Monica has been at her new job for over 6 months now and loves it every day. In July, she was recognized for perfect attendance again!
Monica is working for an agency that does job training and placement and provides services for adults with disabilities. The agency made an agreement with a long term care facility to provide a group of workers to help the staff with the needs of the residents. There are six adults on Monica’s team and they do a variety of jobs at the facility. Most of the adults are similar in ability to Monica, so she truly has peers to work with. But just like inclusion when they were in school, they are all working alongside the regular employees, sharing the regular employee lunch room and interacting with all the ‘regular’ residents of the facility. So we have the benefits of friends and the benefits of having ‘typically developed’ examples of work behavior.
On an average day, Monica will help clear away the breakfast dishes after the residents finish and prepare the dining room for lunch. She will help with some food prep activities in the kitchen such as pouring small glasses of juice and putting them on trays in the refrigerator or dishing up fruit or putting cookies in baggies. She might then go with a partner to the resident rooms to ask if they would like to join the morning activity. They may help to escort the residents to the activity. If the day’s activity is exercise time or singing time, she may join the activity. On Tuesdays, some of the residents have knitting circle, so Monica joins them. Monica’s group may empty trashcans, or restock some supplies in the rooms. They might fold towels in the laundry. They might help with shredding or collating in the office. They will also clean up after lunch. The services of Monica’s group allow the facility staff to focus more individually on the resident’s needs and the residents enjoy the interaction with the members of Monica’s team. It’s a win for everyone.
Monica works Monday through Friday, 8:30-1:30. The agency provides a bus that picks her up from our home and takes her to work and brings her home in the afternoon. Monica gets up happy every day and looks forward to another day of work. She proudly takes care of her uniform. She comes home tired and satisfied.
We are all so happy with the new situation. She is working and giving service. She has a regular routine. She still has family time. She can pursue other activities, like exercise class now. The agency she is working for has helped her set goals and meet them.