Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our residents have really missed going out shopping – to buy items they need, but also for the social side of running errands. And even with the provincial restart program now in full swing, many seniors still aren’t comfortable venturing out to busy stores.
That’s why we’ve launched PARC Markets at two of our residences: Westerleigh PARC in West Vancouver and Oceana PARC in White Rock. These lively farmer’s market-style events give residents a chance to shop for essential items without leaving the premises. Now, rather than going out to crowded stores and increasing their risk of exposure to COVID-19, they can take a quick elevator ride downstairs to a fun, safe, and easy shopping experience.
To keep everyone safe at our market events, we’re following the strictest cleaning and sanitization standards. All of our staff wear masks and gloves. There is one entrance only, and residents line up six feet apart, on floor markers (where there are also chairs for residents to use if needed) to ensure safe physical distancing. We allow one resident per market table or counter at a time, and they must browse the tables one by one until reaching the cashier to sign a final invoice.
The Westerleigh PARC Market
Westerleigh PARC was our first residence to try out the market concept. General Manager HeeSon Domay suggested the idea during a brainstorming session on social opportunities for residents. Very quickly, the Westerleigh PARC Market was born! It has been a huge success, with residents saying they love the chance to shop without leaving home. The residence plans to hold a market every second week.
To make sure they’re selling desirable items, the team consults residents regularly about what they need (for instance, cotton masks have been in high demand), sourcing items from regular PARC suppliers. The team sets up shop in a multipurpose room, with six market tables, each hosted by a different Westerleigh PARC staff member:
Westerleigh PARC Wellness Nurse Vickie Ezekiel offers personal items such as toothpaste, soap, laundry detergent, and lotion at the community’s biweekly market.
Westerleigh PARC Restaurant Manager Sarah Hussey sells beverages such as wine, beer, cider, spirits, and pop at the residence’s new farmer’s market.
Executive Chef Allen Hsu puts his culinary expertise to a new use at the Westerleigh PARC market food table, selling fresh berries, avocados, tomatoes, homemade croissants, Kettle Chips, scones, and more.
The Oceana PARC Market
Oceana Market runs on a similar concept to the Westerleigh version, but with three main market tables: one selling essentials and pharmacy items such as soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper; one selling cosmetics and necessities; and one selling maintenance items such as lightbulbs and cords. Alongside these, we have a Grab & Go Bar for produce and groceries, and a liquor table. Residents give input on the items sold, and receive a list of all the products and pricing in advance, to help with their planning. Oceana PARC Markets will run every two weeks.
Are you concerned about seniors’ health and safety during this challenging time? PARC Retirement Living communities cater to wellness, and we’ve taken stringent measures to protect our residents from COVID-19. To experience us for yourself, book a tour!