When Brian first came to live at an Easter Seals NJ group residence in Essex County for people struggling with the challenges of mental illness, he lacked skills in self-sufficiency and hygiene, and preferred to isolate himself from others as much as possible.
But with time and the intense support he has received from the Easter Seals staff, he has evolved into a very different person. Not only has he learned to cook full meals without staff assistance, but he purposely cooks healthy meals having embraced Easter Seals NJ’s Health & Wellness initiative in all of its residential group homes. In fact, Brian has lost 5 pounds as a result of his participation in the program and was excited to celebrate Healthy Heart Day by having his picture taken to help support National Women’s Heart Disease Awareness Day in February.
Brian has been working very hard with his Service Coaches to become fully knowledgeable about and manage his own medications. But most importantly, Brian has really “come out of his shell”. Where he used to prefer isolation, now Brian has become very social with his peers -- even dancing with his peers and cheering them on at a recent gathering. “Seeing the smile on his face was priceless,” says Dawn, Site Manager of the residence. Now, he is always eager to encourage his peers in many ways and always quick to share his love and knowledge of football.
Brian continues to work very hard to achieve his goals at Easter Seals and at his Partial Care Program. “While he may not have any family nearby, he has a family here at Easter Seals,” adds Dawn. “We are all very proud of Brian, one of many residents who continue to excel in the BHS Residential Program in Essex County.”
Congratulations to Brian, the Service Coaches, and everyone at Easter Seals who work so hard to be a part of positively impacting lives like Brian’s.
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