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Brandi, Adjoin Catalyst Supported Living Services Success Story

Brandi is a charming and humorous, 36-year-old woman who lives with an intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, and seizure disorder in the Imperial Valley. She enjoys painting and loves to interact with others.

Brandi lives alone with the support of Adjoin Supported Living Services.

Adjoin assists with managing Brandi’s daily schedule, helps her maintain her home, assists with self-care tasks, assures her medical needs are met promptly and thoroughly, ensures she can access her community safely, and assists with the financial aspects of living independently.

Between Adjoin and IHSS, Brandi has 24-hour-per day support to keep her healthy and safe in her home.

Brandi’s greatest achievement in the past year has been to significantly decrease her engagement in the self-injurious behaviors that represented a significant threat to her health and her ability to maintain her independence.

The global COVID 19 pandemic placed increased stress on Brandi and disrupted her weekly schedule after her adult day health program closed. These disruptions in schedule and unplanned social isolation, for a woman that has difficulty expressing and processing these changes and the emotional toll associated with them, was devastating.

Adjoin staff began to notice changes in Brandi’s mood and she began displaying behaviors that the staff had not typically seen previously. Frightening and dangerous self-injurious behaviors. Biting herself, her arms, hands, lips, and fingers, to the point where she drew blood and pulling out significant portions of her hair from the root.

Her circadian rhythm was affected, and she began staying up all night and sleeping during the day.

She would scream for hours during the day and evening hours as she tried to self-sooth for the losses she was experiencing.

Adjoin staff were struggling along with Brandi, not being sure how to help her. The direct support team communicated these troubling changes to their supervisor who in turn consulted with her Adjoin Program Manager & Regional Director. The Case Manager communicated with the SDRC Service Coordinator so that they knew about these emerging behaviors and threat to Brandi’s independent living.

Interventions were attempted, changes to schedule planned but the behaviors persisted.

Staff endured weeks of sleepless nights, heart-breaking self-injury, and failed intervention to stop the behavior.

At the behest of Adjoin direct support and case management staff, SDRC arranged for professional applied behavioral analysis to augment Brandi’s support.

Adjoin staff was able to receive specialized training and began applying new techniques to Brandi’s support. Brandi learned new skills and methods for communicating and processing difficult emotions.

At the same time, COVID protocols for her adult day health program began to loosen as cases in the Imperial Valley mercifully subsided, and Brandi had the opportunity to return to her day program. Brandi’s schedule was able to revert to a more normal tempo providing her a community-based activity, a change of pace, and new stimulation throughout the day.

Brandi’s medication and medical supports were augmented to improve her sleep and reduce the possibility of injury to herself.

Because of these interventions and changes guided by the support of Adjoin, Brandi began to improve.

Today, Brandi is able to attend her day program four days out of the week and is attending church on Sundays. She has been able to reconnect to her community in a meaningful way. She has reengaged with her support team. She is a happier, healthier, and safer individual.

Brandi’s success has been the ability to reintegrate into her community, control her self-injurious behaviors, practice positive and safe coping skills, and express her needs and concerns by using verbal and gestural communication skills.

Adjoin staff were there they entire time. Adjoin never stopped providing supports whether it be due to the health implications of COVID 19, changes to the condition to the client, or burnout during a challenging time. Adjoin staff endured. Meeting the moment. Thoughtfully addressing difficult behaviors. Communicating effectively and growing as a team.

We are proud to say Brandi is a success in supported living because of her enduring desire to live a fully included life and having the robust and resilient supports of Adjoin.