Finding the Right Fit

A change in living situation sets woman on path to success Nichole Tappe is a spunky young woman with many […]

A change in living situation sets woman on path to success

Nichole Tappe is a spunky young woman with many stories to share with the world. The most interesting is of her life. A complicated birth left Nichole with a brain injury and cerebral palsy. “I have trouble with my memory, temper, outbursts, and depression,” stated 28-year-old Nichole.

To receive the level of personal care she needs, Nichole started living at a group home. Unfortunately, the environment was not a fit and she began displaying disruptive behaviors, like running over staffs’ feet with her electric wheel chair. Nichole’s mother, Pam, constantly received upsetting calls from Nichole and the group home staff; she was beside herself.

At this point, management of Nichole’s health case was transferred to the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota and Jennifer Taylor, a case manager at the Association, began managing her care to make sure she was receiving the appropriate services. Pam found an immediate connection with Jennifer. “It was great to find someone who understood where I was coming from,” said Pam.

Together, Jennifer and Pam determined that that group home did not provide the right environment for Nichole. Jennifer worked with Pam to find Nichole a different group home where staff really understands brain injury and effective accommodation strategies.

Today, the difference is astounding. Nichole has been in the new home for just six months and has already started turning her disruptive behaviors around. The staff works with Nichole to set goals and a reward system that is effective for her.

Because of the support from friends and family, consistent group home staff and the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota, Nichole is now able to put her energy into enjoying her favorite activities, like boy watching and shopping, and she’s thankful for her first job and the new independence it brings.

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