Impact Feature Issue on Supporting Wellness for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

John’s Road to Wellness


Contributed by Rich Stoebe, Living Well Disability Services, Eagan, Minnesota

John had difficulty with his steadiness and walking due to his disability. He began to experience falls. It was at this time that his case manager helped find him a more supported living environment at Living Well Disability Services.

When he moved into his Living Well Disability Services home, the Occupational Therapist on staff created a program to help him regain some mobility and move toward the goal of returning to work at the VA Medical Center. John suffered setbacks, needed a walker, and became dependent on oxygen. Early disability retirement was a difficult decision. “I really didn’t want to say goodbye. I wanted to be around all of those very nice people. I was very sad that I had to stop,” he says. In spite of setbacks, John did not give up on his health. In his words, “This isn’t the end!”

Through the organization’s wellness programming, he began doing exercises in his home and got a membership at the YMCA. The Living Well Disability Services wellness approach is holistic in that it embraces the person’s overall well-being, so John also received help setting up a volunteer position with the VA unit where he had worked, allowing him to stay connected with his community.

John’s commitment to health and wellness is paying off for himself, and for others whose lives he touches.

“I continue to work on my strength, stamina and walking,” says John. Through self-determination and a personal commitment to health and wellness, John continues to live a fulfilling life and make a difference in the lives of others.