The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges for us, including the individuals living in our Community Living homes. The homes' residents, individuals with developmental disabilities, have been sheltering in place since March to stay safe. All of their usual activities in the community have been put on hold. 


This is particularly challenging as community inclusion is a foundational element of our program and critical to our mission to support the individuals' independence. Activities like swimming, shopping, and going for coffee are are big part of their daily lives. Our program staff have worked hard with the individuals to find new ways to achieve their independence goals at home. 


We are happy to report that all 29 individuals in our Community Living homes have remained coronavirus-free. Despite having to stay in place, they have all adapted to this temporary lifestyle change. 

Mary, a resident of our Mount Seymour home in North Vancouver, has been keeping busy with new opportunities to have fun and build her skills during this time. We talked to her home's supervisor, Charlotte, about what she’s been up to. 

How is Mary coping with the COVID-19 shut down? Is she missing outings?

Mary is outgoing and loves to go out, but she is doing well in this time of the pandemic. She is helping staff to entertain her housemates by dancing, singing, and chatting with them. Mary will use her iPad (which she calls a “tablet”) to put on her favourite dancing video and follow the dance moves.  If she gets tired with her tablet, she will ask “Alexa” to play her favourite song and she will dance with the rhythm of the song.

Mary never gets bored during the lockdown.  However, she misses going bowling, swimming, to the coffee house, music therapy, and other activities she'd normally do out in the community.

Mary will ask staff to accompany her to go for neighborhood walks.  At home, she does light house chores like folding clothes, assisting her housemates before meals and snacks by putting on their clothing protectors, folding the laundry, and wiping the dining table every after use.

We know she also likes to bake. Does Mary bake often?


Mary likes to bake muffins at the group home and pie at her parents' house.  She will bake muffins once a week for breakfast the following day. She bakes a variety of muffins like oatmeal, carrot, and blueberry with staff supervision.

Has she learned any new skills while baking?

Mary has learned how to measure ingredients using measuring cups and spoons.


Community Living Fast Facts:

  • GVCSS has six Community Living programs that are home to 29 adults with developmental disabilities. Four to six individuals live at each home.
  • Each home is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year. All staff wear PPE during their shifts.
  • No GVCSS Community Living home has had a single case of COVID-19, and we have had no cases of transmission among our employees.


Are you interested in helping the individuals with developmental disabilities living at our Community Living homes? Please consider donating. Learn more here.


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