How seniors are keeping romance alive in retirement living

Thoughtful team members help empower residents to feel moments of connection every day, not just on Valentine’s Day

Amica residents celebrating an anniversary with a romantic seafood supper.

Twinkling crystal, broiled lobster tails and a chilled bottle of Taittinger Brut Réserve Champagne – and the sparkling eyes of two people in love. What sounds like a scene from a romantic movie set in an upscale restaurant actually took place at Amica White Rock, when team members organized a feast to celebrate residents Larry and Marjorie’s 60th anniversary. It’s a great reminder that loving cards, candy and gifts aside, nothing feels better than quality time spent together.

“Moments like these are just so special, and you realize how much love there is in the building,” says Gabriela Otoya, a Life Enrichment Coordinator at Amica White Rock. “Our concierge now takes note of all the anniversaries and birthdays in the building and we announce them via email each day.”

Celebrating and sustaining senior relationships

Couples with different health conditions or support needs may not be welcome or well served in some retirement homes without specialized care. At Amica, however, couples can often live together because several Amica residences provide combinations of Independent Living, Assisted Living (or residential care) and Memory Care under one roof. 

Team members also go the extra mile so residents living on different floors can enjoy special moments together while adhering to Amica’s comprehensive COVID-19 safety measures. (When one spouse is living with dementia, for example, a couple may decide on separate suites.) 

“We’ll help a resident put on full personal protective equipment to ensure they can have safe visits in a common space or a private room,” says Otoya. “Residents like Ruth and her husband Cecil in Memory Care are so in love, for instance. When she talks about him it’s like she just met him.”

Other times, support means helping a resident create loving memories. Kristen Southon, a Life Enrichment Coordinator at Amica Georgetown, knew that one resident was devastated that she couldn’t go to her deceased husband’s grave on their 65th wedding anniversary. So Kristen contacted the resident’s family, who placed graveside flowers to honour the occasion. Kristen printed a photo of the gravestone and flowers and tucked it in an anniversary card, which deeply touched both the resident and her family.

Spreading the love

Single residents enjoy heart-warming moments throughout the year, as well. Whether it’s a carnation for every resident on Valentine’s Day, special birthday dinners or socially distanced dance parties, keeping spirits bright is always top of mind at Amica. We’re even sharing special moments with local seniors in the community.

“We’re going to safely deliver Valentine’s meals, including chocolate-covered strawberries, to about 30 or 40 local seniors who have expressed interest in Amica,” says Kellie Besseling, Community Relations Director at Amica White Rock. (Consider getting on the no-obligation wait list of your local Amica residence, too.) “We did it for Christmas, and it was really fun.”

So why not share some love yourself? Reach out to the seniors you care for with an online card, book a video call, send flowers or email photos of special times shared together. We can vouch that it will be good for your heart, too.

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