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A Better Way After Brain Injury

The unexpected. Expect it.

Lake Country Wild Fire Evacuation Update

After a harrowing weekend with wildfire alerts and evacuations happening throughout Lake Country,... read more

Victoria Conference Refreshes CONNECT Attendees

Two of Langley's Life Redesign Coaches (Samantha and Britney), Physical Coach (Jessica) and... read more

Life Redesign Model is Leading Practice!

In November, Accreditation Canada deemed CONNECT's Life Redesign ModelTM Leading Practice... read more

About Connect

CONNECT’s mission is to Make Lives Better. We achieve this by providing complex and specialized services for people living with brain injury and stroke in a nurturing and innovative community environment. Through our Life Redesign Model, we empower our residents by applying our knowledge and experience to coach, challenge and motivate each person to reach their unique personal goals and build a fulfilling life for themselves. The Life Redesign Model was deemed Leading Practice in 2016 by Accreditation Canada under Client-Centred Care in Acquired Brain Injury Services. CONNECT is one of few organizations accredited through Accreditation Canada using the Acquired Brain Injury standards.

Our History

CONNECT was founded in Langley in 1993 to develop and operate specialized residential environments for people living with brain injury.  Over the course of 24 years, we continue to hone our model as we learn from and inform the latest approaches to brain injury and stroke. Our comprehensive services range from short-term transitional rehabilitation through long-term residential placement.

In January, 2009, in partnership with Interior Health in BC, we opened CONNECT Lake Country. Just outside of Kelowna, we have a condo-style building with six homes, each supporting seven residents.

Real life, practical approach

CONNECT’s Life Redesign Model is characterized by the following:

  •  A culture of personal accountability, supported risk taking, social capital and meaningful community participation;
  •  Services are planned around what the person wants more of in life. Participation in relevant life situations drives the residents’ goals;
  •  Service plans leverage neuroplasticity by pursuing resident goals in real-life, non-institutional settings;
  •  A “doing-with” coaching approach with blended job roles and a multi-professional coaching team;
  •  Hire for fit based on personality and values, not qualifications.

Coaching at CONNECT

Our team of rehab professionals approach their jobs differently than most. CONNECT supports an environment of coaching where residents strive to reach their self-directed goals. The coaches form a team working collaboratively to guide rather than lead residents. The process is entirely resident-centred and strengths-based, viewing each resident as naturally creative, resourceful, wise and whole.

The CONNECT Rehab Professional Team of coaches includes:

  • Independence Coach – Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Coach – Physical Therapy
  • Communication Coach – Speech and Language Therapy
  • Play Coach – Recreation Therapy
  • Health and Wellness Coach - Registered Nurse
  • Thinking Coach - Neuropsychologist

Our homes are fully licensed as "Specialized Adult Residential" under British Columbia's Community Care and Assisted Living Act and thoroughly inspected on a regular basis. We work with a wide range of funding agencies including private and public insurance companies, WorkSafe BC, government programs, health authorities and individual families.

Admission Requirements

We are available on short notice to provide detailed assessments and proposals for services and support. The following criteria are important considerations:

  • 19 years of age or older (younger people may be considered with licensing approval)
  • Medically stable
  • Have access to funding
  • Demonstrate interest and involvement

Services & Support

CONNECT’s values include flexibility, creativity, learning, respect, passion and joy. Our residents cease to be patients or clients and are instead partners.  Owning their problems they are brought together with a multi-professional team and challenged to design and take personal responsibility for their rehab experience and its outcomes. This process puts them in the driver’s seat and helps to prepare them for what to expect when they return to their home communities.

By helping people understand who they are in a relationship and how they want to be in an authentic way, they are supported to overcome the participation restrictions so often created as a result of ABI, and which over the longer term are often far more disabling (loneliness, isolation, depression) than the apparent mobility restrictions that people tend to focus on in the early days post injury.

Every individual is valued for who they are and what they bring to a situation. The individual is the expert in their own lives and a partner in the planning process. Everything we can or will do is done in partnership with the individual and their families.

The individual lives with brain injury but is not defined by it. Just like everyone else, their problems are their own, and responsibility for that stays with them, as does the responsibility to search for potential solutions. We are there to help them navigate their life’s process.

That which is most meaningful to the individual will likely be the most motivating and life affirming and will promote success. The onus is on us to get to know the individual so we can understand their perception, priorities and vision for their future. This understanding will help build partnerships and facilitate meaningful services and supports.

The individual has a right to self-determination, to be viewed for abilities rather than deficits and holds the responsibility for the choices made. Our job is to help an individual build on their strengths and to navigate the many obstacles or barriers that may prevent them from achieving their vision, and to be there for them and support them when they fail. This is a lifelong process.

