Colleen Braconnier, a resident of Fernie’s Rocky Mountain Village (RMV), is taking the pandemic in stride, going about her days with high spirits and an unshakable hope for the future.
Braconnier, who has been living at RMV for the past five years, attributes her positivity to the friendly care aids and residents that live and work among her.
“Everybody seems to be doing really good – it’s because we have such a good group here,” said Braconnier.
“(Isolation) doesn’t bother me that much because the people here are so nice, the care aids are wonderful and I have a car, I can drive and get out, so it hasn’t bothered me that much really – but I do miss my family being able to come in.”
Braconnier, a great-grandmother of 17 great-grand-babies, is currently allowed one visitor, which she selected to be her son.
“I have been quite well over the whole thing…it’s not like I’m absolutely isolated,” said Braconnier.
Though Braconnier herself was never mandated to quarantine, RMV’s independent living and assisted living residents must respect social distancing guidelines including wearing a mask and social distancing while in common areas.
“At first they wanted us to bring our coffee and goodies upstairs in our room and eat it, and for a time there we had to eat our meals in our room, but now they let us go down there,” said Braconnier, mentioning the stricter protocols never bothered her, and were only around for a short while back in March.
“We have a nice area downstairs, we have a coffee schedule sometimes, they always have good food out and carts and muffins and everything, so you can have snacks and a cup of coffee and talk to all the residents that come out.”
Though RMV’s traditional holiday events looked different this year, residents were still able to take part in a special supper for New Year and Christmas.
“The only thing that we miss being able to do is play cards and games because we can’t sit at the table together,” said Braconnier, adding that she was grateful to have been able to see her son for Christmas.
Kicking off 2021 with a dose of hope, the residents at RMV have officially received their first round of COVID-19 vaccinations this past weekend.
“That’ll be nice…it’s nice to know they’re coming and it’s getting done and people don’t have to worry quite so much,” said Braconnier, hoping that she’ll be able to see her entire family soon.
“It’s been quite a while, but I see pictures of them on Facebook and I talk to them all the time, so it’s great,” added Braconnier, thankful that in the meantime RMV residents are able to stay connected with their loved ones via tablets.
“I wish everybody good health…I hope everybody is well and stays well.”