Our Story


Recognizing the need in the community for individualized and meaningful respite solutions, Amy MacFarlane took on the dedication and commitment to creating Recreational Respite. Amy’s passion in advocacy in the health care field and her personal mission of supporting those in care giving roles is united with personal experience, hands-on, educated and extensive education in  therapeutic recreation, gerontology, psycho-geriatrics, complex mental health and neurological rehabilitation. Her innovation and drive in collaborative approaches through business development has lead to many partners in both the profit and not for profit organizations. She extended her education in the area of teaching and training, obtaining certification in adult teaching and training from Georgian College.  This passion for training, teaching, mentoring and empowers others with tools has lead to international projects to help spread the ideas! Amy’s years of experience started in the field of neurological rehabilitation and psycho geriatrics as she worked as a personal support worker. She took a personal interest in the relationship of a bedside role at Bridgepoint Health where she worked as a personal support worker while tending to her studies. Amy was most intrigued by the passion and energy in the therapeutic recreation staff at which point she then continued her studies in therapeutic recreation, gerontology and specialized in health sciences. Amy worked in various independent and assisted living communities, long term care settings, public and private home care and specialized in therapeutic programming for those in palliative and hospice care, neurological rehabilitation and psycho-geriatric populations. Her many roles in her own family, community and public relations, strategic health care partnerships and business development have been instrumental in long term advocacy and empowerment to families to provide optimal care solutions, maximizing support and minimizing dollars needed to do so.

In addition to Recreational Respite, her advocacy for family caregivers lead Amy to become a Partner and the Director of Communications for Family Caregivers Unite! (FCGU!) with host, Dr. Gordon Atherley.  FCGU! is a social media project of international scope that supports, connects and empowers family caregivers caring for family members with special and other needs to tune in to various topics that are relevant to their roles.  It now has a listenership of over 1,000,000 people, internationally. The show is accessible for free though iTunes, satellite radio and offers over 350 archived on-demand episodes, found here: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1669/family-caregivers-unite

In November 2014, Amy was nominated for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards and came in the top 100 out of 4000 nominees. In March of 2015, she had been nominated again for the recognition of the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award 2015 and came in the same top 100 out of 5000 nominees and again nominated in 2016.

Highlights of Work Abroad:
Kuwait, December of 2014Amy was chosen as an international expert in her field and invited to visit Kuwait City to teach various therapeutic recreation tools, techniques and approaches at a day program for Adults with special needs (21+), Markaz 21. Many of whom had post Gulf War challenges: developmentally and intellectually and complex mental health. While there, she was asked to lecture at the University of Gulf for Science and Technology to speak to business students and promote the innovative business development approaches she has used here in Canada and more specifically, how for-profit and not-for-profit organizations can work together to create quality recreation programming.

Sydney, Australia, September 2015: Amy was asked to be the international keynote speaker at the National Respite Conference that was hosted in Sydney, Australia.  The topic was Respite in Canada and it’s successes and challenges.  Whilst there, she also did a podcast interview with Community West (a community agency of home care) in Perth, Australia and discussed innovation in respite and support to caregivers and what was working well in various settings. Listen here: http://ow.ly/TQBOR

Edinburgh Scotland, September 2016: Amy MacFarlane is one of the international keynote speakers at the ISBA Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, 2016: http://www.isba.me/speaker-biographies/

The International Short Break Association (ISBA) was established in 1995 and is a world-wide ‘community’ concerned with the effective delivery of short breaks (respite care) services. ISBA exists to create opportunities to share knowledge and experience of short break provision across international and cultural boundaries.  ISBA’s purpose is to support developments in policy and practice which improve the experience of short breaks for everyone.   Underpinning this is a shared belief that short breaks play a vital role in promoting health and well-being, and in strengthening carers and families.
Presentation is now available: http://www.isba.me/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Amy-Scriviner.pdf

Amy is a proud Mom of 2, lover of life’s moments and is a passionate advocate for many, including her amazing team of Recreation Therapists: http://recrespite.com/about-us/our-team/

Recreational Respite’s Community Partnerships and Joint Projects:

Recreational Respite was founded in 2008, as a company and it’s team of innovative, skilled  and passionate Recreation Therapists, it has taken great pride in the partnerships and collaborative efforts in a variety of communities to bring skill, tools, quality and passion to those in need. Some of our partnerships include: Canadian Armed Forces, Children’s Treatment Network, Alzheimer’s Society, Autism Ontario, York District School Board.  More listed here: http://recrespite.com/community/

Twitter: @recrespite
Facebook: www.facebook.com/recreationalrespite