Group Residential Homes
During the past thirty-five years, The United Arc has offered group residential supports to adult consumers who need 24 hour support at all stages and conditions of adult life. We currently support 16 individuals in four locations in Greenfield. The focus of support has been the development of meaningful lives enriched with purpose, relationships, community membership, respect, and dignity.
The United Arc has assisted many individuals through significant transitions including:
Arc residential supports provide each individual with opportunities to participate in choice, decision-making, and planning of the routines, activities, décor, meals, special events, and visitors to one’s home. Each individual is supported in making personal choices and the group is supported to arrive at decisions that affect the entire household (such as holiday celebrations, living room décor, or invitations to dinner guests). Individualized person-centered planning and provision of services enables each individual to determine the activities, involvements and relationships that they wish to engage in outside of the home environment. Residential consumers are participants, to the fullest extent possible, in planning for their own lives. Each individual is supported to take dignified risks with appropriate safeguards. Support staff help each person weigh choices and understand the responsibilities and consequences related to a personal decision.
Assistance and support is provided on an individualized basis and is flexibly structured to accommodate each person’s changing needs, skills, and preferences. The United Arc provides supports that are individually designed in all living situations. In order to better attend to each individual within a group residence, individual plans and desires are clearly documented and all staff are fully trained regarding the individual supports to be provided. Each individual has opportunities and encouragement to assume the greatest level of independence and responsibility as possible, even within a context in which extensive personal daily care is needed. Individuals are provided with opportunities to learn and develop daily living and social skills. Each person’s gifts and talents are celebrated and nurtured and they have opportunities to expand their affiliations and activities with others who have shared interests. Individuals are supported in developing, sustaining and deepening their relationships with immediate and extended family, new and long-term friends.
Staff are knowledgeable about individuals and establish genuine relationships with them that enhance sensitivity to changes in wants and needs. Casual but professional relationships often extend to family members as well. It is evident that staff have a high level of respect for the individuals whom they support and that they share a common purpose.
Arc residential staff work together as a team. They have extensive systems in place to document and track health care and behavioral support information, assuring that all direct support providers have the same knowledge about the individual’s needs and plans. All staff receive specific training based on each individual’s needs.
Vision of Home Life
The Arc supports individual choice, self-expression, and enhanced independence while fostering and promoting positive relationships, personal growth, and expansion of skills and experience. These values provide a foundation for implementing the Vision of Home and Home life articulated by DDS. This vision states that having a home is an essential part of a quality life and that one’s home is both a place of refuge and the grounding point for exploring the world, building relationships, and discovering one’s gifts and potential. Key aspects of the vision are that:
Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment is an ongoing process, which looks at the primary areas of successful aging/quality home life with a focus on:
An evaluation report from DDS in September of 2007 noted that, "Individuals participating in this review were uniform in conveying their high regard for and appreciation of the supports they had received from the agency. Many of the individuals had experienced significant life events over the past two years, which were very well supported by staff at the agency, augmented by assisting people to access appropriate resources from outside of the agency. People that had historically significant crises and incidents of atypical behavior were in much more stable situations. The report continues, "The agency is highly responsive to such changes, whether they are driven by external factors, such an unexpected medical needs, or simply in response to the person’s expressed desire to change activities… this flexibility supports the person’s independence, while providing a safety net for problem resolution and assistance to expand skills and experiences."
Brian Ross, Program Manager
Judy Ingham, Director of Adult Services