Adam and Jesse are brothers who have resided in Passavant Memorial Homes residential program since 2006. Living at PMH has given the brothers an opportunity to live together and have a close family bond. Adam and Jesse enjoy a variety of activities at home such as electronics, riding bikes in the community, taking walks in the neighborhood. They also enjoy many community activities such as going out to eat, going to malls and parks. Adam and Jesse also enjoy vacations and have recently been to Hershey, Pa, Erie, Pa, and have taken a Waterfalls of Western PA tour where they mapped out and visited nearby waterfalls to enjoy their beauty.
Adam and Jesse’s mother, Holly, shared some of her favorite stories of her sons and their journey in finding a home at PMH.
Can you share a favorite story that involves your loved one?
Adam and Jesse are, like most brothers, close, but they also have their differences, and those differences take many forms. Sometimes they hide one another’s belongings (or they used to), but despite an occasional squabble, they are still concerned for one another. Once we were at a function with Adam, and Jesse was home with grandma because he didn’t feel well. As we were leaving, Adam put a cupcake in a bag and signed to me “Jesse.”
How did you find Passavant and why did you choose us?
The boys, as we call them, were previously with a different provider when they needed to be moved to different locations. It was necessary for Adam & Jesse to be kept together, and although initially it wasn’t feasible, PMH made sure that they were reunited as soon as possible.
Adam & Jesse’s wellbeing and happiness have always been my top concern, and that those who were involved with them were properly vetted. My biggest worry is that someone could be unkind to them or worse. I will always be concerned for them, that they are treated with kindness and respect, but my fears have been mitigated by the fact that they seem so genuinely happy at PMH. They don’t exhibit any reluctance to go back to their house after having visited with family. They really seem to be content.
I made the decision to seek placement for Adam & Jesse because I was a single parent at the time, and I was afraid that, should something happen to me, that decision might fall to someone else. I wanted to make certain that they would be well cared for before an emergency arose. In addition to that, I’m getting older and have had some health issues, and it gives me peace of mind to know that when I’m no longer here, they will be alright.
In your experience, what is the biggest misunderstanding some people may have about those with intellectual disabilities and behavioral health needs?
I believe all of us continue to learn throughout our lives, and people with challenges and/or disabilities are no exception. It has been encouraging to see people with, for example, Down’s Syndrome shattering stereotypes and assumptions people have about them by going to college, becoming entrepreneurs and doing pretty much anything they set their minds to. I hope my boys have learning opportunities in the years ahead and are encouraged to grow and to develop their own unique gifts, even if those gifts may not be readily apparent to the casual observer.
What insight could you offer to others who might be considering PMH for care for their loved one?
I’ve been impressed with the willingness of the staff at Adam and Jesse’s house to be in touch with me. They are in touch when either of the boys have an appointment with their doctor or dentist, which, by the way is regularly. If I have questions, they are answered. We are welcome to come pick up the boys to visit and at times staff has brought them to visit us. They make an effort to preserve the family connection, and to me, this is very important.
What are some of Adam and Jesse’s biggest accomplishments?
They have learned a great deal about how to live as independently as possible with the challenges that they face. They are continuing to learn sign language (ASL), which is wonderful. They love their electronics and games and are actually very adept at using them. And they seem very happy to be together, which makes me happy, too.