Thanks to Donors Like YOU Jon is Doing Well.
The past two years have been tough for many people. For my brother, Jon, it was particularly devastating. In March, 2020, Vonnie Olson, our mom, had a heart attack and died. 79 days later Pastor Orville Olson, our father, died of Covid.
Jon was stunned by our mother’s sudden death. She died after attending church before her assisted living stopped activities for the Covid lock down. Dad was living in the same facility. Jon and I were not allowed to visit our dad due to the lock down, but thanks to hospice care we were able to talk on the phone. Saying goodbye was very hard, but it gave Jon and me closure. Fortunately, Jon had a good support system with family and Hammer caregivers.
Before moving into a Hammer home in 2009, Jon lived at a couple of different group homes. We were not happy with his living situation until Jon moved to Hammer. My parents then felt like their prayers had been answered.
They finally felt they had found an organization that valued people with disabilities.
My parents were big supporters of Hammer and strong advocates for people living with a disability. They died knowing that Jon would be well taken care of at Hammer. It’s been almost two years since we lost our parents, and we are coping. Because of your generous gift to Hammer, Jon has continued to live at his Hammer home with the loving support of his staff.
Coping with Covid
The folks at Hammer helped Jon get through this very tough time. Jon is coping the best he can. As a very social person, it has been hard. Because of Covid, his outside day program closed and he wasn’t able to go to church… two things that gave his life meaning. Activities and regular contact with his peers are important to him. He is currently on a waiting list to get back into a day program.
The caregivers at Hammer have gone above and beyond to engage Jon with activities in his home. He enjoys doing puzzles, watching movies, coloring, gardening, weeding the yard, baking and helping staff with meal prep.
Jon prides himself on helping out around his home. In 2021, thanks to donations to the Hammer home improvement fund, Jon’s kitchen was upgraded with new kitchen countertops.
With staffing shortages, I realize how lucky Jon is to have consistent caregivers who genuinely care about him. With your financial help they have made a commitment to high quality staff.
Jon has a strong bond with the caregivers at his home. Coleace, Gabriel, Sam, Sunday and Sixxy, take turns getting Jon out of the house. Jon likes to go shopping at Walmart, Barnes and Noble and getting coffee at Caribou. Jon also likes going out to restaurants, an activity he does regularly with staff and/or family. Jon likes to participate in Project Soar events, Hammer bowling and visiting his Hammer friends.
Staying Connected to Family
Technology has also helped Jon cope with the loss of our parents. His phone is a lifeline for him. He has many friends and he talks to them a lot. I talk to him every day for a daily check in. Once a month, Jon joins a Zoom meeting with cousins, with help from Hammer staff, as a means to stay connected.
Jon likes hiking, biking and swimming. Once we all got vaccinated, we were able to take him hiking in all kinds of places in Plymouth. After vaccines, we resumed bringing him to our cabin for long weekends to spend time with family and jump in the lake!
Taking care of Jon
In addition to keeping Jon engaged, Hammer helps keep Jon healthy. Hammer’s dedicated nursing team provides in home care. Hammer has arranged for him to get all of his Covid vaccines and the booster shot as well. Thanks in part to a grant from Delta Dental Foundation of Minnesota Jon has been able to have major dental work completed over the past few years, and he will have access to additional funds if the need arises.
Safety is our top priority
In 2021, thanks to donors like you Hammer installed new stair treads at Jon’s home. They are far safer for him and his housemates and will last far longer than the carpet that was replaced. We both really miss our parents but they made plans for Jon, and I’m honored to carry out their wishes. We had their memorial gifts specified for Hammer, which they would have wanted.
Thank you for giving Jon and everyone served by Hammer the support they need to live safely and comfortably in their homes despite hardships.
Beth Bouman, Jon’s sister