Isolated local seniors staying positive

Snuggled into their seniors' independent living complex in Prince George, one couple is doing just fine, for now.

"Ask me in another month and I might have gone batty," Gladys Goyer laughed.

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She and her husband Euclide, 89, have a two bedroom unit and within the complex others opt to have their meals provided to them and there's options for other assists as people age and needs become greater.

"It's hard not to hug your daughter when she comes to drop off groceries," Gladys said. "It was hard to walk away without that hug, especially at first."

Gladys and Euclide are quite capable of getting groceries and doing errands but their daughter has convinced them to stay safe and isolated.

As part of the coronavirus pandemic precautions, the housing complex the Goyers live in has stopped visitation except for medical personnel, Gladys added.

Activities have stopped and restrictions, such as only two people in the elevator at once, have been declared. The small onsite library was shut for a time but now they've found a way to open in up three times a week.

"People have to have something to do," Gladys said.

Only one person can go into the library at a time and when the books are returned, they are disinfected.

"So we're trying that and hopefully it works without too many complications," Gladys said. "They've done an excellent job of protecting the people here from the virus. They're doing everything to try to protect us and they've done everything by the book. Touch wood, we don't even have a flu in here, as far as I've heard."

She said it's really important to remain up-to-date on complex rules and managers are good at communicating with the residents.

To help pass the time and remain healthy, Gladys and Euclide get some exercise almost every day.

"We go for walks outside and if we see somebody we talk to them - as long as we keep our distance," Gladys said. 

There's another issue that comes with the isolation that worries Gladys.

"You see, I have a husband and even if he doesn't talk very much at least I have somebody," Gladys said. "But I know of at least one lady when I asked her how she was doing she said 'I'm very lonesome.' So those people who are not able to get out and walk, who are just staying in their suite, I don't know how they're doing - I'm concerned for them and that goes for all the seniors in homes anywhere."

Thinking about how quickly the world changed can be a bit alarming but there's good that comes out of it too, Gladys added. Lately, people seem to be picking up the phone more often.

"I like how people are showing their concern for one another," Gladys said.

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