Margie is an outgoing person who loves spending time with people, especially her large Italian and Irish family. She enjoys reading, organizing her apartment, and volunteering at a local hospital. She is always willing to share her strategies on how to do tasks in a different way. Margie is creative and responsible.
When we first met Margie, she was frustrated by the challenges she faced as a result of a brain injury. She seemed to lack confidence and was afraid to try new things. Her challenges were magnified by her temper and her fear of getting hurt from a transfer or just simply pivoting from her wheelchair to her bed.
It was Margie’s involvement on the Community Skill Building Team, combined with the residential support she received from CLASS’s residential program that eventually helped Margie realize her potential. Margie developed a plan of action that prioritized her goals. She first wanted to increase her independent living skills, learn how to cook, manage her finances, and get a volunteer job. Margie was able to work on these skills in the classes she attended during the day while her staff helped her to generalize the skills learned to her living environment.
While the changes didn’t occur over night; it was the consistent approach by staff and their ability to listen to Margie and hear her needs that eventually gave way to a change. Most importantly, it was the perseverance of Margie that enabled her to make positive strides to a more interdependent lifestyle.
Margie eventually graduated from the Skill Building Team to pursue her goal of volunteering on a more permanent basis. She spent 10 years volunteering at a local library and after a restructuring decided to volunteer at a nearby hospital. She continues to enjoy spending time with her family. Margie is confident in her abilities, is no longer fearful of transfers and is still sharing her suggestions on how to do tasks in a different way.