Student stories

Exercise science student connects people through her co-op with the Broadmead Care Society.

Casandra Noble

Beckley Farm Lodge (a part of the Broadmead Care Society)

Broadmead Care Society (BCS) is a Canadian registered charity serving seniors, veterans, and adults with disabilities in the Greater Victoria Region. The company operates in Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead, Veterans Health Centre, Beckley Farm Lodge, Nigel Program for Adults with Disabilities, and Rest Haven Lodge. BCS’s mission is to offer “a caring society where people of all ages and abilities live to their full potential”. The company’s mission and motto, “every moment matters”, are adopted by its employees and translated into quality care. For my second co-op with this company, I had the pleasure to work at Beckley Farm Lodge (BFL) in James Bay as an outreach worker, serving the adult day program and residents. 

As an outreach worker, I instructed programs for residents and clients, performed programming, cared for overnight respite clients, prepared the recreational area, and performed nutritional support. For recreation activities, I researched and developed a 45 minute seated exercise class and continuously brainstormed creative mental aerobic activities. In the afternoons, modified physical activity games are scheduled such as balloon volleyball, skeeball, or shuffleboard.

I also programmed monthly recreation calendars, which encompassed the various physical and mental abilities of clients and scheduling various musical entertainers. The support tasks I performed include preparing the dining and activity rooms, gathering supplies, preparing snacks and beverages, assisting with loading and unloading the 14-passenger bus, and preparing the overnight respite room for clients.

In addition to my outreach worker duties, I began a rehabilitation project with the facility’s occupational therapist. I implemented a personalized strength and mobility program for 10 residents of varying abilities. This project was the highlight of my co-op as it allowed me to apply my academic knowledge and watch residents’ physical abilities improve.

The project had a particularly large impact on one resident with a cognitive disability. I provided support as he performed daily walks with his walker to increase his cardiovascular fitness. After weeks of performing walks together, he was able to walk from his room to the sidewalk outside the facility. By reaching this goal, he was granted permission to take the B.C. Transit handyDART to church, art classes, and to see his significant other. When he informed me he was granted permission, he cried due to overwhelming happiness.

My second co-op at BFL has allowed me to enhance many competencies, discover my passion, and apply my academic knowledge. This experience has highlighted my enjoyment working with seniors and working to enhance the lives of others. The competencies I have successfully developed include communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork, project and task management, and commitment to quality.

While, competencies I can continue to develop through my future endeavours include field of practice/body of knowledge, technical expertise, and research and analysis. My position positively impacts the lives of seniors and focuses on the activities of daily living. My experiences have clarified my interest in pursuing occupational therapy as I have received great reward during my time at BFL.

More about Exercise science, physical and health education co-op