Now Ted Goes On Big Adventures
To celebrate National Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (NIDDA), throughout the month, we’re sharing stories that illustrate how people served by Mosaic and its affiliates, like Living Innovations, make choices which reflect their personal goals and desires to live life their way.
Ted Daniels, 42, loves being able to go on big adventures, participating in outdoor activities and shopping for clothes—which are just a few of the things that make him happy.
But before he was served by Living Innovations, a subsidiary of Mosaic, his mom Diane Hicks said his life was not as good as it had the potential to be.
Before 2010, Ted lived in a therapeutic group home run by another service where he was unhappy with all its restrictions. “I don’t want to go back there,” said Ted. “It was too boring.”
Diane said his biggest adventures while living at the group home were visiting her and her husband Charles Hicks every two or three weekends. “There weren’t many other opportunities for adventures other than that.”
“Ted was unhappy there; he had outgrown it,” Diane said. “I was also very concerned they were going through a lot of changes, especially with staff turnover, which impacted the consistency of his care.”
About that time, “Ted’s state case manager also was unhappy about ‘how things were going,’ and told me, ‘it’s too bad Ted doesn’t live at home.’ I responded I have a career, so that would be impossible. But he said there are stipends available in Maine for Ted to live at home. He also told me I’d be doing the state a favor, because the place he was at cost Maine $250,000 a year per person! After some discussion, Charles and I knew staying with us was the best thing we could do for him.”
The case manager recommended Living Innovations as the best shared living service for Ted.
“He walked me through the process and facilitated a meeting with them,” Diane remarked. “I walked away from it feeling comfortable and pleased. Then I received a lot of training from them to become a shared living home provider–and we receive a lot of ongoing support from them–they give us good advice to help Ted and provide approaches for things Ted may be having a difficult time with. They’re really helpful all the way around.”
Diane added, “they do a great job of retaining staff. We’ve had only two Living Innovations program managers in the 12 years we’ve been with them, and the same supervisor the whole time.”
As Ted moved home with Diane as his provider and with Living Innovation’s assistance, his family has got him involved in groups who organize outdoor activities, and Ted’s enthusiastic in participating in many of them.
“He’s so active now–it’s a complete change from what he was able to do 12 years ago,” Diane said. “He absolutely loves nature and water sports, hiking in the woods, camping, sailing, swimming laps three times at the local YMCA–and he’s even on their Special Olympics team! He also has a creative heart with his painting, sculpting, woodworking and poetry.
“Now his adventures are truly big! He looks forward to our regular driving trip to North Carolina to see his aunt. We also drive up the coast to see another aunt in Millinocket; not only is it the place you can see the sun rise first in the U.S., there are many places to hike such as Mt. Katahdin.”
There are also many places to hike within five minutes of their home, including Thorn Head Overlook Trail where Ted likes to go sledding or snow-shoeing in winter.
“Now he gets to live with people he loves which makes life easier for him,” said Diane. “Living Innovations made it possible for Ted to have the kind of life we was always wanted him to have–a full and rich tapestry of experiences and relationships. They’ve allowed us to help him have the sort of life we all want.”