Twimon Jones was working in construction in Indianapolis in 2001 when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He was just 26. Since then, the disease has robbed him of the ability to walk, to dress, even move his hands freely. Despite it all, Jones is quick to crack a joke with visitors and his home health aide, who has been caring for him since December.
It’s been a long road. Jones spent the first seven years after his diagnosis in a nursing facility, and with the help of Indiana’s Money Follows the Person program, he was able to transition back into the community. Money Follows the Person provides financial assistance to help people move from institutional settings to the community. The first step was moving into an adult family care home.
When that assistance came to an end after a year, CICOA stepped in to help him make the transition to his own apartment. A home health aide is with him five days a week from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help him with personal hygiene, dressing, meals and medication management. A home health aide returns from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily to take care of the apartment, his shopping and any other needs he may have.
Jones could never have imagined this is how his life would end up. As soon as he got the diagnosis, he began reading everything he could about MS, so he was as prepared as he could be for what might happen.
“I lived life to the fullest, because I knew what was to come,” he said. “But in life, there is always somebody worse.”
Now that he’s reached his goal of living in his own apartment, he is working with his care manager toward his next milestone of getting out in the community more. A new mechanism recently was installed on his apartment door, so he can operate the door from his wheelchair. That’s what Jones looks forward to in life now: the freedom to move around.