No other full-day programming for adults with disabilities in Halifax was able to meet the needs of Annie’s sister, Rizwana.
“I don’t know what we would have done without The Club.”
Annie Haider is Rizwana’s older sister and primary caregiver. When her sister started Grade 10 in 2014, Annie began looking into what options might be available for Rizwana once she finished high school. Even with an extra year of high school – and searching – she still came up empty handed. There was no day programming for adults with disabilities in her area that met her sister’s physical and one-on-one care needs.
Even with afternoon drop-in programs, it was a rough couple of months for the Haider family. Without a structured, daily routine and interaction with others, Rizwana was acting out. When The Club Inclusion decided to expand their afternoon drop-in programs to full-day programming Annie was the first one to sign up.
The Club Inclusion gave them their life back. Rizwana had a routine, and Annie could return to school and finish her degree.
Annie recalls one of Rizwana’s very first days at The Club. She had gotten over-excited about music therapy, which can be disruptive if you’re not used to it. One of the other program participants – Katie – extended her hand for Rizwana to hold and said, “It’s okay. Everything is okay.” Often times other program participants will offer to push Rizwana’s wheelchair and take her for a calming walk during moments like this.
“I think The Club has truly made sense of what inclusion looks like,” says Annie. “Since Rizwana has been there she has developed more of an awareness of other peoples’ needs and even a better awareness of herself.”
One of Rizwana’s respite workers, Stephanie or Courtney, are always by her side at The Club as she requires constant, one-on-one care. They both have very special bonds with Rizwana and Annie couldn’t be more thankful for that.
Rizwana is always in a good mood when she gets home from the programs at The Club Inclusion. “She’s generally tired, and that’s definitely a good thing as it means that dinner and bedtime are easier with fewer behaviour challenges,” says Annie.
I think The Club has truly made sense of what inclusion looks like.