BOUNTIFUL, Utah – A new kind of care facility is open in Bountiful, and the center that caters to adults with various disabilities is the work of one family's ambition and a lot of volunteer effort.
Bob Griffiths drew inspiration for the project from his son, who has been using a wheelchair for a decade after a stroke induced by an accident.
That inspiration manifested in the "Heros for Independent Living" center, a 3,000 square-foot facility in Bountiful with a music room, art room, an exercise room and more. The facility is akin to a day care center, where adults with disabilities can be cared for while loved ones work or meet other obligations.
Brett Griffiths was married with two children in 2005 when he crashed a dirt bike and suffered a massive stroke.
“He had lost blood for over 13 hours on the left side of his brain, which basically left him with no brain function on his left side,” Griffiths said of his son’s accident.
Brett lived in a care facility for five years, and Bob said that while the treatment was good, he felt it sometimes lacked a personal touch.
“He doesn’t understand the right side of his body, so he always looks left,” Griffiths said. “I would go in there, and he would be up against the wall, looking left at the wall, when all they had to do was turn him 180 degrees and he would be looking out a window.”
Inspired to make a difference, Griffiths reached out to friends facing similar challenges.
“I had a sister at that time who had multiple sclerosis and found she was a prisoner in her own home,” said Brooks Gibbs, who is among those friends.
Griffiths said the journey to opening the door at the facility has not been easy.
“So far this has been funded out of pocket,” he said.
Out of pocket, perhaps, but it’s a cause not far from the hearts of many.
“The day that we showed up we had about 40 to 50 people,” Gibbs said. “We laid 1,500 feet of wood floor, we painted over 3,000 square feet of walls. That’s very, very powerful.”
See the video below for footage showing the space before and after volunteer efforts.
The center has space for 25 adults, with one caretaker for every five patients. Patients like Brett.
“They can come and have socialization with other people that are in the same situation like they are,” Griffiths said. “We have enough activities that they can choose what they want to do and when they want to do it.”
Griffiths said if the care center is successful, he hopes to open similar facilities in Ogden, Provo and Saint George. He said he is opening up his facility for families to come check out, and he hopes that it will inspire others to make similar efforts. The center is located at 355 East 300 South. It shares space with Avalon North Canyon Care Center but has its own entrance at the rear of the building.