LIFE Pittsburgh Participant since 2006
Alan joined LIFE Pittsburgh in June of 2006. He is a kind, and generous soul who is always interested and willing to help others in any way that he can. Alan has opened his home and become a caregiver to friends and family on a variety of different occasions in the past when they have needed help.
Alan and his family (3 brothers and 1 sister) grew up in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and attended South Hills Catholic (now known as Seton-La Salle). Alan has 1 surviving brother, William, who resides in Mars. At 13 years of age, Alan announced he wanted to join the Franciscan Priesthood but said his father “refused to sign the paperwork”.
At 18 years of age, Alan stated that he lost the calling as he “discovered girls;” therefore did not pursue the priesthood further. For many years, Alan worked as an insurance salesman for Western and Southern. Later in life, he worked as a cook at the Grecian Isle Restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh during the day and at a pizza shop in Mt. Washington making pizzas at night. Alan continued with this line of work until his health declined and he was no longer able to work the long shifts that were required.
Alan has a great love of the city of Pittsburgh and all of its neighborhoods. He loves to reminisce about the old neighborhoods as he remembers them. He currently lives in Mt. Washington and has many acquaintances in this community. He loves a good joke, especially if it’s on him. He is an animal lover and has two dogs that he adopted from his nephews who could no longer care for them. Ty, a cocker spaniel, and Forrest, a beagle, provide much love and affection for Alan. Alan loves to take them for walks whenever he is able.
A Day in the LIFE with Alan
Alan attends the LIFE Pittsburgh center every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Alan gets up and out of bed, and is able to independently get dressed and ready for his day. Alan typically prefers to skip breakfast when he is attending the LIFE Pittsburgh center as he enjoys a large meal for lunch. He does, however, love to eat his favorite breakfast (and sometimes dinner) of shredded wheat cereal on days when he is not attending LIFE Pittsburgh.
LIFE Pittsburgh’s van arrives on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to transport him to the Adult Day Health Center. Alan typically has the same driver who knows him well and he states, “She is very nice.”
After arriving at the center Alan typically attends a non-denominational church service which is led by LIFE Pittsburgh’s chaplain. Alan also enjoys many of the therapeutic activities that go on at the center, such as a weekly book club, and a weekly focus group which consists of stress management and relaxation techniques. Alan likes to socialize with his friends at the center, particularly during a weekly men’s group he attends (opportunity for the men of LIFE Pittsburgh to spend time together to talk about issues that are important to them), and a LIFE Choices group where he is able to “gab away about all the things that have happened in the past.”
Alan enjoys having lunch in the main dining room at the center with his friends. Lunch is prepared daily by the LIFE Pittsburgh chef and served family style to all Participants.
Alan participates in a therapy regime which includes a restorative exercise program (the consistent exercises help him to maintain his current level of functioning). As well, Alan receives alternative pain modalities (such as heat applied to his shoulders legs) to help to alleviate pain that he sometimes feels.
LIFE Pittsburgh’s van takes Alan back to his home after his day at the center. Alan enjoys relaxing and watching television as he winds down from his busy day. According to Alan, “If I didn’t go to LIFE Pittsburgh, all I would do is watch television all the time. I love the center.”
Alan makes his own dinner – typically a sandwich or his favorite shredded wheat cereal, “I could eat it two to three times a day.”
After dinner, he typically takes his dogs outside and then settles in for a night of TV watching. Among his favorite things to watch is the movie, The Thirteenth Warrior, which he watches every night prior to falling asleep, “I must have watched it at least 40 times”