About us

Self-Sufficient Seniors offers an innovative approach to senior care and provides the cornerstone for a continued independent lifestyle. Our philosophy of wellness is grounded in a holistic approach, which is implemented in every program developed.

Our team

Our team consists of experienced health care professionals committed to ensuring that our clients are given the best personalized care for their individual needs. We look forward to working with you!

Photo of Karen Spanner-Lauzon

Karen Spanner-Lauzon


Karen graduated with honours from the University of Ottawa Human Kinetics undergraduate program and continued to pursue her passion at the University of New Brunswick where she received her Masters in Sports and Exercise Science. Her thesis focused on implementing physical health programs for vulnerable populations and measuring the physical and mental outcomes. This led her back into senior care upon returning to Ottawa. She continued her education and became a certified Cognitive Stimulation Therapist.

Since 2008, Karen has been working to upgrade the quality of life for seniors in the Ottawa area. Karen’s deep understanding of senior care needs and a passion for helping others lead her to establish Self-Sufficient Seniors in 2014. Since then, Karen has been providing innovative programs that are tailored specifically to the individual needs of her clients providing them with the independence seniors deserve.

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Amii Holmes

Cognitive Stimulation Therapist

Amii holds her certificate in Recreation Therapy and is currently finishing her Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation. She has been working with the senior population since 2018 holding roles including Recreation Manager, Activity Aide and Inclusive Recreation Specialist. When Amii is not spending her time helping seniors, you can find her singing and playing her ukulele.

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Jennifer Valliere

Exercise Trainer

Pursing her passion for understanding how the mind and body work together, Jennifer completed her Bachelor of Human Kinetics with Honors at the University of Ottawa. She started her career working at the City of Ottawa as a Recreational Therapist Intern where she facilitated and implemented programs for people regaining their cognitive and physical skills following an acquired brain injury (ABI) or stroke. Following that, Jennifer worked as a physiotherapist assistant before delving into the senior’s health and wellness field as an Activities Coordinator where she implemented programs for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In her personal time, Jennifer can be found baking, crocheting or swimming.

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Marnie Bird

Cognitive Stimulation Therapist

Marnie brings experience in a myriad of domains surrounding the health and wellness of seniors. After completing her BA with a Major in Health Studies as well as a Disability and Physical Activity Certificate from Queens University, she continued her education in Ottawa being awarded her Therapeutic Recreation Graduate Certificate from Algonquin College. She has worked in many facets of seniors care including being an Activity Manager and Project Coordinator and has grown her knowledge base by successfully completing courses on behaviour management, mental health and wellness for residents, fall prevention and chair yoga.

Marnie is compassionate and enthusiastic in her personalized approach to seniors care giving her the ability to make meaningful connections with all of her clients.

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Skylar Lentz

Exercise Trainer

Skylar graduated with honours from the University of Ottawa in Human Kinetics. He is also a certified and elite athletic trainer. Skylar has been working for many years in the health field. His personal experience as an elite athlete and wellness enthusiast drives his intention to facilitate and encourage others to seek their ideal physical, mental and emotional wellness.

He has experience working with a wide range of clients, from elite athletes to our aging population. He focuses his programs on wellness, functional fitness and strength training.

Skylar is dedicated to developing and implementing physical exercise programs to promote and maintain our client’s independence.

Photo of Yasmina Khan-Poulin

Yasmina Khan-Poulin

Exercise Trainer

Yasmina graduated with Honours from Brock University’s Bachelor of Kinesiology with a minor in French studies. She spent a semester abroad at the University of Surrey in Guildford, England. Yasmina has expertise in gait biomechanics, motor control, and the impact of exercise in the senior’s population.

Yasmina started her career in health care working as a physiotherapist assistant in a clinical setting. She transitioned to working with seniors in retirement communities providing group exercise classes and one-on-one strength-based programs.

When Yasmina is not working, you can find her at the gym, participating in multiple sports and spending time outside hiking.