Osoyoos care home residents helping out while on lockdown

Osoyoos care home residents helping out while on lockdown
The Mariposa Gardens Retirement and Care Community is currently on lockdown to prevent the COVID-19 virus from making it’s way into the home.

The facility increased cleaning and sterilizing communal areas and fixtures when the news of the pandemic hit. The added cleaning work was a bit much for the staff to take on, on top of their regular duties, so they reached out to their elderly residents for help.

Al Schulz is one of the residents who stepped up. The 93-year-old lives in the individual living area of the community. He said it’s the effort of a large group of residents that is helping to keep them all safe and occupied during this stressful time.

“The staff was doing all this wiping down the kitchen and all the door knobs and the railings and everything, and it got to be quite a bit for them to do. They asked if we had volunteers, if they could do the railings and the door knobs and that on the different floors, and we got a tremendous amount of volunteers,” said Schultz.

Schultz believes so many residents volunteered because they are just nice people who want to help out and find something to do during a stressful time. Their mobility is limited because of the lockdown imposed on the home, preventing residents from receiving their usual guests or, in Schultz’s case, taking daily walks down to the lake.

Now, Schulz spends his time doing his exercises, walking around the grounds of the residence twice a day, and helping with the cleaning.

“Why wouldn’t you?” said Schultz. “What’re you going to do anyways? You’ve got nothing to do, so why not help the staff out?”

Schultz and the other volunteers are responsible for their own floors, cleaning the banisters and door knobs twice a day. This leaves the staff with just the kitchen and the dinning room, freeing up their time to ensure the safety and well being of the Mariposa occupants.

These cleaning tasks help keep everyone busy, Schultz said, noting that they also play crib, take walks out in the nice weather or do crosswords to keep their spirits up. Life has changed for them all, but Schultz’s attitude remains realistic and logical.

“What can you do about it, eh?” he said. “Everybody’s got to do their share. I wish the outside would do more, like staying their distance and not going out and stuff like that. We’re doing our part. We’ve got a good place to stay here.”

Although he is taking this pandemic in stride, Schultz does miss his daily walks down to his family’s house on the beach where he likes to sit in the sun or go for a swim in the summer months. But the thing he misses the most during all this is a good old fashioned hug.

“Not being able to hug anybody,” Schultz said. “I’m a hugger.”
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