Testimonial: Richard

Maison Shalom is a home. The philosophy is to celebrate life and enjoy the pleasure it can bring regardless of ability and background in a safe and secure environment.

Our son Richard was born in 1990. He’ll be 24 next week.  We were floating with joy when he was born. Within a few months of his birth, we realized that he had significant developmental delays and began the journey to doctors, therapists, more doctors and anybody who could help us learn what was different about him and how to cure it. It was not the child rearing we expected to encounter.

Eventually, we got a diagnosis that basically said that Richard will be developmentally delayed in all areas and that he was otherwise perfectly healthy and in fact, according to us, healthier than the average child.  There would be no miracle cure, only small steps in the development process and everyday he would fall behind kids his age. What he never was, was toilet trained, able to speak, or run like normal kids. Richard is loving, engaging, friendly and takes life as it comes. He became the personality we would all like to be. To meet him, is to be smitten by him, just ask all the caregivers who have helped him over the years.

By the time Richard was about 10, we knew that one day we would not be able to look after him at home and we needed to find a place (in a few years) that would give him the homelike atmosphere and superior care that he needed and deserved. We also wanted to find a place where we knew he was safe and secure.

Fortunately, Shelley (my wife) was very proactive in this quest and researched all the possible situations that we might accept. One of the places she discovered was Treiser Maison Shalom. It has the group home model which simply means there are many permanent residents and staff to look after them as well as respite guests who can spend an evening, a weekend or just a few hours during the day. The permanent residents all have Special Needs, although each resident has different requirements and variable disabilities including intellectual and or physical ones.

At first, Richard was a respite guest and we were able to get a feel for the staff, the set up and how he would adapt to this situation. He thrived! With his charm and warmth, all of the staff became endeared to him and he to them. Many of the staff have been there since the opening of the home almost 25 years ago. They are the angels that we constantly marvel at in the care and commitment they show to each resident (and each other) every day.

After a few long weekend visits and then a 2 week stay, we knew this was the place for him. Shelley and I sleep well every night knowing that Richard, who is now a permanent resident, is so well looked after by the amazing dedicated staff. Even when the fire occurred, all the residents were safely evacuated and comforted in every way possible.

Richard has been living in Maison Shalom for over 10 years. He has been cared for in the most positive way imaginable. All the residents and respite visitors have had exceptional care in our 2 homes during all kinds of situations from the fire mentioned previously, to hospital visits, recreational programs, holiday celebrations and birthdays. Every resident gets a special party for their birthday and all the major holidays are celebrated. Maison Shalom is a home. The philosophy is to celebrate life and enjoy the pleasure it can bring regardless of ability and background.

We do not know where our family would be without this amazing place, and we don’t know where we would all be without the support of community. Maison Shalom is a special place, but if you really want to see what it’s about, call us and we will personally take you there to meet the staff and residents. It will be an uplifting experience.

Shelley and George