A new life in community living

A new life in community living

People who have experienced a traumatic brain injury — like Gary Goodman (left) and Carl Cannell (right) — can find opportunities to stay active and involved thanks to the Community Living Program. Pictured with Gary and Carl is certified nursing assistant Lucy Boyer.

When Dave Horsman’s adult son, Todd, suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), Dave knew an institution wasn’t right for Todd.

He was looking for something that would allow Todd to lead as normal a life as possible.

We were adrift. We just needed some help." – Dave Horsman on his search to find a place that could keep his son active

What they found was the Good Samaritan’s Community Living Program. Its participants live in a regular home with other TBI patients, and are assisted around the clock by trained professionals.

Watch Dave and Todd Horsman discuss the benefits of the Community Living Program:

Participants in the program have all been diagnosed with a permanent brain injury due to blunt-force trauma, such as a car accident.

Common symptoms of TBI include:

  • short-term memory loss
  • physical disabilities
  • depression
  • lack of motivation
  • behavior issues due to not being able to express themselves   

While other TBI programs pointed out what they couldn’t do for Todd, the Good Samaritan offered the family hope.

“‘Yes, we can do that — what can we do for you?’” says Dave about what he heard from the Good Samaritan. “It’s been all positive.”

A chance to be active

Started in 1999, the Community Living Program has six homes in neighborhoods throughout Boise, Idaho.

Three people who have suffered a brain injury live in each house.

“A lot of these individuals came from nursing homes and assisted living places,” says director Paul Fauth.

Opportunities to explore and feel independent are a huge part of what the Community Living Program offers participants.

"This gives them a chance to be as active in the community as possible, while living in a homelike environment.”

Certified nursing assistants from nearby Good Samaritan – Boise Village work in shifts so that one of them is at each home 24 hours a day.

They assist the residents with everything from meals, to hygiene, to medications.

Community Living Program participants and Good Samaritan employees prepare dinner together

Good Samaritan certified nursing assistant Lucy Boyer (standing) talks with Community Living Program participants as they prepare dinner together.

One of the most important roles of the CNAs is encouraging the residents to be active in the community.

That means getting them out of the house daily.

Before the program, Carl Cannell would spend days in his room, coming out only to eat. “That’s how I lived my life,” he says. “That’s what I did every day.”

Today, Carl has a different lifestyle. “The outings and things like that keep us busy mentally and physically,” he says. “We can do things just like anybody can do.”

Watch CLP participants and employees on a recent bowling trip.

One day’s activity might be taking in a football game, the next might be a picnic, eating out, bowling or an overnight camping trip.  

They wake up happy knowing they’re going to do something fun.” – Lucy Boyer, CNA

“I try to get them out there as much as I can," says CNA Lucy Boyer.  “They wake up happy knowing they’re going to do something fun.”

Paul says many of the program’s participants were hard-working individuals, married with families, and one day that suddenly changed.

“Getting them back out in the community, letting them have as much say-so in their day-to-day affairs adds a lot to their self-worth," he says.

Dave and Todd Horsman agree.  “It’s just been a savior," Dave says. “Or as Todd calls it, a godsend for us, because we feel comfortable where he is.”

Wondering if the Community Living Program could help you?

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