Chris is a 29-year-old man who lives in Hinsdale, Massachusetts, with his with his mother, Sally, his niece, Marta, and her family. Chris currently works as a custodian through Advantage Employment Network. He has been employee there for over seven years. He enjoys his work and his co-workers. He spends his days with his caregiver Marta and at a day program. He enjoys Marta’s cooking and going out with her. Chris has Down Syndrome. Chris receives services through Nonotuck Resource Associates.
Chris loves the music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – the subject of the Broadway musical, the Jersey Boys, which also was made into a movie. Chris knows many of the songs by heart. He watches the Jersey Boys and Under the Streetlamp movies several times a week. In 2015, for his birthday Chris realized one of his dreams and saw the Jersey Boys live on Broadway in NYC with a group of friends.
He enjoys spending time with his great-nephews Sebastian and Gabe–he watches WWE wrestling with Sebastian on Monday and Friday nights. Chris enjoys listening to country music, especially songs by his favorite artist, Tim McGraw. He also loves to watch ‘The Voice’ and ‘America’s Got Talent.’
Christian's SDM Journey
In the fall of 2015, Chris’ family was approached by the Department of Developmental Services about guardianship for Chris as part of the discussion of future planning. His mother, Sally, did research about guardianship. She spoke with Chris, her family, and others close to her to understand the options.
After Sally heard about the supported decision-making pilot with Nonotuck and the Center for Public Representation, she and Chris met with staff from the Center for Public Representation and Nonotuck. Chris and Sally agreed that supported decision-making would be a perfect fit for Chris because he likes to be his own boss, and he seeks the help of his family members and friends in sorting out the issues to make an informed decision. Chris’s SDM team includes his mother, his sister Cyndi, his niece Marta, and his friend Maggy, who also is a Nonotuck care manager.
Supported decision-making has been working well for Christian. He has used SDM to make an important decision about who his caregiver was going to be now that his mother is aging. He chose Marta as his new caregiver because his mother. Chris used his supporters to help him decide which day program to attend. Chris has also used SDM for health care decisions, including making a decision about whether to change the dosage of one of his medications. He was also able to use his supported decision-making agreement to help him get a Massachusetts Identification Card.
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