Restricted by COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines, The Salvation Army’s Golden West Centennial Lodge in Winnipeg is running a visitation program whimsically titled “Through the Looking Glass,” where residents can meet with their loved ones through a window.

Residents make their way to a window on the main floor of the building, and phone their families who are sitting outside in a designated space decorated with pictures, plants, tables and chairs.

“Watching the residents’ eyes light up when they see their loved one through the window is heartening,” says Major Brenda Coles, spiritual health coordinator at the facility. Being able to see one another through the window reduces anxiety for both residents and their families, she notes.

For those who cannot have an “in-person” visit, two tablets are available for residents to FaceTime their families.

So far, there have been more than 30 window visits and 45 FaceTime visits.

“I love seeing the relief on the faces of families when they see their loved ones, realizing that they are indeed doing well and are being well cared for,” says Sharon Wright, an administrative assistant who coordinates the visits at the Lodge.

(Above) A resident enjoys a window visit at Golden West Centennial Lodge in Winnipeg 


On Saturday, April 25, 2020, Carma Mahoney said:

This is a fantastic way for residents to see their family and friends during this pandemic.


On Saturday, April 25, 2020, Barbara Allemang said:

What a wonderful idea. Being able to see loved ones gives a warm sense of closeness even from isolation.


On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, Gail Neil said:

Really appreciate this as it’s my Aunt that is shown and I haven’t seen her in about 10 yrs. Thank you so much.


On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, Gordon Cavanagh said:

Its good to see my aunt looking so well,must be all the good care she is getting


On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Marjory Burditt said:

We spent 5 years in Administration at Golden West. Our prayers are with you through these stressful days. God bless and enable you day by day.


On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Ray Harris said:

Great initiative friends!


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