Many residents at Donwood Manor are uncertain when they will see their family members again due to the COVID-19 pandemic but many are finding strength in God.
Donwood is not allowing visitors to protect the health of their elderly residents but that means some residents have been separated from their spouses for their safety.
Donwood has different levels of care and that occasionally means couples require different facilities and do not live with each other. Typically most couples would be able to see each other but distancing regulations make it impossible for them to see each other face-to-face.
"Since we have shut our doors...their world has gotten that much smaller," Lisa Enns, a chaplain at Donwood, says.
Enns says staff are doing their best to help spouses connect.
"It is a lot of emotion that you kind of step into, and it is sacred. You try to be a calm presence for them and try to find the mystery of God in it all."
Enns is taking time to chat with those who are unable to see their life partners and was surprised by the positivity and strength of faith in couples who may not be able to see each other in person again.
While speaking with one woman last week, Enns was concerned if the woman would ever be able to see her husband again. Enns knew the couple had been together for a long time.
"She adores her husband. I have watched them together and that's why I had even made the comment (about being apart) to her," Enns says.
The chaplain wanted to help the woman cope with not being able to visit her husband who was in the personal care home, but the woman reassured Ens that she knows she will see her husband again.
"You could tell she had done a lot of thinking about this and she says 'you know, we will see each other in heaven," Enns says.
Enns is glad to see her residents comforted by faith but still hopes they will be able to visit soon.
Donwood has been using video calls to help spouses connect and are finding success in that method. Enns has often been on the other end, holding the phone so residents can see each other.
"You are constantly stepping into those deep emotions and you feel so much for them," she says. "You recognize how hard it must be for them."