Tim and Nancy Wheeler’s son Chris is one of the first residents making the big move to Daymark Living. A big transition like this looks different for each family & individual so we sat down with the Wheeler’s to learn what this journey has looked like for them!
D: How have you prepared Chris to move to Daymark?
TW: We’ve been discussing for a LONG time. Not sure that it has “prepared” Chris but he thinks he is ready.
NW: We obviously worked on living skills as best we could and although I think he has a ways to go on a number of things, I know he is capable and will likely become proficient with someone else showing or teaching him. We have talked a lot about how Daymark will be like a college experience where he can live with friends, go to classes, have a job and participate in new activities. Chris has an independent spirit and wants to have a life like everyone else, he just needs encouragement, support, and a place to live as an adult, away from us, his parents
D: What are you the most excited for Chris to experience at Daymark?
TW: I think living away from Mom and Dad will help Chris be more self-sufficient, we are all in such a routine of doing things for him and of only doing the things that he is accustomed to that breaking that up with new things will be great for him I think.
NW: I am excited that they will have new, wonderful experiences, and make lots of new friends. I can’t wait to see who he has become a year from now.
D: What feelings are you experiencing as you make this transition?
TW: I was totally looking forward to this without much sadness about it until just a few days ago – as we get closer to actually dropping him off I have been experiencing sadness, just as I did when my daughters moved out to college, but this time is different because of our relationship and how much time he spends with me, Chris’ limitations and the fact that he is our youngest and that I will be living alone – I will miss him a lot!
NW: I am grateful and proud. Grateful that we can make this happen for him, even if it’s just a year or two, but I hope it will be a long time. Grateful to John (so, so grateful to John!) and people like Molly, who want to help our young adults be the best they can be and live the best life they can live. I’m proud of Chris that he wants to try this and face his future
D: What would be the most meaningful thing that Chris can gain from living at Daymark?
TW: Self-sufficiency/independence, his parents won’t be around forever and this will be a big step in preparing him for living without us.
NW: What would be meaningful to me is seeing Chris become an adult and develop into the man I know he can be, with the help of those who have his best interests at heart. I want him to be happy, healthy, as independent as possible, and to live a full life.