Emmaus Blog

Clients Celebrate One-Year Anniversary of Move into Community

Emmaus Homes - Friday, December 07, 2018

From a December 1962 Emmaus Messenger

It's 3 p.m. on a weekday, Maureen, Donna, and Elsie just arrived home from the Choice Program offered through Warren County Handicapped Services in Warrenton, MO. One by one, they deposit their lunch coolers on the kitchen counter. Maureen heads straight for her room where she plays a Beatles album. Donna waits for her after-work juice in the kitchen, and Elsie asks if it's time to eat. After a short time, Maureen will come out of her room and pour a glass of juice for herself and her roommates.

"This is their routine during the week, " explains Angie Gray, a House Manager for Emmaus Homes, "there is seldom much change to it." Angie adds that Donna's routine was a little different on this particular day since her sister was coming to visit. According to Angie, Donna usually prepares for her bath when she arrives home from the day program.

Maureen, Donna and Elsie moved into their home, which is the former parsonage at Immanuel UCC, Wright City, in August 1997. Before moving, Donna lived at Ruhl Cottage, Maureen at White House, and Elsie at Bethany House, all group homes on the Marthasville campus. "When we were asked about using the parsonage at Immanuel as a rental property for a community living arrangement," recalls Wilma Zeh, Residential Program Director at Emmaus, "we asked staff who they felt would do better in a smaller living arrangement as well as be interested in living off campus." After Maureen, Donna and Elsie were recommended, they were taken to see the red brick, three-bedroom home in Wright City. According to Wilma, the ladies seemed to like the house and preparations for the move began.

"We were very pleased that Emmaus wanted to use the parsonage," remarks Rev. Glen Davis, Pastor for Immanuel UCC, Wright City, "we love having the ladies in our community." And, Maureen, Donna and Elsie seem to enjoy being involved with the church and the opportunities that living in Wright City offers them. "Bingo during Family Night seems to be a favorite event," says Rev. Davis, "as does participating in the Immanuel Angel Program, where church members anonymously 'adopt' other members during their birthday month and send cards, notes and small gifts throughout the month." Rev. Davis adds that many members remember to send the ladies cards for holidays and special occasions outside of this program. Church member Margaret Lange has learned which magazines the ladies prefer and frequently drops those by when she's coming to the church, while member Doug Brown, who owns the local furniture store, donated twin beds when they first moved in. "The parishioners have really welcomed the ladies and are concerned when one or more miss church on Sunday," notes Rev. Davis. "I'm always asked after the service if they're okay."

The warm welcome Maureen, Donna and Elsie have received from the members of Immanuel UCC combined with the more relaxed lifestyle and the smaller staff-to-client ratio have all contributed to behavior improvements* and personal successes for Maureen, Donna and Elsie. "Some of Maureen's medications have been reduced since moving," remarks Angie. "She also seems to follow instructions better and is more cooperative."

Neil Feldewerth, QMRP for Maureen, Donna and Elsie, reports that since moving to their own home, an eye twitch and unusually high pressure in Donna's eye, detected a year ago at her physical, has been eliminated. "Elsie jokes with the staff more frequently now," adds Angie, "and she seems to learn new tasks more quickly, like closing the garage door by pushing the button."

Angie Gray and all the Emmaus staff who work with Maureen, Donna and Elsie are pleased that they like their home in Wright City so well, and are proud that they have been a part of making their new house their home.

*Language that is no longer considered person-first.

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