Adjusting to a new life
Shelley Langley moved to Tillsonburg and started a new job at a retirement residence only a month before the onset of the pandemic. Hired to oversee sales and marketing, her position quickly transitioned into planning creative and recreational activities for residents like special dress-up days and hallway bingo games. It’s a challenge she not only embraced, but also found rewarding.
“It’s great to see some of our residents learning new technology. I taught a 96-year-old woman how to use an iPad so that she could communicate with her pastor and watch sermons online. I also showed another elderly resident how to navigate Facebook and connect with her family over video chats.”
For Shelley, the biggest trials so far have been adjusting to life in a new city and worrying about her youngest son. He spent much of the schoolyear alone, learning through a remote classroom away from his peers. Though it probably seemed fun for him at first, Shelley is concerned that he and others like him are missing valuable socialization time. It broke her heart when he told her that he “didn’t want to live this way anymore.” She hopes his experience will be much different when he returns to school in September.
Shelley works with a vulnerable population and has been careful to avoid situations that put her at risk of infection. For the longest time she wasn’t able to see her eldest son because he travels a lot for work, often to places where infection rates have been among the highest in Canada. Fortunately, Shelley was recently able to give him a hug after he had spent some time in isolation. Personal contact is something she misses the most during the pandemic.
Though Shelley has dealt with a lot of change, she’s adjusting as best she can. She’s confident that we will get through this together if we continue to be flexible and roll with the change. Until then, she needs to be there for the people who need her most.