The Beeler team was nominated by Elizabeth Galarza, House Supervisor. Elizabeth wrote: Stephen Covey teaches that, “between what happens to us and our response is a SPACE, and that the key to our growth and happiness is how we use that SPACE”. The journey at Beeler has taught us to look at that SPACE in our lives and the lives of the individuals we assist each day. We wanted to see how we could take them from Dependence to Independence to Interdependence.
In thinking about Covey’s first step of being Proactive, we look at the life of Zoey. Zoey was listless and had no interest in life or activities. She wanted to lay in bed day & night. We started out slowly. First, we encouraged her to spend time with her peers in the main room of the house. We let her know it was ok to lay down if she wanted to lay on the sofa and be near her housemates. This allowed us to work with her on interacting, bonding and building trust with housemates and staff. Part of that bonding was learning Zoey’s “language”. By this, I mean that we needed to learn that to her certain ways of saying things were important: “Mother and Father”, not “Mom and Dad”; “Bath”, not “Shower”; “Nightgown” not “Pajamas”.
At this time, Zoey was often refusing the majority of her meals. Rachel Jarrous pointed out that she seemed to prefer certain textures of food. We addressed this with the PCP and inquired about a swallow evaluation, which proved to be the issue! Although Zoey already had gait issues, one night, Rachel and Elizabeth noticed that her gait was more off than usual. They decided to call 911 and it was determined that she needed oxygen at home.
A year ago, Zoey had an MRI, showing that her brain was shrinking faster than normal for her age. One day Rachel decided to use the UNO cards and asked her to identify the colors. She then asked her to sort them by color. It turned out that she loved to sort the cards and was very good at it! Elizabeth also noticed her reading letters on menus and signs, which prompted her to purchase flash cards and incorporate them into her activity time every day.
Zoey’s changing medical needs resulted in a change in day program. She now comes off the bus some days and tells staff that she worked “both in the morning and in the afternoon! AKA a Double Shift.” This, coming from a woman who was listless, is now pulling double shifts!
Karen and Victoria have worked diligently with Zoey’s roommates, Rose and Cyndi on their personal hygiene skills, greatly improving their abilities to better care for themselves. Kim, who is part-time, has put in full-time effort in maintaining a clean, healthy environment. The newest members of the team: Arleica and Indiona are working well with the ladies of Beeler and have gotten to know them personally, thus further improving their independence and quality of life. Despite being new to the IDD field, Daphnis has willingly taken on every challenge presented throughout the year, of which there have been many, and has proven herself to be a true team player!
Congratulations to Beeler House!