“Rachel was diagnosed with her disability as a child after recovering from meningitis,” said Rachel’s sister Georgena. As part of a close family, Georgena looks out for Rachel. “I’m many things to Rachel. I’m her sister; I’m her direct support staff; I’m her legal guardian. I’m her good friend and I handle her finances,” said Georgena.
After 25 years of searching for a day program where she could learn, have fun and gain independence, Rachel has found that pace at Easterseals Crossroads.
Once they settled on Easterseals Crossroads as a day program, they were thrilled to once again entertain the idea of an independent living situation for Rachel. After years of various living situations from staying with Georgena to living with roommates to living in a group home, Rachel found an independent option near her sister.
Part of what made this living option a reality was technology recommended by Easterseals Crossroads’ INDATA program. INDATA program director Brian Norton evaluated Rachel’s needs and recommended options. “We were able to take smart home technologies and put them in Rachel’s home so that she can voice the need to turn on lights or music. Within the smart speakers, we made reminders to do things like go to bed or start dinner,” said Brian.
Equally important to the helpful home technology, was the practice of living skills learned in the adult day program at Easterseals Crossroads.
With independent living as a goal, Rachel has spent many hours working on home skills. “I like working on my handwriting, practicing my money skills and cooking with my friends,” said Rachel. “Rachel has gained so much confidence in her skills, which has been a huge part of reaching her goals,” said Tara Vajner, manager of adult day services at Easterseals Crossroads.
“It can be very challenging to find something that a person loves to do on a day-to-day basis. Coming to Easterseals Crossroads was like hitting the jackpot, because we had been struggling and pushing to find an activity Rachel would love,” said Georgena.
And both sisters have come to love Easterseals Crossroads with all the doors that have opened for them relating to independence. These two sisters are happy where they have landed.