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For families of adult children with disabilities, the path to adulthood and independence is often complex. For Sandhya and her son, Kunal, the decision to participate in Shared Living was the result of careful consideration and extensive reflection.

When deciding whether to join Advocates' Shared Living program, Kunal and his mother had many questions and criteria:

Would Kunal’s caregiver’s lifestyle and values complement their own? Would a caregiver have enough time and energy to care for someone new in their home? What motivated the caregiver to participate in Shared Living, and how invested were they in cultivating a deep connection? And, most importantly, how did Kunal feel after spending time with them?

Fortunately, two years ago, they found exactly the right fit in his caregiver, Rebecca. Rebecca and Kunal share many interests, and this has allowed them to develop a particular bond. They sing, dance, and go for walks together. They do joint workouts at the YMCA. They go shopping, work on puzzles, and play card games. When asked about Rebecca, Sandhya and Kunal’s description is glowing: “Rebecca is loving, caring, compassionate, intuitive, and incredibly nurturing.”

This special bond has helped Kunal to thrive, according to Sandhya. “Shared Living has given Kunal the independence he needs to spread his wings and fly from his nest and comfort zone, both literally and figuratively. It has given him the opportunity to work on life skills, interpersonal relationships, and learn how to navigate life in general."

Sandhya encourages other parents considering Shared Living to honor their intuition and empower their child: “Go with your gut instincts and let your adult child lead the way.”

Whether you are considering next steps for an adult child with a disability or thinking about rewarding ways to make a difference, Shared Living may be the right fit for you. For more information about the program and about eligibility, click here.