Offering Quality of Life in Daytona Beach
Dec 14, 2016 Patient Experience
The Brooks Rehabilitation Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program celebrated its 10th anniversary this year by expanding its services from Jacksonville to Daytona Beach. Their first priority was finding the right person to lead the expansion. Darren Aliment was the perfect fit.
Darren believes everyone deserves the best quality of life whether you are in a wheelchair, a walker or walking. After 26 years as a recreational therapist in the Seattle area, he made the decision to move across the country to be part of the Brooks family.
“At the end of my first interview, I was told that they thought I would be a great addition to the family and that meant a lot. I needed to be part of an organization that puts the client or patient first. The fact that Brooks is offering this program free to the community showed me they care about each individual,” said Darren.
Since arriving in Daytona Beach, Darren has spent a lot of his time educating. There were really no established adaptive programs in the area so he spends time getting the word out to potential members and partners. He started by visiting a wheelchair tennis group in Port Orange. After hearing about Brooks and Darren’s commitment to the program, their coach, Nancy Olsen, wanted their group to be a part of Brooks and volunteered to coach. She and Darren then partnered with Easter Seals Florida to provide wheelchairs for individuals who would like to participate.
Darren also developed a partnership with the Halifax Rowing Association. Participants began on indoor rowing machines and then, for those who chose to, moved to rowing on the water.
The Daytona program is trying to mirror the established program in Jacksonville while also doing their best to meet the needs of the population in that area. Similar to Jacksonville, participants can go bowling on Friday evenings and will soon be able to play billiards on alternating Fridays. Darren also hopes to introduce fishing to his participants since that is very popular in the Daytona Beach community.
The Adaptive Sports participants from both Daytona and Jacksonville also join together for special events each year like water skiing in Winter Park and horseback riding in St. Augustine. Six members of the Daytona group will be participating for the first time in the Southern Sprints, an indoor rowing completion held in January.
“I will bend over backwards for our participants because I believe this program is an important part in helping them believe they can recover,” said Darren. He is looking forward to providing new opportunities, partnerships and experiences for participants in 2017.