The joy of celebrating someone’s 100th birthday. The frustration and relief of acquiring an electric wheelchair after 6 months. The honor of being told “Mi hija, haz todo lo que puedas hacer por mi,” — “My daughter, do everything you can for me.” Our housing team doesn’t just provide care for older adults and individuals with disabilities in our community. They get to know their consumers, support them in their struggles, celebrate their successes, and become an extension of their families. Read on to see how our housing services help people stay in their communities and receive the level of support they need to live independently.
Finding a Home, Whoever You Are
Everyone deserves a warm meal, a roof over their head, and a healthy community in which to thrive. WMEC’s housing services provide these and so much more for older adults and adults with disabilities in our community. If you or a loved one needs help finding independent living options in your community, we have two main options to assist you: Supportive Housing and Congregate Housing. We aid residents who qualify for state-funded home care services and can help others who do not qualify find financial strategies and support to participate in our services.
Supportive Housing — When You Need a Little Help
We provide supportive housing services at three sites in our community: Birch Bark Place and Fairhaven Apartments in Chicopee, and Hubert Place South Hadley. On-call staff is available to all residents for unforeseen and unplanned personal care assistance, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Along with a safe living environment, residents receive nutritious meals through daily family-style gatherings with a side helping of friendly conversation.
Congregate Housing — Keeping in the Community
Our congregate housing services are designed for older adults who want to reside in a communal setting. This program is in Holyoke and supports 20 individuals in a shared living arrangement. Even without 24-hour support, residents still receive assistance in a safe environment that fosters independence, provides supportive services, allows privacy, and encourages companionship. To participate in this program, people must meet the following qualifications:
- Be at least 60 or older or an adult under age 60 with a disability
- Meet income guidelines for a rental housing subsidy. Tenants pay 30% of net monthly income for rent
- Be able to function independently with supportive services
- Desire the social interactions of a shared living environment
Engage, Encourage, Empower — Roles of Resident Services Coordinators
WMEC Resident Services Coordinators (RSCs) act as a key resource for the older adults and persons with disabilities at our housing sites. The RSCs provide information on available community resources to promote residents’ independence and quality of life. They facilitate wellness-focused and other educational programs at the building sites and connect residents to support networks. This includes advocating for better access to medical care, acquiring wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment, teaching techniques for communicating with families and physicians, providing emotional support, and so much more. Our team achieves success with residents by taking the time to listen to their concerns and utilizing what we call the 3 E’s — Engaging, Encouraging, Empowering. By asking questions like, “How can we keep you healthy and independent? What do you need to do what you want to do?” we drill down to the specific needs of each person. An individualized approach ensures that WMEC RSCs can take the time to focus on residents’ wellness and support their independent lifestyles. Our bilingual team members ensure that we can reach and support Spanish-speaking residents. Whether it takes 15 minutes, six months, or any other length of time, our team remains vigilant in their efforts to meet the ongoing needs of all of the residents in their care. To learn more about our housing programs including how to apply, contact us online or give us a call at (413) 538-9020.