Patsy books HandyDART, banks, shops independently
Deb Bartlett

Life skills worker Jadwiga Dobrowolski is proud of the effort that Patsy has put into learning to cross the street and travel on her own. 

The worker for posAbilities says Patsy’s results are “a humongous success.”

She is proud of Patsy and the effort the woman has put into becoming more independent in the past two years.

Patsy has learned to book the HandyDART and is able to do her banking since she began working with Jadwiga Dobrowolski at posAbilities.

Patsy, 56, had been supported by her parents and a loving family, says Jadwiga. But Patsy never learned to do things on her own.

She lived at home, and after her father passed away and her mom entered a long-term care home, it was necessary for Patsy to learn to manage on her own.

Her siblings approached posAbilities and Jadwiga was assigned to teach Patsy life skills.

“We started by taking her to the community,” says Jadwiga.

Patsy was afraid to order her lunch in the food court and would not cross the street without holding someone’s hand, says Jadwiga.

She had to take Patsy out of her comfort zone.

“Without mom, without dad, without family, she was terrified,” says Jadwiga.

Since those early days, Patsy has learned how to book the HandyDART to visit her mom at the long-term care home, and travel on her own.

She says teaching Patsy how to be safe in the community has been instrumental to Patsy’s success.

She is now comfortable doing her grocery shopping, and walking around the mall.

“She learned how to be safe in the community, how to keep her money in her wallet. She goes to the bank and does her banking by herself,” says Jadwiga.

“For her, it’s a new life,” she says.

Jadwiga says Patsy still gets nervous, but being able to travel on her own is a big success.

Patsy lives alone, and Jadwiga would like to see another worker encourage Patsy to continue travelling and shopping independently.

Jadwiga says Patsy’s nephew and his wife are thrilled with her progress, and are encouraging her to keep learning.

To comment on this story, or to share a personal success story, contact Deb at 800-294-0051, ext. 30, or e-mail deb(at)