A focus on goals helps Gabe achieve independent living

Gabe

Personalized care is our blueprint for allowing those with barriers to independent living to experience meaningful and satisfying lives in their own homes. GoodLife’s residential services offer a variety of living arrangements developed around the level of need of the individual. Each person we serve residentially receives a Quality of Life Plan and an individualized schedule of preferred daily activities. GoodLife professionals, including direct support professionals (DSP), nurses, behavior specialists, therapists, and other clinicians, provide support as needed. GoodLife’s award-winning service models create safe, comfortable, and long-term home environments that naturally foster true community integration, consistent individualized support, and opportunities for learning new skills. We visited with Gabe, a resident of GoodLife’s Neighborhood Network (NN) to learn how the NN supports him to live independently.

Gabe, what makes you you? 

I’m a creator in my realm. I make costumes, props, and an assortment of other things. I’m still internally a child who builds legos. And as I look down at my desk, I see how messy my hobby is – paint has just destroyed it! I also write fan novels of characters I like. One I am particularly proud of is Batman versus Gremlins

Wow, you’re incredibly creative! What’s your favorite costume you’ve made? 

I like my Ringwraith (from Lord of the Rings) costume. It’s entirely made of cotton gauze, including the hood that goes out seven inches from my forehead. I recently wore it to The Renaissance Festival. (shows picture)

That is professional-level work! Gabe, what’s it like living at the Neighborhood Network? 

I moved here right after high school graduation, which was four years ago. I’ll admit, at first I was hesitant to live here and uncomfortable with the idea that I might be labeled as “having a disability.”  I didn’t want my friends from school to know I was in this situation. But as time has progressed, I evolved past those concerns, because no one here treats me like I have a disability or labels me as such. I’m just Gabe. I live independently in my own apartment, and am able to come and go as I need to.  

What kinds of things do the GoodLife DSPs do to help support your independence? 

The DSPs are supportive in every realm, from going with me to the grocery store to working with me to understand my individuality and help me build relationships. They help me define what my life goals are for the next two, three, or five years. We put all of the pros and cons of a decision on the table, they help me see what details I haven’t considered, and then I ultimately make my own decision. Then together, we work on implementing actions to be successful in my goals. 

Sounds like you have some great mentors around you. I hear you’re somewhat of a mentor yourself! 

I’m a substitute youth care worker at a children’s shelter. My job is to help the young people grow and mature, and to help keep them safe throughout the day. It is a tough job, but has its rewards when I’m able to connect with certain kids that have had a really rough life. 

What’s the one thing you want someone to know about you and your experience with GoodLife? 

To keep an open mind and to let people help you. Getting support from someone doesn’t always mean there is something wrong with you – it just means you haven’t learned everything there is to know yet. 
Learn more about the Neighborhood Network to see if it’s the right fit for your loved one. Want to join our team of DSPs in making a meaningful difference? Apply today! If you are interested in partnering with GoodLife to deliver services that support independence in your community, reach out! We can’t wait to hear from you. 

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