In 2007 doctors gave Lori little hope that she would ever be able to live without supports or supervision, and recommended that she live in a long-term care facility.
This was an extremely difficult decision for Lori and her partner, Bill, as it would mean giving up a lot of the important things, such as cooking, which Lori enjoyed so much. With few available options, Lori moved into a long-term care facility located outside of London and Bill tried to adjust to living alone. He also had to adapt his routine to include the over one hour drive to visit Lori as often as he could. These visits were enjoyed by both, but challenging, because a home geared towards seniors is no place for someone who is not a senior.
Throughout the first year Lori and Bill continued to struggle with Lori’s living arrangements, looking for alternatives to better suit their needs. The Canadian Mental Health Association provided the answer – Dale Brain Injury Services. Application for services was made and the admission process began. Due to waiting lists, it was another year before Lori was admitted to DBIS for a four week assessment. Lori was ultimately admitted to the DBIS Assisted Living program so she could work on the skills she wanted and needed in order to live more independently again. Admission to DBIS also meant that she was back living in the same city as Bill!
After being in DBIS’ Assisted Living program for only a few months, Lori learned many of the skills she needed to advance to her next level of rehabilitation including community orientation, problem solving and independence with medications. She was also able to plan menus and cook great meals again! Lori’s move to her own apartment at The Gilby Centre, DBIS’ accessible and affordable independent living centre for people with disabilities, meant that she could test out living alone in her own apartment, with the safety of access to support services offered by the staff on site. At first, Lori felt anxious about living on her own, but those anxious feeling soon disappeared. It was obvious to everyone involved in Lori’s rehabilitation that she was becoming more comfortable and confident each day. In a few short months Lori demonstrated that she was ready to move back home, something doctors had never thought possible.
Lori is back cooking meals, taking care of her home, and doing things that are important to her. Even at home, Lori continues to access DBIS services, attending Cornerstone Clubhouse, a DBIS day program, and receiving Outreach Services to work on new goals. DBIS is also there for Bill, assisting him as Lori continues to maximize her strengths to live a healthy meaningful life.
Today Lori and Bill are enjoying life and looking forward to the future.