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CG's almost 8 months out

April 25, 2016
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CG (a male resident I call computer guy) moved out of the facility at the end of July. He lived here for almost three years. Home Choice (state agency) assisted him and subsidized his move. We residents here watched CG prepare twice to move out only to receive a call at the last minute canceling it. The third time, he did move out. 

Within a month or so, he had a job. He worked full-time as a contract laborer for an auto parts manufacturer. CG's guardian felt the job was too stressful. But, CG wanted a job that paid well and seemed pleased.

At first someone brought him to visit his girlfriend, a resident here I call Mindy (pseudonym). Friends of hers took her to see CG. A few weeks after he began working, he bought a car without his guardian's permission. The car was returned and CG was dejected. I reminded him to be patient. But he assured me he needed a vehicle.

A few weeks later because he was still working and getting overtime, his guardian told him he could purchase a used car. After that, he came to visit Mindy every weekend.

CG's job kept him moving and he lost weight. I knew that would help his diabetes. But I saw on his Facebook that he frequently indulged in pizza and other high calorie foods. I realized that freedom requires responsibility and discipline.

CG complained that he was not thrilled with his apartment complex because it was a bit rundown and there were drug dealers. But he was locked into a one-year lease and could not go elsewhere.

After three or four months, CG's routine became visiting and going out with Mindy every weekend. Several times she stayed overnight. One Monday after Mindy returned, I asked how their weekend was. Somewhat dismayed, Mindy said part of each day was spent in the ER because of CG's shoulder and leg pain. That is the first time I heard CG was having physical discomfort.

Around Christmas time CG told me the wood step into his apartment was broken. I told him he needed to contact Home Choice and his landlord and be vigilant. On CG's next visit I asked about his front step. But he downplayed it, acting as though it had been fixed.

A couple of months ago CG was constantly on his cell phone when he picked up Mindy. Though he was glued to his laptop while he was here, I thought a constantly alerting phone could be nerve-racking.

Then, Mindy said CG was being impulsive. He wanted to drive some friends to vacation in the South and return the next day. He did not seem to consider his physical problems and how tired a trip could make him. He and Mindy were on the outs and he was quite down. Ironically, two weeks earlier he reached a two-year goal. He was employed full-time with benefits at the auto parts manufacturer where he worked over three years before.

Soon after CG's Facebook posts became alarming. He was evaluated in the hospital and was released to his apartment on medical leave. He shared his frustration of being unable to work on Facebook. Through the help of friends, he was hospitalized again for a longer evaluation.

CG was out in the community just under eight months. I am sorry about his setback but I am glad he is safe. Perhaps he pushed himself a bit too much. CG talked about the loneliness he felt after moving out. Unfortunately, there is not always a person available to vent to when life becomes stressful.

I hope CG can get the assistance he needs to properly adjust back into the community. If that is not possible, I hope he will not be too hard on himself for taking a chance.



Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...