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Gloria O’Donnell
MSW, RSW

Montgomery Care


Professional memberships
• BCCSW - Registered Social Worker
• BCASW Member
• BCPGA Member


Additional Training
• Eden Alternative (Dr. William Thomas)
• Best Friends Approach (Bell & Troxel)
• Supportive Pathways (Carewest)

Montgomery Care

Professionally, I started as most social workers learning the generalist approach which I adapted to suit the needs of the people I serve, seniors.

I soon learned that I enjoy an anti-oppressive approach which allows space for everyone to be experts in their area of knowledge. It was during this time that I learned the concept of resiliency as discussed by Allan Wade, community development, and narrative therapy which all add to my repertoire of authentic and mindful philosophies; while seeking solutions for complex concerns or issues of my clients.

My education also involves the direct application of knowledge gained by the Eden Alternative, Best Friends Approach and author Nancy Mace in her book The 36 Hour Day.

Montgomery Care

A PERSONAL STORY
Autobiography of Gloria O’Donnell

I was raised by my maternal grandmother; I call her Mom.

I was twenty-four when Mom was diagnosed with Organic Brian Syndrome. Her condition is more formally known today as Alzheimer Type Dementia. I said a long good-bye to this lady for twenty two years.

In the beginning I didn’t even know how to spell Alzheimer. My only experience with ‘bad’ diseases was what television taught me about cancer. My first attempt at learning about Alzheimer disease was the day I picked up the phone to see if there was a local Alzheimer Society. The operator requested for the spelling! It was on this day that I began to educate myself on Alzheimer Disease and related dementias.

I needed to know how to care for my mom; I soon realized that I needed to teach the staff caring for her, the disease process. I was also a strong advocate for my Mom while she lived in care. The understanding of symptoms (instead of behaviours) and the progress of the disease became the template of how my Mom died; she died March 12, 2004.

It was during my mom’s illness that I changed careers. I went to college and received a diploma as a Recreation Therapist. I experienced many gratifying moments with seniors but struggled with the oppression that I witnessed. I continued with my education by first attaining a Bachelor of Social Work (UVIC) and then Master of Social Work (UBCO). I have worked with health regions, non-profit, and now in private practice to better serve seniors and their families.