A home of My Own: Isabelle's Story

Isabelle is a 30-year-old woman who recently moved into a home of her own with the assistance of Restigouche Residential Services. Located in New Brunswick, Restigouche Residential Services has transformed its traditional housing services to support persons with intellectual disabilities to live in community. The following is a Q&A with Isabelle about her housing transition.

Tell me about yourself: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
My name is Isabelle. I have two sisters and one brother. I lived with my parents until nine years ago in 2007. Then I had to move to a special care home because I was very sick and I could not stay alone by myself when my parents were working. In my spare time, I love watching TV, listening to music, going for walks, colouring, reading, cooking, visiting my grandparents and talking on the phone. 

Where did you live before moving into your own home?
I was living in a special care home with five other people. 

What was it like where you used to live?
In the morning it was really noisy and I had a hard time sleeping in. I was helping with the dishes and other tasks in the house. I would also watch movies in my room and do crafts.  

Why did you want to move? Can you describe your new home?
I wanted to be more independent. I now live in Eel River Crossing. It’s a 15 minute walk from my parents’ house, five minute walk from my grandparents’ house, my oldest sister lives on the same street, and my aunt and uncle live 3 houses down from me. I know most of the people in the area. I am the last house on my road and there is also a police officer that lives a few houses away from me. I have a two-bedroom house. My basement is not finished, but my washer and dryer are there.

Do you have any roommates?
I used to live with Emilie. She was a student of the community college and lived with me from September 2015 until April 2016. Now I live by myself, but I have employees that help me.

How are you more independent now?
I am able to make my own choices like what I eat, what time I go to bed and what I watch on TV. I have to do my own laundry and clean my house. I can go for a walk when I want. Take my own responsibility and make sure everything is secure for me.

How does that make you feel? 
I feel really happy and I’m proud of myself. I have a lot of people that are there to help me when I need them. I’m more independent and I feel a part of the community.