Seniors at a Kingston retirement residence share their COVID-19 pandemic experiences – Kingston


Life at the Waterford Retirement Residence has somewhat returned to normal, although it is not exactly as it was prior to the pandemic.

General manager Will Tanner says, “There’s no limit to visitors now, so we can have people coming into the building, residents can leave the building, we have over 98 per cent fully immunized residents and over 90 per cent staff”

But through three lockdowns, many of those basic freedoms that used to be taken for granted were no longer there.

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Bob Grant says he didn’t find COVID-19 restrictions too difficult to adapt to, but he did miss his freedom of movement in the community.

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“I used to go out and go for a drive and things like that, you know, and just go to a store — walk in just like a normal human bring and shop — but that all came to a sudden stop,” says Bob Grant.

Judy Sulley says she thinks she did better at the retirement home with the friends she’s made there, but she did miss the close contact with her son and granddaughters.

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“We just visited through the car door, car window and no hugs, I missed the hugs,” says Sulley.

Janice Sutton says after a busy career in the diplomatic services, keeping active was important getting through the lockdowns.

“It’s necessary for me to walk everyday. We go out, we walk around the building,” Sutton says.

“I absolutely have to do that because I just go nuts sitting inside that small room”.

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Judy, Janice and Bob, like everyone that has been riding out pandemic restrictions, say with them loosening, it’s nice to get back to some of those activities that we perhaps took for granted before the pandemic kicked in almost 18 months ago. Bus trips that management organizes once a week and going into a store and shopping are some of the things Janice and Bob missed.

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And Judy says being able to meet with her son and granddaughters in person was an emotional experience.

“It was fantastic. The first time we saw them was Mother’s Day, they came and we met on the patio. It was wonderful” Judy says.

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