As a program, we use the term “Creative Independence” to describe the lifestyle that we help the majority of our residents to achieve. We define this term as living independently with targeted supports, allowing for as much independence as possible for long term success. We feel that “Creative Independence” is not a lesser form of independence; rather, it describes the independence that most of us enjoy and takes into account the unique needs of each individual we serve.
Take a moment to think about your own life: can you say that you are completely independent of other people? When going through your day, are there times when the support of friends, family, or co-workers can make your life easier? Are there times when you need to rely on other members of your community to help provide the infrastructure that you have become accustomed to incorporating into your daily routines? When we stop and ask ourselves questions like these, we start to realize that all people are in need of each other to function in our society. In this way, we are all practicing a form of “Creative Independence.”
Some people, due to different ways of thinking and being, may need more supports than others. People may need supports to address specific physical or psychological needs, as well as needs for things like structure and specific kinds of communication. Working with the individual residents and their existing circles of support, the team at Beacon Transitions helps to identify what “targeted supports” may be needed to achieve independence. “Targeted supports” could be described as those supports needed to address an ongoing skill deficit(s) that may last for 3 or more years. Many of these “targeted supports” are provided by licensed and certified professionals (psychology, counseling, etc.) and are outside the scope of what Beacon Transitions offers within the program. However, after determining which “targeted supports” are appropriate, the team tries to help find a professional provider in the community to meet the needs of each client.
We recognize that our participants want to achieve their greatest level of autonomy. That said, ongoing supports may be required to enable the greatest level of independence for many of our clients. The needs for these supports may change in intensity or frequency over time, but many people will need continued support in some form or another to maintain their highest level of independent functioning.
Some examples of targeted supports are:
- Having a hired individual check on medication compliance for one hour per week.
- Having a third party money manager provide weekly or monthly stipends while supporting bill payments.
- Having a hired staff provide academic tutoring 4 hours per week during the college semester.
- Having a hired staff provided a daily check in and home checks for 2 hours per day 7 days a week.
- Having a selected roommate with on call services.