Daughter Has Been Life Skills & Support Client for 15 Years
Marcella Lankard (middle) celebrates the Life Skills & Support 20th anniversary with her mother Sandra Strick (right) and host home provider Maria Banela (left).
There was a time when Sandra Strick’s phone would ring in the middle of the night, because police were calling to tell her that her daughter Marcella had turned up at the hospital.
Marcella, who has a traumatic brain injury from falling out a three-story window, has an attention span of three minutes and would regularly wander away from her group home. Sandra would ask Marcella where she had been, but Marcella couldn’t tell her because she couldn’t remember.
Today, Marcella has been a Life Skills & Support client for 15 years, and Sandra, Marcella’s legal guardian, can sleep better at night, knowing Marcella is in a safe home with a host home provider who cares for her.
“You guys have been a blessing in our lives,” Sandra said about Life Skills & Support.
Life Skills & Support is a Rocky Mountain Human Services program that provides residential services and support to adults on the Medicaid Developmental Disabilities or Supported Living Services waivers. The program’s services include:
Helping families become paid caregivers to care for a loved one with an intellectual or developmental disability.
Providing support to adults who want to live on their own but need some extra help to make that a reality.
Connecting people with host home providers, who are highly qualified individuals who open their homes to people with disabilities.
Marcella has lived with her host home provider, Maria, for 11 years. Maria has experience caring for people with traumatic brain injuries. Sandra said they first met Maria when Marcella’s previous host home provider couldn’t care for Marcella anymore. Sandra was scared and didn’t know what to do until Life Skills & Support matched Marcella with Maria.
“Here comes Maria around the corner with this great, big, beautiful smile. I could just feel it in my heart that she is a good person,” Sandra said.
Under Maria’s care, Marcella has flourished. She goes to the movies and shops with Maria. She loves to play bingo and is excellent at math and counting money. Marcella accesses Life Skills & Support’s rep-payee services. Perry Worman, a long-time Life Skills & Support staff member, helps Marcella and Sandra manage Marcella’s government benefits and personal finances.
Sandra lives close to Maria and Marcella and sees them all the time. The three of them have helped Life Skills & Support celebrate its 20th anniversary on Nov. 13 at an open house at Rocky Mountain Human Services. The event brought together long-time clients, their families, host home providers, and current and former staff to celebrate the tight-knit community that has formed as a result Life Skills & Support’s work.
“I just know Rocky Mountain Human Services and Life Skills & Support are a blessing to my family,” Sandra said. “I feel like we’re in a good place.”