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In 2019 Judy Ginter woke up one morning and fell out of bed. Thankfully, she was able to crawl to her phone and call 911. The hospital Judy was brought to did not believe her.

“They thought I was a pill seeker. I told them I’m not leaving here until you figure out what’s wrong with me,” Judy said.

She was diagnosed with Neuropathy which became an acquired disability overnight. At this point she was transferred to Steuben Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare to receive physical and occupational therapy. Because there were no beds on the physical/occupational therapy floor she was forced to live on the Dementia floor for three months until she was discharged.

While making progress Judy reached out to Catholic Charities to help her find an apartment. At the time she did not know about the AIM Independent Living Center. Her landlord packed up the apartment and moved stuff out to the garage because Judy was unable to pay rent while institutionalized.

“After a few interviews with Catholic Charities and AIM they were able to find a nice two-bedroom apartment,” said Judy.

On November 14, 2019, Judy was discharged from the nursing home. She is still living in the apartment AIM and Catholic Charities helped her find. AIM Transition Specialists Erin and Sarah, along with Director of Housing Joann helped Judy get things set-up in her apartment. They provided Judy with silverware, pots/pans, a couch, and a bed just to name a few. When Judy walked into her new apartment Sarah had a large mocha latte from Dunkin – which is what Judy wanted when Sarah asked two months before moving in.

“Without Open Doors I would not have succeeded living here. They also gave me assistance and guidelines on where to go…SSI, food stamps and other things I needed to continue living. They were a huge factor in helping me out!” said Judy.

Fast-forward to May 2023. Judy was hired as a Peer Advocate by AIM to help people transition from the nursing home back to the community. Due to nursing home patients not having their own phone there is a lot of waiting Judy and other Peer Advocates need to do just to have a conversation.

“I love being able to encourage the participants – many of them are bored to tears. I tell them about my experience and how I needed to find a new aid because there were personality conflicts with the first one,” said Judy.