A Bigger Smile
The smile on Dwayne’s face says a lot. It’s an infectious smile that is indicative of his quality of life these days.
Dwayne, who is 25, lives in Cape Coral, FL, with his shared living provider. LifeShare’s shared living program pairs individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who are unable to live alone, with people who are willing and able to care for, teach and live with them in a family setting. The result is a “win” for everyone.
Nicole Wise, LifeShare Residential Provider Specialist who works with Dwayne, explains that Dwayne has been with his current provider, who preferred to remain anonymous for this article, for about six years.
“He came from a situation where the quality of life was not good,” Nicole says. “He lived in poor conditions and did not eat nutritious meals, and his current situation is an ‘upgrade’ anyone would love.”
Nicole refers to the deep caring Dwayne is shown, the beautiful home and the family trips each summer in which he participates.
Dwayne enjoys going to Disney World and fishing. Nicole explains, “He also loves music and video games, and is lucky enough now to have a lot of material things.” But those aren’t what make Dwayne’s quality of life so fantastic.
“They really care for him,” Nicole says of his shared living family. “He has learned independence and has choices that he didn’t have in the past.”
Dwayne enjoys bowling with his friends during his independent time, and though he has occasional behavioral issues, he and his provider work through them.
Dwayne’s provider has worked with individuals with IDD previously but this is the first shared living arrangement he has had. Nicole says, “He wanted to affect someone’s life.”
You can tell by Dwayne’s smile that he has succeeded.
To learn more about shared living services offered by LifeShare, click here. If you would like to explore the possibility of becoming a shared living provider, please complete our brief questionnaire and a representative will contact you.