BC Care Awards – Safety Champion Nominee Debbie Brown

Every year, the BC Care Awards celebrate care providers who go above and beyond delivering care to our seniors.

In this nominee profile, we feature Debbie Brown from Nicola Lodge in Port Coquitlam for her work supporting the safety of residents and team members.

Why did you decide to work in seniors’ care?

I have been an Occupational Therapist for almost 30 years and feel so fortunate to work in a profession that I love. Although I have worked in a variety of health and social care settings, most of my work has involved  the provision of services to seniors , both in the UK and then  in BC. I have always felt that the holistic approach of OT fits so well with working in seniors care as they experience a range of physical and cognitive impairments and have to adapt to social change. I feel that there is huge scope to improve the quality of care for seniors and enjoy  challenge of working to improving care for seniors in an environment where I feel that I can make a difference. I am also fortunate to work for an organisation that values quality of care and supports development and innovation.

What do you wish people knew about working with seniors?

I think for many health care professionals,  including therapists, working with seniors can appear to be less dynamic  and innovative than many other areas of health or social care.  My experience is that it can be incredibly challenging, unquestionably rewarding and with the opportunity to develop new skills and improve services every day. Working in a team of health and social care professionals and families is rewarding. We don’t treat a medical condition, we work in a multidisciplinary  team to improve the quality of life for a senior who is likely to have a range of medical and cognitive impairments and requires a different approach because of their own values and experiences.

What’s your favourite part about working in seniors’ care?

Working with seniors gives me the opportunity to develop not only professionally but personally. I love to hear of their unique experiences and of their lives before they entered residential care and to be reminded that before they needed the support of long term care, many were professionals such as lawyers or nurses, they were  homemakers and carers who have experienced a rate of social , demographic and technological change that many other generations  may never experience.  I love the fact that every day is different and challenges me to expand my knowledge and skills.

BC Care Award winners will be announced in early January. The awards ceremony will take place on February 19th, 2017 at the Fairmont Empress Victoria. Registration is now open for BCCPA members and invited guests.