Today's Date: Monday April 20, 2015
Family Caregivers' Network Society

Caregiver Resource Center

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    “Anytime I feel overwhelmed with the needs of my Mother (or her angry outbursts) I just think of the group and look forward to the warm support and caring kindness shown me. Thank you.”

    - FCNS support group participant

Board of Trustees

Alyshia Vogt is currently the President of the Board of Trustees. Having spent years working as a Registered Nurse in a hospital setting caring for seniors, she saw first-hand how many seniors ended up in long-term care facilities and understood that preventative care and supporting families was really part of the solution. With a true passion for care, Alyshia recognized that seniors typically enjoy a greater quality of life in their own homes than in institutional settings. Alyshia’s passion for seniors care has led her to her current career of owning and managing the local Nurse Next Door Home Healthcare Services franchise. This role has allowed Alyshia the benefit of being able to make a difference in the lives of seniors and their families on a daily basis. Alyshia’s values have also led her to become an active member of the Rotary Club of Victoria and the chairperson for the Valentine’s Ball and Silent Auction which raised funds for the Queen Alexandra Foundation. In the past Alyshia has volunteered with the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia as a workplace representative and for many years as a respite caregiver for the Alzheimer Society of Kamloops. Alyshia has come to understand that support for family caregivers is currently lacking in our society and with that knowledge, Alyshia is excited to be a member of  the Family Caregivers’ Network Society board and fund development committee.

Brecon Gage is currently the Vice-President of the board and the owner of Comfort Keepers.  Comfort  Keepers is a company which provides assistance to seniors who wish to continue living independently in the comfort of their own homes. Brecon graduated with Distinction from Bishop’s University majoring in English with a minor in Mathematics. He was the winner of the University’s Noni Howard award for creative writing. Brecon is also the owner of Bath Fitter, a local franchise that specializes in bathroom renovations. Under Brecon’s leadership, his companies have won the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Awards for “Outstanding Customer Service” and “Business of the Year”. They are also proud winners of the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Business Ethics & Integrity on multiple occasions. Brecon is an appointed member of the Bath Fitter Franchise Council, and an Ambassador for Business Networking International. Brecon is honoured to be a part of the FCNS and looks forward to working with such a terrific team.

Colleen Brownlee , currently Board Treasurer, is a former Superintendent of Schools and school principal has spent the last year developing and coordinating the Metchosin Seniors’ Information and Resource Centre . Colleen was born and raised in Victoria, graduated from Victoria High School and completed her B.Ed and M.Ed at the University of Victoria. Her knowledge of board governance and team player approach is exemplified by her experience as an administrator as well as a member of volunteer boards, and a short stint in the world of politics, as a councillor for the District of Metchosin.

Michele Nault McIsaac, Secretary of the Board, is originally from Saskatchewan and has lived and worked on Vancouver Island for over 30 years. Michele is the Regional Assisted Living Manager for M’akola ILBC Housing Society.  M’akola ILBC Housing Society currently operates two Assisted Living Sites with 110 Suites.  She is happy to be working in this environment with a focus on Holistic care.  Her strengths in counselling, capacity building, liaising with the Vancouver Island Health Authority and education have supported her in this role. Michele’s career has included many aspects of health.  Michele has been a presenter and facilitator in health education for many years with a focus on Mental Health and Addictions.  She has also provided training and development in adult education, staff development and cultural competency. She has worked for Not for Profit Societies and is very appreciative of the role they play in contributing to healthy communities.  She has been an active community volunteer and has served on  working groups, committees and Boards to support the health and resiliency of the community.  Michele believes we all have something to contribute and looks forward to being of service.

Kim Duffus joined the FCNS board in June 2014. She is currently Executive Director of Capital Mental Health Association. Kim completed her Master of Nursing degree in advanced practice, leadership at the University of Victoria in 2005 and went on to complete her Certificate in Environmental and Occupational Health in 2011.  Prior to joining Capital Mental Health Association, Kim was the National Director of Home Support for Saint Elizabeth and prior to this she was Regional Director for BC for Saint Elizabeth. Kim has also been the Director of a large not-for-profit home support agency providing services to VIHA and to private clientele. She has experience in all areas of healthcare management including proposal writing, accreditation preparation, and agency mergers and transitions. Since her arrival from Saskatchewan in 1984, Kim initiated or was involved in a large number of healthcare projects involving home support programs. These included quick response teams, live-in-care, assisted living programs, research programs in falls prevention, in addition to the development of numerous educational programs. Kim was also an instructor at Camosun College in the Healthcare Assistant program and worked with WorkSafe BC as a Nurse Advisor.  Kim has a special interest in community delivery of support services in addition to services for seniors. Kim was previously on the FCNS Board in 2009.

Barbra Hopkins was born and raised in Victoria and is a true member of the “sandwich generation”, helping to care for both grandchildren and aging parents. She is very aware of the challenges caregivers have covering all the bases. Barbra is a Financial Advisor with Sun Life Financial and holds the designations of Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA) and Certified Health Specialist (CHS). She also has a certificate in Grief and Loss Counselling and is a CARP recommended advisor.  Barb is licensed through the Insurance Council of British Columbia and the Mutual Fund Dealer’s Association and specializes in being a holistic financial advisor. She comes across many stories of people who end up in a caregiving role either by choice or circumstance, most of whom are totally unprepared and many times overwhelmed with the role. Her role as their financial advisor is to help them with the financial aspects, but many times she adds the most value for them by just listening and connecting them with people and services that can help them.

Janine Hunka has been her mother-in-law’s primary family caregiver for the last 6 years, managing her multiple chronic illnesses, overseeing her move from independent living in Victoria to Assisted living in Sooke. Janine  is the Lifeline Community representative for Philips Lifeline. She first started as a volunteer with Lifeline over 11 years ago after she found her Mom in the bathroom and unable to get up due to a stroke. Janine is now responsible for on-going contact with all Health Care Professionals, Community Organizations and Non Profit Groups to ensure they are kept up to date in regards to the many features and benefits available to older adults and “at risk” individuals who want to live more safely and independently in their own homes. She has spoken to over 7,000 seniors and caregivers over the last 7 years about Lifeline, Falls Prevention and how you can live more safely in your own home.It has been a dream come true for Janine to live and work on Vancouver Island.  She currently resides Langford and she has also recently gone back to University to obtain her Certification in Business Administration. Janine says, “It would be an honor and a pleasure to assist the Family Caregivers’ Network in their future endeavours!