When you enter his home, it is likely that you will see Donald at the stove helping to prepare a meal with staff. There is an old adage that good things happen when people gather around the kitchen table, and that is certainly true for Donald.
Donald followed the path through human services, receiving support for the challenges he faced as the result of a traumatic brain injury. After his initial hospital stay, followed by rehabilitation services in a rehabilitation center, Donald moved to his family home. One major challenge Donald faced was his short term memory retention, but did not want to rely on his family for support. Wanting to increase his independence, Donald moved into one of CLASS’s residential sites in Monroeville in April 2014.
As with most transitions, the beginning was a bit rocky. Donald had some difficulty getting acquainted with this new environment and two new roommates. As time went by, Donald began to engage in conversations with his roommates. As a chef who owned his own café prior to his injury, Donald began to help staff in developing meal plans and preparing meals for himself and his roommates.
Donald continues to work on strengthening his memory as well as completing household tasks. Donald’s staff has helped him to develop a daily task sheet to help remind him of household chores to be completed each day. To help Donald keep track of medical and therapy appointments and other important information, he carries a small notebook to reference for reminders. Donald also hopes to take advantage of more volunteer opportunities and become more involved in different social events in his community.
Donald has made great strides toward achieving his goals since he moved to CLASS’ Residential Services. His growth became evident when a new roommate moved in late November. Without hesitation, Donald assumed a leadership role and assisted his new roommate to get acclimated to his new living space.
While Donald is still working toward achieving his goals, his passion for cooking and preparing meals has not only helped him to adapt to a new situations, but has brought his household together and him one step closer to his goal: independence.