Group Home Living and Alternative Living Arrangements
Two models of residential supports meet the needs and satisfy the preferences of many individuals who have chosen Mid-Atlantic as their service provider. First, group homes typically serve four to five people of like temperament, interests and abilities. Alternative living units (ALU) are smaller, serving one to two people. Group home staff, working under the direction of a house leader, first establish a relationship with each resident and then, on the strength of that relationship, help each person develop a rich daily activity schedule that includes opportunities to learn new skills, work on maintaining skills, contribute to the home through participation in chores and group activities, and relax at home and in the community. All health-care needs, coordinated by our nurses, are attended to using community resources such as local dentists and physicians, mental health agencies, and hospitals. Residents are provided with assistance in budgeting and purchasing clothing and other essentials, planning vacations and long weekends, and purchasing gifts for friends and family members. Staff help residents maintain strong emotional attachments with people who have been important in their lives. Residents are provided transportation to get where they need to go – to clubs, gyms, church, the post office or town hall, family gatherings and visits with friends. Residents work on personal problems and behavioral issues, sometimes in a small group sitting at the kitchen table, where they can feel the support of their housemates, who may be contending with similar problems. Mid-Atlantic’s most recent focus has been directed at responding to requests to develop transitional services and intense behavioral support for individuals with Autism Spectrum disorders. Individuals from Level 5 and Level 6 placements are assisted slowly in acclimating to independent community living by working on skills that build competence and self-confidence, by establishing a support network, and improving social and communication skills. Currently, people with these goals live in two group homes in which special services are provided.
“It’s alright and ok and there’s nothing to complain about. I like getting my nails done by staff. I like having my own room and it’s decorated in pink and white. I’m learning how to do my own laundry by myself. I like the staff; they are helpful. I get to see my parents on the weekends and go on other trips when I stay at my house. I do the dishes and got to go to Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg for vacation. I’m going to a concert and I’m excited because I’ll get a new outfit and get a haircut. I like Mid-Atlantic and I like my job at the day program I go to.” -R.D., who resides in a group home
For more information about residential supports, which are usually funded privately or through DDA, please be in touch with: Sandy Chilton, State Director (410) 497-3000