merry Christmas, and reminisce about holiday seasons of the past. Letters can be placed in the drop box outside Oyster Harbour, Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.