Venancio

venancioVenancio came to the United States over 20 years ago. He has limited family supports. His son lives here with little contact, and his mother, who declines to fly internationally, lives in the family’s home country. She and Venancio communicate by telephone at least monthly. Venancio’s social network and friendships come from the area’s Hispanic community and his church, which he attends 3 times weekly.

Until 1999 when Venancio suffered a stroke, he had been actively employed since his arrival here. The stroke left him with left sided weakness and speech impairment. In 2004 he experienced another injury, suffering oxygen deprivation during a diabetic coma caused by inappropriate food consumption. Following a hospital stay for the second health event, Venancio was discharged to a nursing home, but lacked funding to remain there. It was then that CSI and Venancio were introduced. Shortly thereafter, he moved to a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) facility reserved for persons living with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI). Initially, there were several concerns for his personal, environmental safety within the two-story SRO. CSI ordered a Lifeline and coached Venancio in safe movement about his apartment and safe evacuation. Of note, he has subsequently used his Lifeline to report that a housemate was having a grand mal seizure and summoned an EMS team to help him. Over time, his personal safety has improved.

Venancio receives life skills coaching and case management from CSI staff who specialize in supporting persons with ABI. CSI’s ABI team assesses a person’s strengths and needs, selects key issues to address, and problem-solves issue by issue, together with the client. As key issues are resolved, lower priority or new issues are taken on. Over time, CSI staff have assisted Venancio to attend a swimming class which has given him strength training and permitted him to reduce in-house use of his wheelchair. He has gained sufficient strength to walk with assistance. CSI staff assist Venancio with his medications, together packing them weekly and coaching him on the purpose of each of his medications. He can identify most of his medications visually or verbally and relies less and less on the medication book prepared by CSI to support him. CSI staff also help him to prepare diabetic appropriate meals and snacks, to supplement Meals on Wheels and ensure that he does not experience another diabetic coma. With CSI’s help, Venancio has achieved a healthy blood sugar level, decreased blood pressure and decreased cholesterol levels. CSI continues to attend doctor’s appointments with Venancio, aiding him to express his symptoms and follow through with the doctor’s recommendations.

On weekdays, Venancio attends an Adult Day Health Program sponsored by the urban county government in whose jurisdiction he lives, an activity he very much enjoys for the socialization it provides. Recently, Venancio has begun spending additional time with his Occupational Therapist in purposeful activities such as walking in urban parks and visiting the grocery store.

Venancio is grateful for his CSI staff, saying: “Everything is very good now. CSI is very good. Before I had nothing. I’m very happy now.”