Stories of Impact
At the Center, David has become more tolerant of animals. A therapy dog named Fred visits once a week and through the frequent interactions with Center as well as seeing the same dog during his time with Friendship Ark day services, David has become more relaxed around animals. David seeks out Fred and enjoys the dog more each time he visits. Staff have also noticed that he is less tentative around animals during trips to animal shelters and petting zoos.
Tammy had a mastectomy in mid-August due to breast cancer. The staff at the site have done an amazing job with the aftercare and making sure she gets to her appointments.
It can be difficult to convince Sam to go on activities outside of the Center building and, when he did leave the building, his behavior could be unpredictable. Over the summer he decided to give outside activities another shot and we started by taking him to parks to ease his transition. This has worked really well and recently he went to Des Moines with some other members from Center.
Becky was extremely sick in the early part of the year, to the point of needing Hospice care, both at home and at a hospice facility. When she was able to return home, the staff were nurturing and diligent with her care; getting to know the "new normal" for Becky. She has recovered enough that she wants to celebrate by hosting a Halloween party. She and her housemates plan to invite all of the sites in the Des Moines/Ankeny area.
William was a member that we recently transitioned from hourly to daily care in a 24-hour setting. When he lived on his own, he went to the hospital monthly for mental health instances. This past year he has only visited the ER twice for mental health reasons and only one of those times resulted in a hospital stay. This can be attributed to the staff working with William, helping him develop better control of his symptoms and assisting him with being able to manage his symptoms at home.
From a conversation with a guardian about our great enclave staff:
Tom had nothing but incredibly kind things to say about both Kent and Edward. He said 'whatever you're doing is incredible'. As you may know, Michael has struggled greatly with maintaining employment over the years. Tom said he was just so pleased with how you both problem-solve (especially in regards to transportation) and how you overall work so well with everyone in meeting their needs and ensuring everyone's learning and growing in their positions.
From one of our Rehabilitation Coordinators in SCL:
My recent moment of truth came on September 4th after I went to work with a member. He hadn’t told me he’d been feeling ill, but as we were getting ready to go to the bank to cash one of his checks, I noticed there was something wrong. He was mellow and walking a little slower than normal. On our way to the bank, I asked if something was wrong - if he was sick or had any health concerns. He simply said he was not feeling well, that he sometimes had dizzy spells, but that it was nothing and would go away. Having worked with this member for many years, I sensed that he was hiding some sort of illness. Just admitting that he is 'not feeling well' was enough evidence for me to conclude that he needed to seek medical attention, so I urged him to go to the ER and I assured him that I would take him to the bank afterward. A biopsy proved that he had large cell lymphoma. The bottom line is: really knowing and understanding not only the goals of the members we work with, but also their personalities and their behaviors is really important to providing care that can make the difference.