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The Positive Impact of Independent Living

Submitted by Sherry Longcor, Reintegration Coordinator

Often in our jobs, our day-to-day tasks become overwhelming and we forget about the impact we can have when we help others. The PACE reintegration team recently assisted a family move back to the community from a nursing institution. This wonderful couple had been separated in institutions for years due to illness and disability. A short time ago a letter was received at PACE that truly highlights the impact we can each have when we reach out to help others regain their dignity, self-determination and independence.

The family writes about how wonderful it will be to be safe and warm this winter in a home of their own. The letter speaks of feeling safe and happy knowing they are finally together. They speak of the joy and excitement they had on the day they moved into their new community home and of the appreciation they have to all the people who helped them put their independent life back together. They state that, through the help of others, they will be able to start a new story that is full of joy, friends and family.

After reading this letter I feel renewed energy and determination to continue to assist others in their journey toward independence. Often, the work of reintegration is hard and demanding – it’s easy to get lost in all of the tasks that have to be completed on the road to assisting someone move back to the community. But when we take the time to realize the impact we can have in assisting people with disabilities as they build the life of their own choosing, the long hard days at work are forgotten and the joy is all that is remembered.

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