As we come into the end of a really great year we want everyone to meet Jimmy! He is known as one of the most confident and expressive participants in The Arc of the Triangle and its Supported Retirement Program. However, he hasn’t always been that way. Prior to joining this program, Jimmy spent his days cooped up at home, letting his limited verbal skills hinder his potential. He went years without interacting with anyone outside of his family, until he was put in contact with The Arc.
Jimmy’s father decided it was time to seek more for his son. Jimmy deserved more social interaction and some sort of recreation. Jimmy’s father was referred to The Arc and spoke with Michelle Foy, Community Programs Director, who was tasked with finding ideal activities that meshed well with Jimmy’s personality, as well as his father’s aspirations for Jimmy’s future.
“He [Jimmy] is a people-person naturally and we just instantly clicked during the assessment,” said Foy. “We try to find out what the individual’s recreation and leisure interests are and match them to activities in the community based on their interests.”
Fast-forward to today, and you will find Jimmy using public transportation through the city of Raleigh’s para-transit program, volunteering at Meals on Wheels, lending a hand at the Food Bank, exercising with his walking club, participating in his social group, competing in a bowling league and eating lunch with friends at the senior center! At the age of 66, Jimmy is more active and social than ever, making the most of every one of his busy days.
“He’s broadening his horizons, meeting more people, going out into the community with confidence...he’s making friends” says Foy.
The Arc’s Supported Retirement Program is a therapeutic community service designed to enhance the quality of life of older individuals, like Jimmy, with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Whether these adults lack interest in working, are experiencing health issues, or simply lack proper preparation for retirement, this program provides individuals with the connections, opportunities and support they need to become involved in inclusive community activities during retirement.
Thanks to the Supported Retirement Program, Jimmy was able to return to society with pride, self-esteem and independence. His family is in awe of his progress, and instead of staying cooped up in the house, he can’t wait to leave to head off to one of his many extracurriculars.
The Arc has numerous programs just like these! This holiday season, The Arc of the Triangle is conducting an end of year giving campaign to keep crucial programs, such as Supported Retirement, running strong. By giving a tax-deductible gift to The Arc, you are gifting a more fulfilled life to thousands of adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Thank you for your ongoing support of The Arc and its programs - our board of directors and our staff wish you the happiest of holidays!