Domaine Larose is a residence and hobby farm in the Casselman countryside in Eastern Ontario and is operated by the Prescott-Russell Services to Children and Adults agency (PRSCA). Seven adults with a developmental disability live at the farm where they benefit from the joys of nature while developing life skills and a sense of accomplishment. All services are provided in French, consistent with family and individual preferences.
“We’ve been dreaming about a farm like this for several years now”, says Louise Cayer-Deslauriers, Community Living Supervisor at SEAPR. And when the Ontario government closed the three remaining institutions for people with a developmental disability, Louise and her team had the opportunity to bring this dream to life.
The property, purchased with government funding, boasts fifty acres of land and includes a seven-bedroom residence, a workshop where horticulture techniques are taught and two greenhouses where the residents learn to cultivate organic vegetables and plants throughout the year.
The farm’s residents love their new home! Claude has learned to mow acres of lawn using a riding lawn mower. Norm takes care of the rabbits, cleaning their cages and feeding them daily, while Lynne gathers fresh eggs for the residence. Everyone has daily occupations on the farm; skills they may not have had an opportunity to develop otherwise. In the afternoon, they have various activities within the community.
Using an approach that favours independent living and the participation of individuals within their community, the residents remain top priority for the Domaine Larose team so that their needs and interests are met.
“We see progress every day!” says Louise. “They’re happy; they’re comfortable.”