A Home Where Heidi Can Thrive

When you and the person in your care begin living like a family, when they are able to trust you and open up, then you know you’re getting somewhere.”

Anita has a passion for empowering individuals with disabilities, ensuring they have equal opportunities, and encouraging them to achieve their dreams and independence.

She has 15 years of experience serving as a caregiver and when she became a Host Homes mentor through LSI, she welcomed Heidi into her home.

Through LSI’s Host Homes program, mentors like Anita provide 24/7 care for individuals with disabilities and mental illness like Heidi, who thrive more in a one-on-one setting instead of a busier shared home environment with roommates and several staff members.

Since Anita and Heidi began working together, they have built a friendship and a shared social life. They love spending their time watching TV together or going shopping. One of the goals Heidi wanted to achieve was getting out into her community and exercising more, so the two like to regularly walk through the mall together.

“I like helping Heidi and seeing her progress and growth in her daily living,” Anita says.

For Anita, becoming a Host Homes mentor was an adjustment – but every bump in the road is worth it when it makes a life-changing difference for the person in her care.

“At first, you don’t know that person. Their routine might be different than yours, so you have to adapt while they try to adapt to yours,” Anita says. “But as long as you know, you go forward, and you take it day by day, you learn from each other and put it together.”

As a Host Homes mentor, Anita is able to provide care for individuals who need additional support managing their mental health diagnoses while increasing their daily living skills. She says this has been a critical way of improving the lives of individuals who thrive in a Host Homes setting as opposed to a long-term care facility.

Iowa has a need for more Host Homes mentors like Anita, and she says the experience is both challenging and rewarding for those who have a heart for helping others.

“Just be positive and keep positive,” she says. “When you and the person in your care begin living like a family, when they are able to trust you and open up, then you know you’re getting somewhere.”

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