Lauren Dean has a rare medical condition that affects her physical and neurological health. Her 13-year-old daughter, Alyssa, is cared for by Lauren’s mother. For years Alyssa saw her mom only when her grandmother could visit, so Lauren only rarely participated in raising her daughter. After living at four other long-term care communities, Lauren moved to Trinity Community at Fairborn (formerly Patriot Ridge) in Fairborn, Ohio, in October 2015.
And that’s when their transformation began.
At 31, Lauren is by far the youngest resident at Trinity Community at Fairborn (formerly Patriot Ridge), but she is far from a traditional parent. Lauren has rediscovered her purpose as a mother, and Trinity Community at Fairborn (formerly Patriot Ridge) gives her the opportunity every day to do so.
It’s the only long-term care community in the region that enables her to be the parent she always wanted to be.
Trinity Community at Fairborn (formerly Patriot Ridge) sits on the bus route home from Alyssa’s school. Every day, Lauren is up and ready to meet the bus at the front door when Alyssa arrives. They typically work together on Alyssa’s schoolwork, take part in community activities, and Alyssa often pushes Lauren’s wheelchair while they walk outside. For four hours a day, Alyssa has become a regular visitor, well known by staff and residents.
Both mother and daughter have discovered better ways to connect, giving them back the family that had been separated by barriers. Lauren now actively participates in her own care. She has more at stake now, and being a parent was part of her identity that was difficult to own until recently. She now takes her responsibilities seriously.
Alyssa still faces many challenges, but being in a structured environment like Trinity Community at Fairborn (formerly Patriot Ridge) gives her a more well-rounded life. With her mom assuming more responsibility as a parent, Alyssa now enjoys a stronger sense of love from Lauren. Both are committed to this change of lifestyle, with each accepting that they must be accountable. Both mother and daughter have seen their emotional bonds grow, to their mutual benefit.
Trinity Community at Fairborn (formerly Patriot Ridge) reconnected the two simply by being receptive to accepting a child from a bus route so she could spend time with her mom. In doing so we built a bridge between mother and daughter, and gave the family a renewed sense of hope and meaning, which were otherwise lacking in both of their lives. “This is our mission as part of United Church Homes,” said Stacie Ward, LNHA, administrator of Trinity Community at Fairborn (formerly Patriot Ridge). “We want to bring families together in any way we can. The result is the blossoming of love and care for everyone.”