June 26 Categories:

Empowering Individuals to Age in Comfort – Graceworks Enhanced Living

Several adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who live in Graceworks Enhanced Living homes have resided with us for more than a decade. The houses have become their homes and staff have become like family. For many individuals served, that also means they prefer to be able to live their entire lives in their homes and have the ability to receive therapy, medical care, and even hospice support in a familiar environment.

“Many of the individuals we serve don’t have outside family,” said Jack Wooldridge, Graceworks Enhanced Living Services Manager. “We serve many residents for years and we become their family. That comfort of having people around them that love and serve them is important to us all.”

Arminta Gautam and Jack Wooldridge sit together in the Graceworks Enhanced Living Greenleaf Home

Arminta Gautam takes that creed to heart, making sure that every individual served can age safely and with dignity. Arminta has been the group home manager at the Greenleaf home in Dayton for the last six years and has a remarkable way of building more than a team among the staff of direct support professionals — she’s built a family.

Douglas Sword, a longtime member of that Greenleaf family, loved making the staff laugh and enjoyed spending his days at the Greenleaf home trying new foods, completing word puzzles, and listening to rock music. Greenleaf was the place Doug felt comfortable.

As Doug’s health began to decline, Arminta stepped in to advocate for him. And when he needed more support, Arminta brought hospice care into the Greenleaf home so he could remain in a familiar setting surrounded by the people who care, enabling him to live out the last weeks of his life as he chose.

“We kept him secure and happy by providing for his needs in the home instead of moving him elsewhere,” said Jack. “Whenever he was at the hospital or appointments, he couldn’t wait to get home. Once we were able to put needed services in place, we advocated for him so he could stay home where he was most comfortable.”

From making sure the right equipment was in Doug’s room to preparing homemade dinners for Doug and those supporting him, Arminta went above and beyond to ensure Doug was able to spend his final days in safety, comfort, and – most importantly – knowing he was loved.

“The culture Arminta has created in the home keeps the staff highly engaged,” said Jack. “She provides that level of care that really can’t be taught. Her staff sees her willingness to go the extra mile and they want to provide that, too. She’s an excellent example of a home manager who wants to provide remarkable experiences for others every day.

We become the voice for residents when they no longer have that. Doug was his own guardian and was a good advocate for himself, but it was an honor for me to advocate on his behalf. I knew him and his wants and his needs, so being able to advocate for our individuals is an honor.”

Arminta Gautam, Home Manager, Graceworks Enhanced Living

See more stories in Graceworks’ 2023 Annual Report: Remarkable People