Promoting meaningful relationships & community integration by matching caretakers in private homes with those with varying disabilities.
Specialized Home Care - a division of The Association For Community Living - has been noted as a leader in its field since 1974, when it developed the first Shared Living model in Massachusetts. The program offers support to adults who have a wide range of disability, medical and personal care issues, including those with complex needs. Individuals are paired in meaningful, lasting relationships in a family or family-like setting, and they lead traditional lives, far richer than what they would experience in an institutional setting. Likewise, caretakers’ lives are enriched; one says, “I don’t know if I taught him - or he taught me - the most about life.”
Whether individuals served have complex needs or function with little or no assistance, the Specialized Home Care division carefully links providers in the program with individuals whose interests and needs are closely aligned. Two examples of a great match can be found in 83-year-old Bill Miller, who lives with his care provider in Springfield, and Cecile Gagnon, who lives with a family in Southwick. Bill and Cecile both spent many years at Belchertown State School and in other institutions before moving into a private home, where they experience gifts of life that many take for granted – shopping trips, family dinners and vacations, and neighborhood walks.
How You Can Help
Specialized Home Care provides compassionate, individualized care as well as funding to support that care. Your contribution on Valley Gives Day will ensure that more individuals like Bill and Cecile can be removed from institutions and paired with caring individuals in a home-like setting. Says Bill, “It’s more like a home here.”
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