By Pat Cumiskey, FACES Case Manager in Augusta
Lutheran Services of Georgia’s FACES program works to give individuals with developmental disabilities the support and tools they need to thrive in their communities. FACES client Donald’s journey is a success story, demonstrating what can happen when one person decides to try to positively influence another person’s life.
Donald was experiencing difficulties living at home and needed structure and guidance, so Adult Protective Services referred him to LSG. When Donald came to live with Support Companion Joyce Lassiter in Hephzibah in August of 2013, he lacked some of the basic skills necessary for him to thrive. His hygiene and self-care skills were very poor and he had minimal social skills. In addition, Donald was significantly overweight, due to unhealthy and uncontrolled eating habits.
After her first meeting with Donald, Mrs. Lassiter realized that he needed more structure to his life and welcomed the challenge. One of the first things she decided to do was to discuss Donald’s capacity for exercise and caloric intake with his primary care provider. She also encouraged Donald to begin a walking program at home and even accompanied him for his walks. Through Mrs. Lassiter’s encouragement to make better eating decisions and limit his portions, Donald has learned to make healthy food choices both at home and when dining out. He began to lose weight and, when people noticed, he became happier about himself.
In June, Donald went to the doctor for a regular visit and weighed in at 100 pounds less than a year ago, an incredible accomplishment, and has gone from a 60-inch waist to a size of 48 inches. Donald looks better, feels better, and it shows in so many ways. He is more sociable and becoming the healthy, happy young man we all hoped he could be.
LSG congratulates Donald for his accomplishments and thanks Joyce for truly making a difference through her care.