Wheelchair friendly shared living home needed in Berkshires. Frame is black with orange, green, and blue circles.

Spread the word- Pathlight has a new Shared Living opportunity in the Berkshires!

For those that aren’t aware, Shared Living is a service model in which an individual with developmental disabilities moves in with a person, couple, or family. The Care Providers receive a tax-free stipend and the knowledge they are making a positive difference in the lives of others, while the individuals can live and grow in a home-based situation and experience the everyday activities of family and community life. A WIN-WIN SCENARIO!

For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call the woman who is currently looking for a new home “E.”. What kind of household would be a good fit for her? Check out the Q&A section below to find out!

  • WHERE IS E. LOOKING TO LIVE?: As she already has established connections to her current area, we are ONLY looking at houses located in Berkshire County for E. specifically (though we do have other individuals looking for homes in other counties).
  • OUR SPARE BEDROOM IS ON THE 2ND FLOOR. WILL THAT BE AN ISSUE?:  E. uses a wheelchair and is non-ambulatory, so her Care Provider’s house will need to have a first floor bedroom, as well as a ramp at the entrance so she can access the home.
  • I HAVE CHILDREN. DOES E. CARE ABOUT THAT?: Not at all! E. has previously lived in homes with and without children and has done well in both environments.
  • WHAT ABOUT PETS?: E. hasn’t ever had an issue with pets in the past.
  • CAN I WORK WHILE BEING A CARE PROVIDER?: Yes, we have Care Providers that have full or part time jobs. E. attends a community based day program 5 days a week, so it is not necessary for her Care Provider to be home all the time.
  • DO I NEED TO HELP WITH TRANSPORTATION?: All Care Providers should be willing and able to help with transportation needs when necessary; however, E.’s day program DOES provide rides to and from the site. Additionally, E. has a wheelchair van provided by Pathlight that her Care Provider would get to use for her when going to other destinations.
  • DOES E. NEED SUPPORT WITH PERSONAL CARE?: Yes, she does. In addition to being in a wheelchair, E. has limited use of her body due to Cerebral Palsy, so she will need full support with her Activities of Daily Living (showering, dressing, brushing teeth, etc.).
  • WHAT OTHER SUPPORT WILL SHE NEED? E. is someone who will need prompts. Additionally, as she also has some anxiety and can feel very deeply, Care Providers will need to provide reassurance, emotional support, and/or redirect her to help calm E. down if she gets overwhelmed (which works pretty well).
  • CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT HER PERSONALITY? There are so many good things to share! E. is a loving, caring, smart, and sweet woman. She is articulate and is able to advocate for herself. What’s more, she also has a good sense of humor!
  • WHAT DOES SHE LIKE TO DO FOR FUN? E. likes being active in the community and is happy to go anywhere. She really loves to spend time with her Care Providers/their family and ultimately finds joy in just being included. E. enjoys and appreciates participating in the simple experiences of home life – like watching someone cook in the kitchen for example! Additionally, E. will use her IPAD and watch TV for entertainment or to unwind.

Ideal candidates for Care Providers would have skills in working with individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities (though not required), be able to establish clear and consistent routines, set reasonable limits, and provide structure. Best matches for E. specifically would be those who are patient, kind, have a calming presence, and are active in their community.  In addition to receiving an annual and generous TAX-FREE stipend, Care Providers for this rewarding opportunity are given training, case management supports, and respite.

If interested, call 413-731-4548, email Info@PathlightGroup.org, or visit https://pathlightgroup.org/programs-and-services/shared-living/ and fill out a Shared Living Interest form!

Lastly, on behalf of E. and Pathlight’s team, we ask you to please consider sharing this opportunity to others!