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22. A Wonderful Transition: Joann's Story
|In December, 1990, at the age of 61, Joanne moved into Dakota Communities' newly built Brookview home located in Maplewood. Her first ten years of life were spent living at her family home with her parents and younger sister. The 51 years in-between she lived at the Faribault Regional Treatment Center.
Joanne was the only new arrival who was given a “conditional discharge” from the state hospital by officials in Dakota County. Her elderly mother was very concerned that Joanne might not be able to adapt to a new setting. She needed the reassurance that Joanne could return to what was familiar if things didn’t work out.
| Joanne watching the Minnesota Twins|
Three weeks after moving in, Joanne spent Christmas Eve at her mother’s home. It was a tradition that Joanne would go home for the holiday and spend the night. On Christmas afternoon, Joanne’s mother and sister brought her back to Brookview. When staff opened the door to greet them, Joanne came inside, gave the staff a great big hug, turned around and waved good-bye to her mom and sister! Her mom cried in relief. She realized that Joanne had readily adapted to her new home and friends.
More than 21 years later, Joanne still enjoys her surroundings. She likes to go to the Humane Society and pet the cats. She loves water, so visiting area lakes is an enjoyable pastime in the summer. Her sister, Mary Jane, and brother-in-law, Bill, have a boat and Joanne loves to ride on it! She is comfortably retired and spends the days exploring her community with staff. She will celebrate her 83rd birthday this September.
-Beth Ryan, Senior Advocate at Brookview
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