Breton Ability Centre’s Willow Lane neighbourhood is home to 14 individuals with complex support needs as a result of communication deficits. Using the low arousal philosophy, and positive behaviour support planning, the Willow staff are always organizing programs that promote skill development, movement, community inclusion, and participation. The residents have a busy social life and can be seen enjoying a swim at the local beaches, day camping and having picnics and BBQ’s at parks, attending community events that interest the them such as car shows, hockey games, and go carting. Building independence and skills for independent living is a key pillar. Staff facilitate this by taking the individuals for shopping and learning to manage money and paying at the cash register, teaching skills like laundry and bedmaking. Staff organize pot lucks on Willow to share and have the residents enjoy with them.
Because the residents are not able to fully express their choice, and require intensive supports , their program and fulfilling their needs and desires require coordination and team work. The staff have been able to build special relationships with the residents and work collectively to ensure that the resident is paired up with the direct support worker they have best relationship with. The compassion and understanding that is seen amongst the residents and the staff goes beyond it being a job. The staff treat residents like good friends and family. The ultimate goal is resident happiness and supporting the residents with compassion through the toughest days, and supporting individuals to build skills to live in the community.