Professional Neighbors: The right care at the right time

Professional Neighbors: The right care at the right time

When aging family members or loved ones with disabilities need daily assistance, yet desire independent living, it’s hard to know what’s best. You cannot always be around to help, so it’s important to know they are well-cared for in an inclusive and supportive community.  

GoodLife’s community living models center around professional caregivers who live in, by and/or near people with a range of needs to provide personalized support for living independently. These models are leveraged by a new generation of smart iLink technology that provide remote support, oversight, and deployment services.

Every need is different, and finding care providers that intimately know a resident’s unique need is key for true assistance with independence. That’s why a key component of GoodLife’s model is the Professional Neighbor: full-time caregivers and mentors who permanently live in the neighborhood they support and are available around the clock to assist as needs arise. Professional Neighbors work in shifts and are directed, deployed and supervised by iLink, ensuring delivery of the best and safest care.

Living a full life with connected care

Shay Scales, Professional Neighbor at the Neighborhood Network in Johnson County, Kan., lives and works within a community for high-functioning individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD). She checks in to make sure residents are safe, works with residents to schedule and attend doctor’s appointments, coordinates meetings to ensure residents are thriving in a healthy environment, and serves as a life skills coach.

“We want our residents to be as independent and hands on as possible,” shares Shay. “We want them to be able to do their own cooking, laundry and other life skills. And if they need extra assistance, then we will step in to help and teach.” 

Shay sees many unique benefits to Professional Neighbors living and working within a community. “Not only are we able to respond quickly in an emergency, but it draws me closer to my neighbors because we live together. It helps me build a stronger bond and know their needs more intimately than if I wasn’t immersed in their day to day.”

Side by side towards a brighter future

For some residents, it’s about more than day to day care. “Being a mentor and a leader gives residents of the Neighborhood Network someone to look up to,” says Shay. “I don’t just teach positivity and empowerment, they see me live it. It helps them want to be like me or better – for example, if they see my home or office is clean, it will encourage them to do the same.”

As a Professional Neighbor, Shay continues to learn about herself, too. “Continually challenging those I work with to empower themselves improves my leadership and mentorship skills and confidence. This pushes me to overcome challenges as a professional, and a young woman.”

A passion for the GoodLife

“You have to have a passion for this type of work because it’s emotional,” Shay remarks. “It’s personal because I live side-by-side with those I support and have built relationships. I want to see them cook a recipe on their own, use a new coping skill or light up from a word of encouragement. I am attached to their safety and happiness.”  

We have seen side-by-side living and community support services help individuals achieve personally satisfying, fulfilling lives. If you or a loved one would like to learn more, we’re happy to talk with you. At GoodLife, we are passionate about personalized, connected care.