Caring for a person with a cognitive impairment or traumatic brain injury can be counter intuitive. Innately, the response is to guard, protect and keep him or her secure at home. After decades, a family learned living in their injured family member’s world was the only way for them all to live – and flourish, thanks to a top San Diego neurologist and Cerna Home Care.
Over thirty years ago Michael sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of a plane crash. He was just 21 at the time. In an instant, Michael’s family watched him go from an athlete, entrepreneur and outgoing young man with his whole life in front of him – to a young man with significantly diminished mental capacity, limited social skills, anger, confusion and chronic pain.
For years, his family and doctors hit road blocks in the search for, and the implementation of, therapies and care. Group homes and medical facilities could not make a difference in alleviating his growing unease, depression and aggression.
Michael’s family hadn’t had the guidance to understand the scope of his limitations. Additionally, they did not have the skill-set to help Michael grow in his new world. Instead, they enabled him, not knowing any better – out of a sense of love and guardianship; he grew stagnant.
Shari Wilson, Michael’s sister explains, “Just 18 months ago, when we were lost and at our wits end, massively scared, and frustrated for my brother’s health and safety, we were referred to prominent San Diego neurologist Jay Rosenberg, M.D.” As part of Dr. Rosenberg’s assessment, he recommended they meet with Cerna Home Care as a critical support system and team. “The timing was urgent and Cerna Home Care jumped-in immediately, literally walked us through a very critical transition time with my brother – moving him from another state, a stint in a psychiatric treatment center, and after a turbulent time, Cerna played a key role in finding the appropriate home for Michael.“
Marc Friedman, Cerna Home Care’s Senior Vice President calls Michael, who is now in his 50’s, “my best pal.” Marc’s involvement in Michael’s care has created a special bond between the two men. Michael was distressed over being unable to drive; Marc rented-out an indoor go kart track for him and cheered with the rest of his family as they watched an elated Michael slowly circle the track. Dr. Jay Rosenberg observed, “Through Cerna Home Care’s guidance and assistance Michael’s integration back into independent living has far exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
“Socialization and a sense of self-worth are essential for Michael’s quality of life,” said Marc. Today, he has a job. It is not for the money, it’s for socialization. He is motivated to go. Michael tells Marc, “They need me at my job!”
Shari wrote in a letter to Marc Friedman, “Cerna Home Care continues to go beyond the standard service to provide what we have been praying for and seeking for years – that Michael would have friends, a social life, have a way to contribute, regain self-worth and have a quality of life we knew he deserved.”
Cerna Home Care, Senior Vice President