SUDBURY -- Because long-term care facilities are especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, some retirement residences in Sudbury are changing their rules to make residents safer. And while the changes are necessary, it's making for a lonely time.

At the Ukrainian Seniors' Centre retirement home, officials say residents are taking COVID-19 precautions seriously.

Administrators say the seniors are being very good in cooperating and doing their part in staying safe.

After having to cancel the popular bingo sessions, the centre is offering a new way to play.

Hallway bingo

"We do hallway bingo with them every Wednesday. So, a resident goes on every floor with walkie talkies and they all come out in their little chairs and their bingo boards and it's called on every level and they enjoy that," said Anne Johnston, the centre's executive director.

Physical distancing bingo at Sudbury's Ukrainian

At the Walford on the Park retirement home in the Greater Sudbury community of Copper Cliff, residents are being served meals in their rooms instead of communal dining. Facility staff says keeping a safe physical distance in the dining room is a huge challenge.

"Change is never easy, especially when they are in their senior years. So, it's gradual. So, we just try really hard to reassure them that we are hoping this is going to be as temporary as it can be and that someday we will be able to go back to what is normal," said Cathy Long, the Walford on the Park administrator.

Officials at both facilities say the "no visitors" rule is difficult for people on both sides of it, but that it's critical to keep the virus out and keep people safe.

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