Self-management comes from learning by doing, education, information and practical skills-building are core competencies of CONNECT’s services. We encourage all residents to have a go, to continue to challenge themselves to learn more about who they are and who they can be. We share in this process by applying the “whatever it takes” principle to our own efforts.

We believe people with brain injuries continue to learn, grow and change throughout their recovery and the rest of their lives. Services therefore must be individualized, flexible and adaptable to meet changing needs and desires. We also believe all people have the opportunity, power and resources to contribute to their families and community. This is no different for someone living with a brain injury and services are focused on this belief.

Locations

We strive to preserve the spirit of a family home in each of our residences.

Langley

Our five residences in Langley are situated on beautiful, sprawling, treed grounds. Amenities like walking trails, a recreation centre, movie theatres and shopping centres are nearby and our outdoor lanscape areas accommodate gardening, games, pets, exercise and social gatherings. Large private bedrooms reflect the personal touches of their residents. Our homes, inside and out, are wheelchair adapted and accessible.

Connect Langley provides transitional community based rehabilitation services and residential support for 29 people. Added features include a fitness room, media room, a handyman's workshop and computers with internet access. Our homes are within easy access of public transit, community centers, parks, banks, restaurants, malls, cinemas and other amenities.

Lake Country

Our condominium development in Lake Country (near Kelowna) contains six individual homes. Each home has seven private bedrooms, a kitchen, dining and living rooms and everything a home offers. The six homes are attached by a connecting corridor behind the building, which houses some common areas, such as a fitness room, media room, offices, meeting, and recreation and leisure areas. The outside landscape areas provide outdoor living spaces and areas for gardening, relaxation and social gatherings. We are located is in the Winfield neighbourhood, which has many parks, borders on Wood Lake and has retail amenities.

We like to think of it as a home first with creative and individualized services for the people we have the privilege to support. It is home to transitional rehabilitation and residential services for up to 42 people living with brain injuries.

Our People

Our team includes trained rehab professionals, skilled and experienced in complex transitional rehabilitation and residential support services. First and foremost, however, our people are caring, compassionate and respectful which creates a workplace that is supportive and fun.

Meet Our Coaches

Professional Coaches

CONNECT’s team of professional coaches includes a play coach, physical coach, health and wellness coach, communication coach, independence coach and thinking coach. This team is made up of 10 therapists from a variety of disciplines including recreation therapy, physiotherapy, registered nursing, speech therapy, occupational therapy and neuropsychology, respectively.

Hover over or tap on a coach for more info.

Mary Lou Iceton

Communication Coach

As a communication coach and speech language pathologist by profession, Mary Lou sees communication as giving, receiving, or exchanging ideas and information, enabling our residents to persuade, to seek, to give or to express. Communication is the essence of human interaction and a basic human right. Re-establishing and improving the ability to relate, greet, share, express, agree, disagree, negotiate... and CONNECT is what powers this communication coach.

Jen Schochter

Health and Wellness Coach

Jennifer, a registered nurse, provides residents at CONNECT with guidance as they take charge of their health and make changes in their lifestyle that will have long-lasting positive affects. By partnering with staff and residents, she attempts to enhance confidence and competence in the ability of the individual to self-manage their health conditions. She strives to have each resident actively involved in their own care. Outside of work, you can find Jennifer golfing, biking, beaching and enjoying time with her family and the newest aspect of her life, being a Grandma.

Chris Acton

Physical Coach

Chris, a physiotherapist, supports residents to achieve their physical mobility and recreation goals. Chris is a positive role model of physical activity through her involvement in speed skating, mountain biking and yoga

Karin Schmidt

Independence Coach

 Karin loves CONNECT's resident-focused philosophy and approaches every resident she works with as an individual - finding out what makes them tick and what their goals and strenghts are. She is curently completing her Masters in Rehabilitation Science through UBC, with a focus on return to community, and loves the great outdoors.

Tez Lamvohee

Physical Coach

Tez started with CONNECT in January 2012 as Lake Country's Physical Coach. Tez comes from a private practice background and has found the role to be a great challenge and a fulfilling one. He works closely with the residents' goals, needs and wants to achieve meaningful lasting functional outcomes. Tez continues to work in a private clinic, volunteers with various sport teams and plays Ultimate Frisbee.

Ashlie Hallsworth

Health and Wellness Coach

Ashlie's goal as Health and Wellness Coach is to support CONNECT residents in Langley to live their healthiest lives based on their individual goals. Ashlie oversees medication, wound care and helps residents make healthy choices regarding diet and exercise. She enjoys working with Life Redesign Coaches to provide as much support to residents as possible. Her two children keep her busy at home and they love swimming, playing sports and geocaching.

