A New Meaning of Independence Day

A New Meaning of Independence Day

July 4 is typically celebrated with backyard barbeques and a night of sparklers and s’mores. But Independence Day has a deeper meaning for Betty, a former CNS patient who experiences empowerment and freedom daily.

Betty came to CNS in 2011, having endured multiple orthopedic and complex medical problems and several spine surgeries resulting in pulmonary emboli and development of metabolic encephalopathy. These complications restricted her mobility and impaired her problem-solving and cognitive skills. Betty couldn’t articulate thoughts or verbalize needs. She was at a seventh grade level in math, reading, and writing. She lacked the home safety awareness and self-care to live on her own.

But beneath her frustration was a determined woman who wanted to be independent. She received inpatient care at CNS then transitioned into the Supported Living program, where she was provided with a structured, goal-oriented treatment plan that inspired her to grow. Betty’s therapeutic team set clear milestones. In the beginning, she struggled with multi-step directions, cognition, and motor skills. The staff created a specific program to address these issues.

They wanted Betty to improve her math and reading to achieve 80 percent of accuracy for her ability level. They worked on her home hazard awareness and challenged her to become independent of the task list she relied on daily. Multiple strokes had impaired her driving - she took the bus all over town, hoping one day to regain this lost freedom. She had no idea that within a few months she’d be a changed woman.

Betty flourished. She learned to manage her own money, drive her own car, and keep appointments. She reunited with her children and now shares a home with others who’re recovering from disabilities. While involved in so many activities at the CNS residential apartments, Betty also made friends, developed boundaries, and learned to handle stressful situations. “She no longer needs that daily checklist,” her case manager said.

Today, the dishes are washed, the medication is managed, bedtime tasks are completed, and her grooming is impeccable. “We set expectations and Betty stepped up,” her case manager noted. “Her growth has inspired us all.”

For Betty, every day is Independence Day.