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Gradual Process to Independence

Steve In home supports with Reach for Resources gradual process to independence Cornerstone Creek

Making the transition from living with your parents to living on your own, at any age, is difficult especially if you are helping to care for aging parents, like Steve. Steve started receiving In-Home Services from Reach in 2016, to support him as he made the transition from living with his parents to living independently in his own apartment. In 2017, Steve secured one of the first apartments in the newly opened Cornerstone Creek, an apartment complex that offers housing for adults with developmental disabilities.

Steve started to work with Alex, one of our Community Living Specialists, to practice and learn the skills needed to live independently in his new apartment. At the beginning, Steve and Alex would go visit the new apartment every few days just to hangout and talk, to get Steve comfortable in this new environment. As Steve grew more confident, Alex slowly started to add additional things for them to do. “We started cooking, cleaning, to be more independent and things like that,” said Steve. Over the next few years, Alex and Steve continued to visit the apartment every Tuesday and Thursday, learning new skills like how to cook healthy meals using the stove versus using the microwave. Then one summer day, Steve spent his first night sleeping in the apartment, while his sister camped out in the living room. Between Steve’s sister and Alex taking him to the apartment twice a week, this really eased Steve’s transition of living on his own for the first time at age 56. At the end of April 2022, Steve’s sister gave him a one-week warning about making the transition from living with his mother to living on his own full time. Steve’s sister said, “The transition went as smooth as it can be for someone moving out on their own for the first time.”

Steve with sister In home supports with Reach for Resources gradual process to independence Cornerstone Creek

Steve pictured with his sister in matching hoodies he gifted her for her birthday.

Steve cooking with In home supports with Reach for Resources gradual process to independence Cornerstone Creek

Since moving in full time, Steve has really come out of his shell and has become more comfortable talking to people. When he first moved in, he stayed in his apartment most days but now enjoys the different activities offered at Cornerstone Creek including art and Bingo. Steve also enjoys hanging out in the communal areas with his friends and seeing his sister. “I’m close with my sister and we hang out,” said Steve with a smile on his face. On the weekends, Steve works with Angel, one of our Community Living Specialists, and they go out into the community to enjoy movies, visit coffee shops and the mall.

In addition to enjoying lots of different social activities, Steve has been focusing on cooking low-sodium meals and exercising. Prior to moving in, Steve would walk about 600 – 1,000 steps a day. Over the past two years, Steve has almost tripled that to over 2,500 steps daily and recently hit 4,000 steps for three days in a row. Wow! Steve enjoys a variety of places to get his steps including the gym in his apartment complex, an outdoor courtyard, visiting malls and the grocery store. Going hand-in-hand with walking, Steve has also adopted a low-sodium diet. He said, “I cook lasagna, casseroles, and fish. But I’m still practicing.” Alex said Steve has done an excellent job learning new recipes and avoiding the temptation of high sodium foods especially when he goes out to eat.

What does Steve like best about living on his own? “I can do what I want. Don’t have to take care of other people and everything.” Living on his own, Steve is thriving and enjoying the opportunity to focus on himself and his well-being. As Steve continues to gain confidence, he has his sights set on achieving a few goals which include keeping his apartment clean, continuing to exercise and eat healthy meals. We have no doubt Steve will continue to thrive living on his own!