The blog this week was written by Allison Hammond, Program Director at The Arcadia Institute. Lena is a woman who lives independently in her own house. It was a journey for her to make the situation a reality because of her disabilities. Recently, I interviewed Lena about what it means for her to have her own house.
A: How long have you been living in your house?
L: It will be six years this Christmas time. I can hardly believe it.
A: What are your favorite things about having your own house?
L: It’s the little things that other people may take for granted. I can do my own laundry I play the music I like as loud as I like I have my dogs – Rascal and Bella I don’t have to make my bed everyday if I don’t want to I can stay in my pajamas all day if I like I can cuddle with my dogs in bed as long as I like (by the way as I’m talking to you Rascal is still in bed looking at me and wagging his tail) I have my own Christmas Tree Yes it really is the little things that I love
A: What responsibilities do you have to in order to live independently and have your house?
L: I have to remember to take my medication. Each day I have a to do list in my mind of all the things I have to do and taking my medications is one of them.
In the Fall and Winter, there is more to do. I have to rake leaves and shovel my driveway just like everyone else. Also, I like it that if I don’t want company, I just don’t shovel so people can’t get in my driveway!
A: What things did you do in order to make the move into your own house?
L: My parents wanted a better life for me. They did all of the work about money and such. I lived in an apartment for a year to show that I was ready to be independent. I also did a program through Interact that helped me learn to rely less on other people to meet my needs.
A: Is there anything else you would like to share? L: Yes! I have wonderful news. When my mom and I went to the Art Fair at Wings Stadium, I met a woman who makes Teddy Bears. She commissioned me to knit accessories for them – kind of like American Girl doll accessories for Teddy Bears. I’ll be knitting little purses and head bands for them. So next year, my work will be in the Art Fair!
Congratulations to Lena for working hard to have a full life in her own house!