Angela has been able to share in many triumphs throughout the years, starting in 1996 when she was living in her own apartment receiving hourly supportive services. Angela was proud of the strides she was taking to live on her own and be independent; however, in the last year Angela's health has been declining and it was time to look at some other housing options.
Angela and her team searched for new housing options that would still allow Angela to be independent as well as receive staffing if necessary. A 24-hour service was something that Angela was adamantly against after having successfully lived by herself for countless years. That's when Angela and her team took a tour of CCRI's Independent by Design Program (IBD). Angela knew instantly that the combination of technology monitoring and direct staffing was exactly what she was looking for. Angela soon moved into her very own apartment alone, equipped with IBD technology.
IBD was able to integrate Angela's needs, while allowing her to continue to feel independent. Angela had remote sensors that were placed on her medication drawer. If the remote sensor is not activated during the time when medication should be taken an IBD team member would call Angela and give her a friendly reminder to take her medication. A bed sensor was also installed to make sure that Angela is up and moving on days when it's necessary. Angela is always able to wear a pendant around her neck in case she was ever in an emergency situation that required a staff member immediately.
Angela's move to IBD has helped improve many of her health concerns she'd previously had. Her ability to always contact an IBD team member if necessary has allowed her to feel more comfortable and safe in her own home. When she began the IBD program, the staff were constantly calling to remind her to take her medications; however, now she's gained the independence to know when it's time take her medicine and rarely needs the assistance of her IBD team members. IBD team members are always available if she is having trouble opening a bottle, or tasks that require other fine motor skills. Angela's IBD team members are always helpful in assisting in doctor appointments, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, or exercising.
Some challenges have arisen in Angela's life as well. Her diabetes has reached a point where she is now required to take daily insulin shots—something she swore she'd never be able to do. Now that Angela has received education and training from her physician, the CCRI nurse, and her IBD team members, she has been able to give herself insulin shots everyday—another huge milestone of independence for Angela!
Since beginning the IBD program, Angela's overall health and quality of life have improved. She is now participating in activities that she once thought were impossible, such as participating in the Fargo Marathon 5K. Angela has also been able to enjoy trips to Joy Ranch and take part in a Minnesota Twins Trip. More than anything, Angela has been given the chance to feel independence again throughout her life, something that none of us should take for granted.
For more information on Independent by Design, contact Tamara Twite at TTwite@CreativeCare.org or 218-331-2021.