When Nicole Sales imagines Three Links without recreation programs, she pictures a dimmer place. “It would be so institutionalized,” she says, “Here’s your room, here’s your bed.” Fortunately, the programs that fill the Three Links recreation calendar are anything but dim. Kay, a Three Links resident who shows up for almost every program on the calendar, says, “I enjoy everything I do here. It’s very interesting.”
Nicole joined the Three Links team as our Recreation Coordinator in July. She is fresh out of her Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation at Douglas College and brimming with enthusiasm and ideas. Through the recreation programs she designs, she hopes that she’s doing much more than filling residents’ time – her vision is a community of residents who enjoy not only the activities they do, but the pleasure of spending time together. “I want people to walk by the activity room and say ‘Wow, that looks like fun!’” says Nicole.
As Nicole plans each month’s activities, she’s guided by enjoyment of the residents she works with. “I want every resident to find something on the calendar that appeals to their interests, whether it’s one of their lifelong hobbies or something they’ve never thought to try before,” says Nicole. At the forefront of her hopes is to connect with each person as an individual, finding an opportunity that matches their abilities rather than being discouraged by the abilities they’ve lost.
There are five domains of health that guide Nicole as she dreams up the perfect complement of recreation programs. Each activity focusses on either physical, social, emotional, cognitive, or spiritual wellbeing. She hopes her programs will offer something to improve each resident’s quality of life. “The residents are number one in all of this,” she says, “For each program there needs to be a purpose for each person attending.”
“I’m excited to be part of a department that has room to grow,” says Nicole, “I want everyone to know that I care and I’m always open to feedback.”