Frank’s Story, How a Residence Becomes a Home
In addition to Triangle, Inc.’s day programming for transition-age youth and adults, it also operates ten residential homes in communities on the North Shore. The word ‘residential’ by definition, means “providing accommodations in addition to other services” – which to me, is vague and impersonal-an inaccurate representation of our homes. As a Development professional in the Human Services field, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking about, writing about, and talking about the services we provide as a high-level overview, when the heart and soul of these services and their impact is discovered in daily personal interactions and experiences.
Residential is unique to our other programs by the simple fact that it runs 24/7. Kuddos to our staff who make personal sacrifices to be present for our Triangle family on holidays, special occasions, for medical appointments and during snowstorms, to name a few.
I was invited to our house in Danvers, MA to meet a resident named Frank. Frank has been living at his home for 13 years and has overcome many challenges with the support of his staff and four roommates. Frank was shy at first – or maybe it was because I was interrupting his lunch! – but nonetheless, his warm and welcoming smile made me feel right at home.
Frank shared with me some of his favorite activities like visiting Cherry Hill Farms for a milkshake, listening to Kenny Rogers country music, and sitting on the porch outside watching planes and cars go by. He likes good company, and enjoys one to one time with staff and his best friend, John. Frank reminisced about visiting his uncle’s farm to see cows and going to Twin Rivers Casino. After Frank gave me a tour of his room where he showed me his car magazine collection and paintings that he created, we returned to the dining room and began talking again. Frank opened up to me about more challenging times which unbeknownst to him, taught me a lesson in perseverance and positivity.
Frank is a prostate cancer survivor. A few years ago, Frank was admitted to the hospital for a heart-related complication and later diagnosed with cancer. For two years, he was in and out of the hospital having tests done, receiving treatments and taking medications. Frank was transferred from a hospital to a nursing home and was eventually placed on Hospice care. During this time, Frank fought hard. With the support of his staff who were taking shifts to visit and care for him from a far, Frank started to get stronger. He focused his energy on getting better and was determined more than ever to return to his home – and he did.
Frank is now healthy and happy to be home. He enjoys helping around the office shredding papers and takes an afternoon break on the porch for some fresh air. On the weekends, Frank attends community events and likes to dance in his wheelchair. His zest for life is infectious. When I asked Frank the best part about being home, he replied, “I love seeing my staff every day.”
Earlier when I referenced our Triangle family, I did in fact mean family. My conversation with Frank reassured me of the selflessness, support and love that are a dominating presence in all of our homes.
For more information about our Residential Program, please contact Drew Warren, email@example.com