Family member supported with love and care


Deb is never left out of discussions, planning
Monday August 22, 2011 —
Deb Bartlett

Deb Yaschuk is a happy person. Her sister-in-law, Jane Yaschuk, says that’s because the team at Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) supports Deb with “love and care.”

Although Jane has been in Deb’s life only 10 years or so, BACI has been there much longer. Now in her mid-50s, Deb moved out of institutional care and into a house she shares with two roommates.

Jane says BACI’s person-centred focus means Deb is seen and respected as an individual.

“They fulfill all of her needs — socially, emotionally and medically,” says Jane. Deb is never left out of discussion and planning about her activities or life.

As an example, she says rather than her telling BACI when she would see Deb for her birthday, Deb plans her own activities.

“Deb is inviting me to her house to her birthday party,” says Jane. Staff members make sure Deb’s ideas come to fruition.

“They do what a family would do,” she says. “They support her with care.”

Jane says BACI staff members have also worked to get a new van to meet Deb’s transportation needs for appointments and volunteer commitments, and ensure she is able to participate in community events.

Jane says Deb has always been encouraged to be a self-advocate, and often attends conferences. She is comfortable advocating in the community, an activity that is now made easier since she has a speech machine.

“That new equipment gives her a voice,” says Jane. “It’s exciting. They’ve (BACI staff) made it happen.”

That technology has been used for Jane to communicate with Deb about her care, and any concerns about her caregiving. If there have been criticisms, Jane says they are accepted and dealt with quickly.

“They (BACI) are her lifeline to her family,” says Jane. She relies on Deb’s support workers to help communicate with Deb using the speech machine, and also to support her when spending time with family.

Ann, Deb’s long-time support worker, facilitates Deb’s attendance at Christmas dinner and camping trips. “They facilitate her life,” says Jane.

She’s comfortable talking about her sister-in-law because Deb likes to share about her life. “Deb is just so happy. That must mean she lives in a happy home.”

How has person-centred planning affected you? Call Deb at 800-294-0051, or e-mail deb(at)


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