Pioneered by Pathlight in 1974, Shared Living matches individuals with developmental disabilities with individuals and families so they might live and grow in a home-based situation and experience the everyday activities of family and community life.
Making and maintaining relationships within a family and within the community is the essence of Shared Living. In a private home with committed care providers, individuals benefit from highly individualized, flexible assistance. Expanded opportunities within their care providers’ social group and community increase self-confidence and independence.
FAQ for Caregivers and Individuals
The people we are privileged to serve are of all ages and abilities.
They may have extensive physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, or require medical involvement.
Or they may function with little or no assistance.
Our highly skilled staff have considerable expertise in addressing these issues and have access to an array of clinical and behavioral consultants.
In order to explore caregiving, you must:
- be at least 21 years of age
- own or rent a home
- be able to provide personal car
- may be employed elsewhere
- be married or single
- Develop new skills
- Relationships with family and friends
- Participate in community activities
- Advocacy support
- Medication management oversight
- Individualized Service Plans (ISPs) that support reaching new goals
- Paid room and board
- Responsive case management
- Satisfaction of making the difference in someone's life
Successful care providers understand the individual’s viewpoint, are highly motivated to make a difference in their life, and have the flexibility to adapt as the living situation evolves, as families do.
As a care provider, you care for an individual either in their own home—if they live independently—or in your own home.
Common attributes of care providers consist of an ability to set boundaries; provide structure; be open, honest, and stable; function easily as part of a team; be involved in their community; and adapt flexibly as everyone’s needs and abilities change with personal growth.
Before you begin providing services, you receive six weeks of training, which helps you to understand the history of developmental and other disabilities, your role in establishing a successful relationship, and the importance of community integration and working as a team.
In addition to an annual stipend, Family Based Living is there for you with ongoing education, respite care, high-level case management, support from our clinical staff and consultants, and 24-hour back-up in the event of an emergency.
Bringing individuals and families together is an individual-centered process.
We work hard to match the care giver's qualities with the needs and personality of the individual they care for.
We make matches based on attributes like energy level, personality, tolerance, values, and the wishes of the individual’s guardian or biological family, who are included in the new living situation as much as possible.
We know that care providers truly want to make a difference. Our job is to ensure that a successful match is made. Of primary concern is that care is provided in a highly individualized way. This means we adapt our program to the individual, rather than the individual to a set-in-stone program. And because the care is generally long-term, it must be flexible, always adapting to the needs of all involved.
For decades, Pathlight has developed a talented and coordinated team of social workers, support staff, and consulting specialists who monitor, provide assistance, and ensure our families receive the support they need.
We address a wide range of disability, medical, and personal care issues and handle complex cases. We take great pride in our reputation as the Massachusetts leader in Massachusetts in Family Based Living.
Our experience with Family Based Living bolsters our belief that people with developmental disabilities reach their fullest potential when they live in private homes and develop meaningful relationships while learning to be as independent and integrated with their community as possible.