Meet Laura, our 2017 Self Advocate of the Year!

L Kutcher 1
Laura has lived with her family members her entire life.  Several of her close elderly family members, whom she had 1-on-1 relationships with, had passed away over the past few years.  She also experienced the loss of in-home caregivers whom she was very close with.  Laura continued to live with her mother until her mother passed away in April 2016.  Caregivers had been assisting both Laura and her mother in their home so that they could live together. The caregivers continued to support Laura for several months until she received funding for residential services and could find the best setting possible to call her new home.  Laura’s sisters and their families knew that it would be a significant change for Laura to leave the family home that she had lived in for 49 of her 58 years of life.
Eventually, the perfect new home for Laura was found!  She was welcomed by Vermell, Direct Support Manager, Kathy and Vernette, Direct Support Professionals, and housemates Jane and Kimberly in August 2016.  Laura has transitioned to her new home on Flight Feather incredibly well.  With the support from her staff, Laura is gaining independent living skills and is doing things for herself that she had never done before. Her support staff has been phenomenal in helping Laura build trust, develop skills, and settle into her new home successfully. In addition to moving to a new home, Laura also began attending day services for the first time.  She even settled into a much earlier wake up time!
Everyone is so proud of Laura’s accomplishments. Laura was approved to receive 1:1 support a few hours per day to assist with her transition.  She has developed a special bond with her 1:1 staff, Vernette, and Laura’s sister, Donna stated, “Laura has established a relationship that has made her happy and complete! Vernette has become her confidant, personal helper, and best friend.  They develop new goals to attain and Laura is embracing the new challenges joyfully.” Laura’s sister, Debbie agrees and stated that through the kindness and support that Laura has received, she is gaining confidence and independence.  Laura’s family shared that they are blessed and feel that they received a miracle!
Congratulations to Laura on all of accomplishments that she has achieved in just 6 short months!
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