Family & Friends Update — October 1, 2020

Dear Family and Friends,

Just like that – or so it seems – it’s October – and the Premier has called an election for Saturday, October 24, 2020. Today we have an update about voting in the Provincial Election, news about Veterans Week, and some helpful suggestions about communicating while wearing a mask.

Voting in the Provincial Election

We are working with Elections BC to coordinate mail-in and other methods of voting for residents. Voting in a long term care home during a pandemic is new ground for everyone, and while details are still being worked out, please be assured that all those who wish to vote will have the opportunity to do so.

Remembrance Day and Veterans Week

We are honoured to recognize wartime veterans and Canadian Armed Forces veterans who served after the Korean War. A few weeks ago, we asked for your suggestions regarding this year’s observance of Remembrance Day. Thank you to those of you who participated in that survey. With your input, our team has planned some creative activities to commemorate Veterans Week, November 5 – 11, 2020, including taking portrait photographs of each veteran who live at Veterans Memorial Lodge. Photographs will be posted in each veteran’s room, and there will also be a gallery displayed at Veterans Memorial Lodge.

If you have medals at home that you would like your loved one to wear in this photograph or during Remembrance Day observances, please drop them off at Reception at Veterans Memorial Lodge when you come for a visit. Please ensure the medals are well labelled with the veteran’s name, and the name of the lodge in which they live. We will keep the medals secure, and arrangements will be made to return them to you once Veterans Week is concluded.

We would also like to capture stories to share on our website. If you would like to share your family member’s story, please connect with Martha at 250.685.3252, or email her at

Tips for Communicating Through Masks

As the weather turns cooler and rainier, visits with your loved one will likely move indoors, where wearing masks is required. Normally, people with dementia can interpret facial expressions like a smile as a sign of joy. They can tell from the sound of our voice, our posture, and our speed, whether we are relaxed or stressed, in a good mood, or upset. When our face is partially hidden, a lot of this non-verbal communication is missing. Here are some helpful hints to help you communicate more effectively when wearing a mask.

  • Attend mindfully. Align your non-verbal signals with your spoken message so communication is easier to interpret.
  • Behave calmly. Drop down to eye level, give them your full attention, and avoid sudden movements that can cause distress.
  • Communicate clearly. ‘Underline’ your words with gestures, and offer a pause after your statement or question, especially if your loved one requires glasses or uses hearing aids.

Thank you again for participating in our Remembrance Day survey. We are honoured to celebrate our nation’s heroes and to mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and will communicate further details about Veterans Week to you as they are available. Thank you, also, for your help in keeping COVID-19 out of our Care Homes, and helping everyone stay as safe as possible.