From program support to nursing, these caregivers change lives

Dedicated Garth Homer team makes a difference every day

Haley McDonald and a friend take in the fun of Victoria’s Zombie Walk with support from their Garth Homer Centre team.

From art class to an employment readiness program, exploring local parks to visiting the Vancouver Aquarium, Haley McDonald does it all. The independent, outgoing 21-year-old also has her eye on expanding her artistic and gardening endeavours to further support her passion for travel.

But to do so, she requires the support of the Garth Homer Society team.

Haley has a very rare genetic condition that means she’s fully dependant on life-supporting medical equipment and nurses, explains Garth Homer nurse Victoria Weber.

In addition to participating in the centre’s Art Works and Employment Services programs, Haley is also in Garth Homer’s residential program.

“Garth Homer gave me a really nice house to live in with my sister and I like my new friends that I live with,” Haley says. “The nurses help me live my life and have fun. I have a garden in the spring and sell my plants and the vegetables they make. I want to make money so I can go skiing and camping, go to Disneyland and be able to travel. It costs a lot of money to travel with nurses.”

Providing support for diverse needs

Haley is one of about 200 clients served by Saanich’s Garth Homer Society, which provides day and residential programs for adults with serious physical challenges and developmental disabilities. Based at the Garth Homer Centre, program participants enjoy a wide range of community- and centre-based activities, selecting daily activities based on their individual interests.

In addition to successful life skills and geriatric initiatives, Garth Homer also offers a residential program, supporting a variety of individuals, including those with complex medical support needs, says Phemie Guttin, Executive Director, Service Operations.

Skilled team members needed

To support these various initiatives, Garth Homer employs 200 skilled individuals across many fields. Competitive wages, good benefits, ongoing education and room for advancement are part of the package, but so is the opportunity to work with amazing people like Haley.

“I have fun with my friends and the nurses help us by driving and coming with me. They need to look after my ventilator and help me when I can’t breathe,” Haley says, recalling an especially fun time in October. “I LOVE Halloween and we had a Halloween party, and I got dressed up with my sister and we went to the Zombie Walk in Victoria.”

That flexibility is vital for Haley, her friends and others at the centre.

“I think people don’t know that Garth Homer has to get vehicles for us,” she reflects. “We like to go places like the movies and the mall, and the park, and you need a vehicle to take you there. We have a big van and a small van, that take people who have wheel chairs and people who don’t.”

To learn more about the Garth Homer Society’s current employment opportunities, and join a community of caregivers who each day make a difference in the lives of others, visit garthhomersociety.org.

Just Posted

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Swimmer set for double crossing of Georgia Strait

Jill Yoneda’s Aug. 3 swim will benefit Canuck Place

Regina Park camper arrested for taking coins from fountain

A former Calgary man says campers feel unfairly targeted

From hot dog to not dog: stuffed toy prompts car break in

The stuffed dog had been in the backseat for 18 years without problems

Sport fishing ban protest organizers trolling for attention

Hook-less anglers hitting Sooke area waters July 29 to protest DFO’s summer fin-fish ban

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

Plans for Saanich’s Nigel Valley to step out of shadow

Plans for a major housing development in Saanich’s urban core are becoming… Continue reading

Five fun things to do this weekend

From a paint in to festivals, there are lots of fun events taking place this weekend

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

Most Read