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AWARE Ink Newsletter

Woman builds fulfilling life with AWARE

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

Hey everyone! Meet Linda. She’s a long-time AWARE resident.

Now 72 years old, Linda transitioned to AWARE around 1992 and has lived as a resident in one our homes ever since.

Linda has an interesting story. She is one of the AWARE residents who originally lived in an institution.

Her sister Charlene said Linda moved into the Montana Developmental Center in Boulder when she was 7 years old and then moved to Eastmont in Glendive as a young woman. Eventually, she moved to an AWARE residence at 44 years old.

Opportunities that come with receiving AWARE services in a community setting include living in a home of choice, receiving everyday care in a dignified manner, doing work that is fulfilling, building long-time friendships, and participating in satisfying activities in the community.

During her time at AWARE, Linda has experienced all of these basic rights and freedoms every person deserves.

Now retired, Linda continues to live in the same home and same room she came to occupy in March 1992. She lives comfortably watching favorite TV shows like Little House on the Prairie or old Western movies, reading magazines, and drinking coffee. She loves coffee!

Her caregivers say she is happy and that her personality has always reflected joy since the day she came to AWARE.

“I had the pleasure of working with Linda 21-years ago when I started with AWARE. She was full of energy,” Residential Coordinator Jenn Ware said.

Staff and roommates call her “the Queen.” Currently, she resides with four men, including Keith who moved in with Linda the same day back in 1992.

Linda is a person who is mostly nonverbal and has been since she was born. However, she does say a few words, such as “tea” or “chair.” She often points to let people know her needs. Linda taught one of her roommates to pull out a chair, so she can sit with her walker.

Donna Kelly, an AWARE service administrator, has also worked with Linda since the day she moved into her home at Sharon Court.

Donna says, aside from the issues Linda experiences from aging, like arthritis, she looks the same and hasn’t aged in the 28 years.

Linda loves fashion and having her hair and nails done – most recently staff helped paint her nails blue.

Before retirement about 10 years ago, Linda worked at the AWARE recycling center and thrift store. She loved going to work.

Mike Kopp, a long-time AWARE employee and friend of Linda, says she’s always been a dedicated worker. He said Linda was often prompted to take breaks otherwise “she would work nonstop.”

As a member of the retired, Linda gets out in the community regularly. She attends AWARE day services where she colors in books, and of course, drinks lots of coffee. If you asked Linda, she’d tell you that her favorite retired activity is going to lunch often with her peers.

For more information about AWARE’s residential services, check out our website here.

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