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Coaches at CONNECT Help Residents Celebrate Success

By Allison Bain

Residents of CONNECT Langley have access to a whole new world of coaching, thanks to a new coaching team hired this summer.

The three new coaches are Independence Coach Nikta Aghaipour (Occupational Therapist), Physical Coach David Dalley (Physical Therapist) and Health and Wellness Coach Ashlie Hallsworth (Licensed Practical Nurse). These coaches are working on-site with residents to help them reach their goals.

 Ashlie says the personal approach at CONNECT is her favourite part of the job.

"I really enjoy getting to know who the residents are as people," says Ashlie. "I want to see them achieve their goals and see the progress they're making."

Ashlie recently helped a resident celebrate success after he completed self-medication training.

"I told him he'd completed the training and would be independent," she says. "He was so excited, when I left the room I heard him shout 'Yes!' and everyone was cheering for him."

Juliet Henderson-Rahbar, Leader of Services and Culture at CONNECT, is very happy with how the new coaching team is changing things in Langley.

"The collaboration has made things more doable, more efficient and there is more creativity and ideas flowing that can be followed through on," says Juliet. "It has helped the residents move forward with their goals."

This new approach has been empowering for the residents in Langley and has been beneficial for both the residents and the coaches.

"I love learning from people, especially people who are living on the margins of society," says Henderson-Rahbar. "I love hearing them say that they're not on the margins, and helping them become part of the community."

She believes the commitment to helping residents become independent is what makes CONNECT so special.

"Because our philosophy is to support individuals' independence, that means we have a lot of day-to-day challenges," says Juliet. "It's a lot of work to help people help themselves. But in the long run, it's better economically and better for the community. The more we see people can do things for themselves, the less work it ends up becoming."

Although this approach takes a lot of work from both the coaches and residents, it's exciting for the coaches to see the results.

"Seeing someone realize that they can do something that they weren't sure they could do, and seeing how proud they are of themselves, that's the most rewarding part of the job," says Juliet.