“COVID-19 has been the centre of my work for the past few months.” 

It has proven to be a challenging year for Grace Su, the director of operations at Clover Living, an independent living and supportive living community for seniors who are 55 years and older located in the heart of Chinatown. Back in December, when news of the COVID-19 outbreak first appeared, the staff at Clover Living wasted no time in taking the steps to go over safety procedures and have them put into place by January. These precautions included ensuring that there was enough equipment (masks, gloves efficient disinfection machines) to keep staff and residents safe. Education also played an important part when it came to preparedness. “The key is to be responsive and to understand the characteristics of COVID-19.” Grace says, “it is not only just waiting for the city or government to say anything, but we had to be proactive. This is why we did not have an outbreak within our community.”

“I take my responsibility very seriously. It’s not just a job for me. It’s like my life mission to be able to do something worthwhile.” 

What keeps Grace motivated is ensuring that every one of the Clover Living residents safe and living well. This includes not only just about meeting their needs, but also about making sure that their rights are honoured and that they are being supported in what they want to do — they want to be holistically well on all levels. “There’s a different spirit in Clover Living. You see the smiles, they’re genuine smiles, not like billboard smiles — they’re genuine and it keeps us going too.” She also feels blessed that they are in Chinatown. The residents are close to Sien Lok and Prince’s Island Parks that allow for them to go out and enjoy nice warm weather, which in turn keeps their spirits up. Even during the pandemic, residents are still able to go out and be supported and comfortable in their community. They are able to go to the bakeries, bank and go shopping comfortably in their own language. Grace finds that many of the residents are still able to enjoy life, which is able to bring her so much more meaning into her work. She is not only working for a paycheque, but she is working for a purpose and knowing that her personal values and corporate values are in line bring more meaning into what Clover Living is doing. 

Looking towards the future, Clover Living is continuing to do risk assessments. The staff at Clover Living must look at the situation as a whole and be able to find the best way to minimize these risks, however, they must also examine individual cases as well and therefore, must be more flexible and adaptable in order to cater to individual needs.  “It’s not going to be a sprint — it’s going to be a marathon, so we have to have strategies. In some way, people don’t like hearing the word ‘risk,’ but you do need to assess risk and you want to minimize risk where possible, but risk exists at all angles.” 

Address: 120 2 Ave SW

Website: https://cloverliving.ca/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cloverliving_/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CloverLiving

Interviewer and author: Rachel Wong

Photos: William Leung

Producer: Brian Wong

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