The mood was a festive one at both United Active Living communities last week as residents received the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Residents were given appointment times, and there were cheers after each vaccination, and ice cream and stickers to mark the occasion.
“It was such an exciting moment,” said Kera Redlack, director of health and wellness. “It was the most anticipated event of the year. There was a very positive atmosphere. Lots of hoots and cheers. It was a milestone and so uplifting. This will one of those times when we will all look back on this and remember where we were. Everyone was doing the same thing at the same time and that’s the first time that has happened in more than a year.”
Resident Maureen Miller was looking forward to the clinic. “It’s very important for everyone to get that first dose. It’s another big step forward in getting back to normal for sure.”
The turnout was very high, about 98% in both communities. A few residents were out of the communities when the clinics were held.
Residents were asked to fill out cards that asked, why is this important to you? Many said they did it to be safe and to get back to a normal life and hug their grandchildren again. Residents saw it as the first step in resuming a somewhat normal life.
Is that overly optimistic? “You can’t really bank on what might happen. With immunization rates high, I am hopeful we will see a return to a somewhat normal life later this year,” said Kera. “Maybe not quite what it was before, but we could soon be having family gatherings again. I’m really optimistic. We all need to connect with our friends and families.”
Programming is returning with live music and university lectures and discussions, but both communities are proceeding slowly. Programming will likely open up further once residents and employees are fully immunized.
While the arrival of the vaccine was good news, Kera suggests we remain cautious. “The vaccination doesn’t make one invincible. The risk is still out there. So we have to continue to adhere to the health regulations. It can take several weeks for individuals to achieve full immunity, and a second dose is expected in early to mid-April.”
This is an important time as the vaccine becomes available to our employees and the broader community and population. The vaccination program is not the only solution but it is an important part of the solution.
Photos by United Active Living
Videos by Sherana Productions
Don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour at your convenience. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help!
To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.
Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.