My family member lived in a congregate living situation when I met Danny. It was Christmas Eve and everyone had left except my family member and Danny. As I was leaving with my family member, I asked when Danny’s family was coming for him. The staff responded that he did not have family and that he would be staying there for Christmas. I responded “not any more, he is coming with me.” That was 25 years ago. Danny has spent every holiday with me since.
Danny had no family and just a few friends. For many years he lived in less than ideal circumstances. There were times when other residents were not kind to him and frankly just not compatible. The staff often rotated and were not cognizant of his needs.
Danny’s name appeared in the local newspaper as having “unclaimed assets”. I asked Danny if I could become his legal guardian. I explained to him that this would insure his funds were properly monitored, no one would be taking advantage of him. We discussed the possibility of eventually getting him a nice home to live in. He joyfully said “yes”. One of the first things to be done was to create a microboard for him. By having a board comprised of people from various facets of his life, I now have additional people to consult with when issues relating to Danny’s services or living situation arise.
The biggest step in Danny’s life was to finally realize he could “own” and live in his own home. Three years ago he and his buddy moved into a lovely four bedroom home with a live-in Sponsor. The two guys go their separate ways for day programs but together they enjoy community outings including bowling, movies, spa day and membership to a neighborhood pool. Having a microboard for Danny has insured he has choices in life. He chooses where he lives, who he lives with, who supplies necessary support and services as well as “fun” choices we all take for granted.