Driving Toward Independence
Establishing and achieving goals are an important part of life for persons supported by Citizen Care. In Jerry’s case, you may call him an “overachiever.”
Jerry moved into a Citizen Care community living site more than 20 years ago, just after his 18th birthday. At the time, the things most important to him were the same things as any other person his age: to have his own place, to have a girlfriend, to make money at a job that he liked, and to drive his own car.
Jerry realized a dream last year when he purchased his own vehicle – the result of hard work and thoughtful saving. He even spent time with a driving instructor to ensure his skills were sharp behind the wheel.
“Citizen Care recommended that Jerry have a driving assessment, in the interest of safety,” explained Michael Sturges, a Community Living Director at Citizen Care. “Instructors were impressed with how well he did.”
“Jerry is also doing great in his competitive employment,” said Sturges. “He cleans at the Washington Square condominiums, which has proven to be a good fit for him. He has a great work ethic.”
Jerry’s vehicle has played a role in his employment success. He must be at work very early, and having his own car allows him to do that consistently. It also affords him the opportunity to visit family and friends.
Jerry’s ability to drive also helped him through a tough time. When his father became ill and was not able to visit, Jerry used his vehicle to make the 30-minute drive for their frequent visits.
Sturges recalled that after Jerry’s father died, it was clear that Jerry’s growing independence served a much larger purpose. Empowered and nurtured his success at his job, Jerry is working through the healing process of losing a parent.
“When you advocate for someone and they are able to rise to the challenge and meet goals,” Sturges explained, “it’s great to see how it lays a foundation for other aspects of their life.”
For more information about Citizen Care, call 412-446-0700.
“Jerry has a great work ethic.”