Willows residents attend their first church service in two years, just before Easter

Willows Estate was able to host a church service on April 14, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, which was well-received by residents of the Aurora, Ont. long-term care home.

Teddy Mazzuca, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says “the residents were overjoyed” at being able to attend the service, which was provided by Trinity Anglican Church, just before the Easter weekend.

The church had contacted the home earlier to offer the service to residents.

“When they called, it just so happened we were able to have them back in, so we had a nice group that came out to the service at 2 o’clock … and we were able to get our piano back into the room, so they played a lot of the church music and they sang, and being that Good Friday (was the next day) it was perfect timing,” Teddy tells The OMNIway.

Throughout the duration of the service, pandemic protocols, such as social distancing and mask-wearing, were in place. About 15 residents were able to attend the service.

Given the success of the first service, the Willows team has invited the people from Trinity Anglican back to the home for monthly services.

While having the ability to bring back a church service is a small step forward, Teddy says it had a “huge” impact on residents.

“You could see the residents relaxing, and they got to see some of their friends who they haven’t been able to see,” she says.

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