Connie Bakker

Communication Coach

Connie assists in developing strategies to help manage communication and/or swallowing disorders following brain injury. She is one of CONNECT's Communication Coaches, a speech Language Pathologist by profession. Being a mom for nearly 26 years to her three children and charing in their many pursuits keeps her busy, along with a long list of activities in line with her own interests. She is working on completing a book of therapy materials.

Michelle Connolly

Physical Coach

Michelle's role is to provide consultation and assessment of a resident's physical status and work collaboratively with the resident, family and the team to set out functional, meaningful goals. She sets up individualized physical programs, incorporating daily functional activities with residents and house staff, which they continue to work on together to help achieve their goals. When not at CONNECT, Michelle can be found chasing around two very active, adorable little boys. She enjoys going to the gym, skating, skiing, playing soccer, reading and enjoying the beautiful Okanagan weather and lifestyle.

Nikta Aghaipour

Independence Coach

Nikta loves watching CONNECT residents in Langley build community. As an Occupational Therapist, Nikta applies her knowledge to the CONNECT philosophy to help people get back to living after a brain injury or stroke. She loves one-on-one time with the residents and seeing progress based on how each resident defines success. When she's not working she loves camping and yoga.

Wendy Williams

Thinking Coach

Wendy is a Thinking Coach at Connect Lake Country. Her career in rehabilitation spans more than 25 years providing support and rehabilitation services to people with brain injuries. Her specific expertise is in cognitive rehabilitation focusing on memory, executive functions and attention, resulting in international publications in the area of memory.

Support Coaches

 

CONNECT embraces coaching as a way of being. The support coaches make things run smoothly at CONNECT by managing everything from home maintenance, administration and HR.

Ray Tims
Locations Support/Home Resource Coach

Denise Wood
Decision Support Coach

Janette Jackman
Decision and Project Support Coach

Christy McKeating
People Resources Coach

Karen Leeking
People Resources Coach

Service Resource Coaches

 

CONNECT's Service Resource Coaches are the go-to contacts for Life Redesign Coaches so they can expect the unexpected with residents, families and staff and make lives better every day.

Jennifer Tisado-Dela Cruz

​Connie Stover

Mike Garing

Meet Our Leadership Team

Patti Flaherty President and COO

The footprints of her professional journey have prepared her for leading the development of CONNECT Lake Country and overseeing the leadership and management of CONNECT Langley and the growth of the company. Her ability to keep a strong focus along with her sense of humour goes a long way in executing team goals and supporting people to be the best they can be. Like the rest of the team, Patti enjoys outdoor activities and looks forward to gathering family and friends at a table with good food, good conversation and a great abundance of laughter.

John Sherwood CEO

John's role at CONNECT is to provide leadership through mentoring and support and to empower those around him. Following his mother Janet's vision of "a better life for those living with brain injury", John enjoys watching people explore their potential. At the end of the day he is most proud of "our residents and ourselves". John's day begins and ends with his family and when time permits his pastimes are fly-fishing and skiing.

Juliet Henderson-Rahbar

Site Leader - Langley

Some of Juliet's goals at CONNECT are to listen to, and learn from, residents and staff so she can encourage and empower them in their roles. As Site Lead, Juliet leads and supports resident services to ensure the Life Redesign Model is being delivered. Juliet supports the professional coaching team and is a resource for all staff and residents. With 10 years of experience as a health care professional, Juliet wants to help residents striving for new life after brain injury and staff supporting this new growth.

Mark Fleming

Site Leader - Lake Country

As Site Leader, Mark oversees the delivery of the Life Redesign Model and the general running of CONNECT. With a background in Recreation Therapy (Play Coach) Mark continues to coach staff and residents to achieve their goals and particiapte in the community by focusing on their strengths. Sharing his passion for recreation and leisure is what keeps Mark going. When not working, he will most often be found mountain biking, hanging out with friends, and travelling.

Karen Tims

Director Culture, People and Services

Sharing in the success of others is what makes Karen's day to day life at CONNECT fulfilling. As Director of Culture, People and Services, Karen does just that - oversees CONNECT's operations to ensure the health of the culture, the happiness and effectiveness of our people and the delivery of our services. She is constantly encouraging our residents and staff to live life to the fullest and providing them with the support they need. Fishing with her husband, spending time with her family and learning to play the piano keep Karen busy on her days off.

Contact Connect

For more information, or to arrange a visit, please contact us by phone or email or complete the form below.

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Langley

20445 73a Avenue,
Langley, BC
Canada V2Y 1V1

Phone: 604.534.0705
Fax: 604.514.5057
E-mail: info@connectcommunities.ca

Lake Country

Volunteer with CONNECT

We are always looking for new volunteers, if you think that could be you, please download the form here, fill it out and send it back to us. We will get in touch as soon as possible to help you get involved.

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