Home is Where the Comfort Is
February 26, 2016
Posted in: Uncategorized
Tim Vankoughnett is an integral part of the community of Parry Sound. If you haven’t seen him at the Bobby Orr Community Centre, Harvest Share, The Salvation Army, Pet Value or the Legion, you may know him simply from seeing him walking along the street to Tim Hortons or the Fire Hall. Tim was born and raised in the Parry Sound area and is proud to call it home.
A number of years ago Tim began wanting more than just a home community. He wanted a home. Of course he had a wonderful home with his parents out of town but he wanted to be like everyone else and move out of his parents’ home, to be an independent man. He also wanted to live in town where he could walk and access all of the activities and volunteer opportunities that he enjoys so much. The quest began to help Tim find a home of his choice, where he felt at home and included. He did not want to live alone and he did not want to have a roommate. He wanted to live with people and feel like part of a family.
The Community Living Parry Sound (CLPS) Family Home Program was the perfect answer. After much time and consideration, Tim has found a new home.
His Family Home providers, Anna Marie and Perry Harris, are delighted to have him as a part of their family. They were essentially empty nesters and saw this as a new phase in their lives. The recent move was a seamless transition for all.
The Harris family had supported Tim through the CLPS Respite Program prior to inviting him to live with them. This gave them the opportunity to get to know Tim really well. They learned what is important to Tim, what makes him happy and how to support him best when needed. When they were approached about having Tim move in full time they knew that he would fit right in. There was some concern about managing work schedules and how it would all work logistically. In the end, they mulled it over for merely a weekend and decided that it was what they wanted to do.
“Having Tim in our home is not like having and extra person or extra work, he is a part of our family. We never have to consider where he will go when we go to family events because it is just understood that he goes with us. Our family loves him and have all embraced him with open arms”, says Perry.
Tim has in turn come to know the Harris’ well. He has picked up their routine and taken it upon himself to take on some of the household chores. He helps with the animals, meals and follows a daily routine right along with the family. He has a very busy schedule outside of the house as well, which is really helpful in terms of managing schedules. Tim does not use words to communicate but the smiles on his face say it all. He is very content in his new home.
For the Harris family, “it is very rewarding” says Anna Marie. “If other families are thinking about doing Family Home I would suggest trying Respite first because compatibility is very important.” Perry mentions “keeping open lines of communication is essential, we communicate with Tim’s mother and support staff regularly and they are always available if we have any questions or concerns.”
No matter where a person lives it is vitally important to be comfortable and feel at home. Being at home is having your own space, your own routine, your own possessions and people around you that make you feel comfortable, welcome and included.
Tim has found that with the Harris family. He is not someone they simply care for, he has his own space throughout the home, he has a favorite chair, he has his own bedroom with photos of family and possessions that mean so much to him proudly displayed. He participates in everything that happens in the home, from Sunday family dinners to making lunches for work.
Anna Marie, Perry and their family have welcomed Tim and they include him in all aspects of their family life without question. He is now a part of their family and they can’t imagine him not being there.
Now that truly defines “Family Home”.
By Barb Swartz-Biscaro
If you are interested in more information about the Family Home or Respite Programs delivered by Community Living Parry Sound please call (705)746-9330 to inquire.