Happy New Year Friends and Family,
Our family transition of our move to northern California was successful and we are so enjoying the welcoming sun each and every day with the wonderful temperatures. We are now experiencing the California winter season, what this means.... morning temps in the mid to high 30's and day temps in mid to high 50's, and rain about every 7-10 days. Only one more month of these chilly temps and then February will welcome us with warmer temperatures into mid 70's, and then each month there after will be warmer yet. We love it!
Jake continues to make many improvements with physical mobility, memory connections and daily life skills. We invested in a StairMaster stepper to assist Jake on the rainy days in California when we can not get out to walk. We normally walk one if not two times a day equivalent to 2.5 miles each walk through the Green Valley area. The Green Valley area provides large and safe walking paths with some inclines for mobility endurance for Jake. We are so thankful to live in this area as there is much green space and is more quiet to meet all of our needs.
Jeff makes it a priority to get Jake out into the community to make social connections to improve daily verbal interactions and daily life skills of decision making opportunities. It is so great to see Jake's interactions with others, where he feels successful and confident to interact with others. He especially likes the young women, and boy do we as mom and dad get out of his way, so he can have this social normalcy back in his life :-)
Starting in February we will be working with ca dedicated service provider to find a walking and social interaction buddy(s) (certified and trained) for Jake to go out on separate outings without Mom or Dad. This way Jake feels he has some independence and freedom for himself and with a certified/trained buddy close to his age, and mom and dad can experience a little freedom at the same time. It will be three years in April since Jake's accident, and we feel that now is the time to allow for some social independence for our entire family. We are thankful to be working with the Easter Seal's Care Giver program to provide us with some care giver choices and quality guidance to ensure Jake will be kept safe and well cared for on his weekly outings.
To celebrate the welcoming of 2017, we will be taking a family vacation to Maui, the end of January through early February. We are looking forward to introducing snorkeling back into Jake's life and to see if he can master this skill once again. Snorkeling for a TBI individual can be difficult as it takes a lot of critical thinking to breath through snorkel, instead of your nose and view underwater views through goggles. We are staying at a location where we have immediate zero entry beach access to introduce this skill in baby steps so he can be comfortable with the progression from just viewing sea life through goggles, then introduction of breathing with a snorkel, then floating with goggles, snorkel and then trying the technique of it all together. We will share our snorkeling learning experiences in February and all of our Hawaii adventures. Jake will be introduced to a lot of firsts again, and we are hoping that this will be a very positive learning experience for him and to bring about lost memories that he has not been able to recover from his accident.
We are hope your new year of 2017 is filled with GRATITUDE and HOPE to celebrate many new positive family experiences, as this is our family focus this year!
With love and cheers ~
Jeff, Naomi and Jacob Harm