Ellen White

Ellen White of Perrin’s Marina Villa is missing family and friends. With COVID-19 regulations in place she can only keep in touch by phone. Monday Ms White was passing the time with a jigsaw puzzle.

Submitted photo

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Ellen White settled into Perrin’s Marina Villa almost nine years ago. She moved to the assisted living facility so she wouldn’t have to rely on friends and neighbours for care—and to be closer to her family in PEI.

Now, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Ms White has been following public health guidelines which restrict her family from visiting.

“It’s a bit lonely but not too bad,” says Ms White.

A handful of Ms White’s nieces and nephews visited her regularly at Perrin’s before they had to follow COVID-19 public health guidelines. Now they resort to communicating by phone.

“I miss my family coming to see me,” she says.“I miss them terribly.”

Friends and former neighbours from Pictou, Nova Scotia, where Ms White lived for 53 years, have also stayed in touch. They’ve been keeping her in the loop about their town’s news by phone.

“It’s kind of quiet here now,” says Ms White about the villa, where residents usually gather in a shared dining area for meals and visit each other freely.

Now staff at the villa deliver meals to each resident in their room.

“I’m not too fussy about that,” says Ms White, “I like to be up with the others but I guess rules and regulations have to be adhered to; it’s a very serious virus.”

Residents are not permitted to visit each other in their rooms but some social activities have been arranged. They can gather, in smaller groups than usual, to play bingo and shuffleboard. Residents can also go for a walk in the parking lot for up to an hour a day or spend some time out on the facilities deck overlooking the Montague Marina.

Ms White hasn’t been taking part in these activities but she has been keeping busy. She has been knitting socks, reading, and working through a number of crossword and jigsaw puzzles. She also likes to watch her favourite stories on television.

Ms White doesn’t have a computer but she keeps up to date by watching television newscasts and reading newspapers.

While she misses her family and life as usual, Ms White is looking forward to her 96th birthday this year and she says the most important thing to do right now is to keep well.

“If it will help us out to get rid of it sooner go for it.” Ms White says. “It’s wonderful the job Dr Heather Morrison has done and of course everybody else.”

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