I'm glad that I came to St. Marys. I didn't like being institutionalized!
I was very quiet when I first moved here because I was scared. I didn't want to go back. I was very happy when I got my own apartment!
I really like living on my own. I like people but I am not a roommate person. I like my own space which is something I didn't get in the institution. You can't have your space at all. That drove me bananas! You can't do much. I hated that.
It's kinda rowdy living downtown, but at least I can get around in my wheelchair. I like St. Marys but there are too many hills because of my wheelchair. Up and down hills. If you don't watch it you will end up tipping over. I haven't done that yet in all the years I've been here. It's crazy!
I feel independent now. I do a fair bit on my own, but I need help sometimes, like with getting groceries. I do some on my own but I do get help. I try to do as much as I can on my own. The workers help mainly with cooking and cleaning and taking Simba to the vet when he needs it.
I've interviewed a lot of workers over time..too many! But if you have to do it, you have to do it if you need them. I get what I need from my workers. - just what I need. Not too much, not too little, just enough. They listen pretty well!
James hasn't been getting out much these past few years. Like most of us he is aging, but on top of that he has a bad hip and high blood pressure. He couldn't walk very far and he lived on a limited income which eliminated his use of a car..he just couldn't go very far.
A major change occurred for James last summer. He had a hip replacement and a mobility service became available.
James is now out and about daily..visiting people, shopping downtown, going to the Friendship Centre and really enjoying his community. He is a hard person to catch at home. Now that is great considering how isolated he used to be.