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Client Spotlight: Bruce O.

Posted on : 12 Jul 2022 | No Comments

For Bruce O., KANDU has been a home away from home for 48 years. Not only was he able to earn a paycheck through the pre-vocational program, but he made lifelong friends with fellow clients including his girlfriend JoAnn, who he eventually married.

“His earlier years at KANDU were all about coming to work, making money, and seeing his friends. Bruce came to KANDU to work but he also came to KANDU to have a good time,” explained his former supervisor, Dana. Described as conscientious and diligent, Bruce did good work for KANDU for many years and kept clients and staff laughing along the way with his dry sense of humor and 100-watt smile.

However, after many years Bruce began to experience difficulties working in the pre-vocational program at KANDU’s Barberry production facility, specifically with his memory. “He wasn’t remembering a lot of things, like how to do the different jobs he had worked on many times before and what days and times he was scheduled to work.  He was having difficulties socially communicating with others, following rules, processing information, and adhering to safety standards,” said Dana. With signs of dementia becoming more pronounced, the pre-vocational program was no longer a good fit for Bruce. “We noticed that he wasn’t happy.  Don’t get me wrong, he loved coming to KANDU, but when he got here it wasn’t the same for him anymore,” said Dana. In addition to staff noticing the changes in Bruce, it appeared that he knew it was time to move on as well.

As client needs change due to factors like living situations, age, new diagnoses, etc., KANDU support evolves to accommodate each individual. In Bruce’s case, his support team recommended he move to the Adel St. facility ISP program, which would allow him to work part-time in a smaller environment with the extra supervision needed to ensure his well-being and safety, and the opportunity to participate in activities during the time he was not working.

The first step of the process involved Bruce’s entire support team coming together to create a plan for a smooth transition. All members agreed that transitioning to the ISP program would be the best move for Bruce, but most importantly Bruce had to agree. KANDU program staff presented the idea to Bruce slowly, laying out the details of the new program and reminding him of the clients and staff he already knew at the Adel St. facility. Once the idea had been fully introduced to Bruce, program staff took him to visit and tour the ISP program. “Bruce got to see the elevated level of support clients receive while working and the interesting and creative activities they enjoy, including day trips to explore the community. He talked to the staff and by the end of the visit, Bruce said he would like to make the transition,” said Dana.

Bruce moved to ISP a couple of days later.  His previous program managers stopped over on his first day to check in on him, and several more times during the following weeks to make sure he was comfortable in the new environment. “Bruce has done great at every job that has been assigned to him. His tasks are completed to the fullest each time,” said his new supervisor, Tasya. Bruce now works on the production floor in the mornings.  His favorite activity in the afternoon is watching sports; he likes the time to relax after work before he goes home. Dana is happy to report, “Bruce is doing wonderfully in his new setting.”