LETTER: Focus on rehabilitation, Squamish | Squamish Chief

LETTER: Focus on rehabilitation, Squamish

Editor’s note: This letter was sent to council and copied to The Chief.

I have been a Squamish resident since 1990, when I moved here with my young family.

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I had been a frequent visitor since Highway 99 opened, fishing with my parents and while working with BCRail, starting back in 1972.

I raised my family in Squamish and participated in several community organizations.

In my senior years, I have become a person with a disability as I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I have been in a wheelchair for the past seven years.

My community has served me very well in this challenging phase of life through the innovation of the Neuro-Fit Program at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. To my knowledge, we were the first recreation centre-based program serving people with chronic neurological, heart and stroke illnesses in our province.

It is my sincere hope that our community will continue in this spirit of innovation with the renovation of Brennan Park.

The Neuro-Fit Program has been one of the most successful programs, adding a fifth class in January 2020. I believe the benefits of the program can be expanded to encompass the broad range of physiotherapy and rehabilitation needs of our active and growing community. There is also the benefit of inspiring volunteer students in the field of rehabilitation medicine. I have seen this in many of the volunteers who have participated in our program.

Specialised equipment is an important feature for treating chronic illness as it is for physiotherapy. I am a member in the MOVE Disabled Gym in Victoria and have used the variety of equipment options in their facility, experiencing the benefits of the specialized exercise options they provide. For instance, being assisted mechanically to stand and safely put weight on my inactive legs is especially beneficial.

Community-based rehabilitation could be viewed as a support for local commercial gyms because they do not provide the specialized equipment for specific therapeutic recovery. As such, Brennan Park’s rehabilitation services could be enhanced as a means to support the recovery of people who are unable to exercise in commercial facilities. Helping them to recover faster and resume their normal exercise and activities.

Therefore, I believe a concentration on physical rehabilitation will enhance the many community activities and commercial facilities by helping people effectively prepare to resume activities after injury. Additionally, I believe it is important to assist at a community level in adaptation to permanent changes brought on by accident, illness or the aging processes.

In conclusion, a rehabilitation concentration in the Brennan Park renovation will enhance Squamish in many ways that reflect the diversity of our whole community. I believe the option of inspiring our youth to experience the joys of assisting people on the road to their recovery is also a very positive educational step forward.

Riun Blackwell


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