Carolyn and Iris

Iris has been working at Greater Opportunities with Supported Living Services for only a year, but already feels that she’s found her calling as a caregiver for people with developmental disabilities. A family member, who thought she’d be a great fit for the position because of her kind nature and patient temperament, referred her to the job. She is a Supported Living Services caregiver for Carolyn, a young woman with a disability that affects her cognitive abilities, and they’ve developed a special bond, “Carolyn and I help each other- we’re good friends. She’s like my sister!”

Carolyn and Iris work together a few times a week, and they go to the park, play games, and exercise at the YMCA. Iris helps Carolyn keep her house clean, schedule her doctor’s appointments, and do her laundry. She goes shopping with Carolyn and is also teaching her how to cook. Carolyn also likes to read books, and begs Iris to take her to the library every day. Sometimes she and Iris volunteer at the local nursing home, and Carolyn likes volunteering because she gets to help people. She says it makes her happy to make other people happy.

One of the most valuable things Greater Opportunities provides for their clients is the chance for people with disabilities to develop a fulfilling social life, and Iris says Carolyn has met a lot of great friends at the Day Program. She says when clients live at home, sometimes they don’t have the chance to go out into the community and meet new people. Making new connections develops communication skills, and Iris loves taking clients to the movie theater or to the mall.

Iris says, “I help Carolyn have a better life and be more independent.” She says the work she does is rewarding, and she enjoys watching Carolyn learn and grow. She’s looking forward to watching clients learn and grow, and meeting new clients, as she moves into her second year at Greater Opportunities.

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