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Mentor Mom - Adult Foster Care

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Mentor Mom - Adult Foster Care

By Karen Sheehan

A home is more than a house—it’s where lasting relationships develop and lives are shared with people you call family. Rebecca knew the value of having a place to call home and wanted to pay it forward last fall, she and her husband welcomed Melissa into their home and into their hearts, changing all their lives forever.

Rebecca contacted California MENTOR, which provides family home services for hundreds of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. California MENTOR serves the entire Golden State and partners with nurturing caregivers in the community, who are called “Mentors,” to give Californians with intellectual and developmental disabilities the services and supports they need. With guidance from the agency’s staff, Rebecca and her husband became Mentors. All they needed now was the right match. 

The right match turned out to be Melissa. Melissa was living in a group home for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She knew she could not live on her own because of her medical conditions, but she wanted a home. She found one when Rebecca and her husband became her Mentors, welcoming Melissa into their home

Not everything was easy at first, but the match was promising. Their mutual love for country music, dogs, and arts and crafts was a solid foundation for a lasting friendship. Also, Rebecca, who focuses on a healthy lifestyle, would prove to be an excellent role model in managing Melissa’s diabetes.  

When she first moved to Rebecca’s home, Melissa’s sugar levels were three times the normal range and they are now in a healthy range thanks to the loving support her Mentor provides her. Rebecca helps plan all of her meals and makes sure they get out and walk the dog in order to keep Melissa active. 

Rebecca offered the following advice for anyone considering becoming a Mentor, “If you have a spare room, then open up your home.  This is a wonderful experience. There are people who really need help and this is a great way to help within the community. It has opened up Melissa’s life and mine.”