Fitchburg, MA – Team members Jeff Fontus, Program Manager (right), Bianca McDonald, Licensed Practical Nurse (top left) and Samantha Hill, Direct Support Professional (bottom left) of our new Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) program in Massachusetts’s are living our mission to empower individuals every day in a new residential program.
The new ABI program opened its first house this past October in Fitchburg, MA. It is home to four individuals with an acquired brain injury (ABI), who previously lived in nursing or rehabilitative facilities. Prior to the individuals moving in, Program Manager, Jeff Fontus, worked behind the scenes, meeting with individuals and their families, to include them in the process of building and furnishing their new home. They viewed photos and videos of the construction, chose the paint colors for their rooms, and participated in choosing furniture for the shared areas of the newly constructed home.
The residential program has a family-like atmosphere that is warm and welcoming. The team works together to ensure the individuals have every opportunity to live their best life. With person-centered supports in place that are tailored to each individual’s needs and goals, the team works to maximize their potential both physically and cognitively. In addition to assistance with physical and medical needs, the team focuses on assisting individuals with building and maintaining new and existing relationships, pursuing community and preferred activities, and breaking down barriers to inclusion.
The kitchen table is a favorite gathering spot and a hub of activity. In addition to meals, the group gathers to play cards and board games, and plan weekly menus and activities. The team has begun to notice some very positive changes in the individuals over the last few months. One resident has experienced an increase in mobility, another has become more social, engaging regularly with others in the group, and one individual has been able to strengthen and expand their existing relationships with the additional support available in the program.
While staff and individuals have been planning the construction of wheelchair accessible vegetable and flower gardens for the property this spring, IPPI has plans in the works to expand the ABI program and is currently constructing a second home in the neighboring town of Gardner, MA. We are hoping to open the new home, that will support medically complex individuals with an acquired brain injury, sometime this spring.
Stayed tuned for more news, follow us on Facebook for updates!
To learn more out IPPI’s work in Massachusetts click here