P.L.U.S. GROUP HOMES
A caring community of people providing services to wonderful people - "Our Guys" - adults with Autism. Programs for living, understanding and services.
Message from The Executive Director
Teresa Cancilla, RN
I would like to start by saying that it has been both an honor and a challenge working at PLUS Group Homes for the past 25 years. While I have spent the last 14 years as the Executive Director I have served as a nurse, a Nursing Director and Director of Clinical Services. I have come to know our consumers and staff very well and consider all to be part of an extended family. Working so closely with people promotes real caring and responsibility and that is how I feel, especially so, for the consumers in our care.
I have seen much progress in the lives of our consumers, some of who when they were first admitted to our agency, could not even perform life's most basic tasks. They are now living much more happy and satisfying lives. Negative and destructive behaviors have been reduced greatly in most cases while some people have even had these totally extinguished. People are now functioning with daily goals and pursuits and look forward to events. With the evolvement of personal skills and abilities I have seen individuals "come of age" and be more expressive and really integrate into the fabric of a house and the local community. It has been a difficult road but our consumers have been able to achieve the "2 H's & and an S". Living with us they are indeed healthy, happy and safe. This is what most people desire and strive for and what I demand for our consumers.
It has been extremely satisfying also to have been able to expand our agency. We have increased the number of people served thereby providing lifelong, magnificent-looking homes and an improved quality of life for our deserving individuals, while also relieving parents and family members of the burden of attempting to provide the intense, complicated care required for those with autism. With another home scheduled to open in early 2011our total number of homes will have increased from the initial three to seven. I am extremely proud of this accomplishment as I am of the major expansions/renovations at our Merrick, Uniondale and Levittown houses. These have taken place over the course of the past 10 years with the engagement and enlistment of financial aid from HUD and New York State As a result, our consumers have their own rooms, decorated, furnished and designed according to their individual preferences, while our homes all have in- ground pools, supervised by certified life guards.
While we have had many successes and much to be happy about there is still lots of work to do to maintain and continue the interminable task of enhancing our consumers' lives. Individuals with disabilities are much more susceptible to illness and the development of new problems and difficulties in all areas of life, thus, treatment plans need to be constantly revised, monitoring and assessment of behaviors is required at all times and our nurses need to be persistent and diligent in identifying the genesis of prodromal phases of both physical and emotional diagnoses. Despite the difficulties and challenges I have great faith and confidence that we can continue to apply the specialized clinical skills and knowledge that we have accrued, both as professionals and as an agency as a whole, to have all the consumers in our care reach their highest level of functioning possible. With individualized care provided in a truly caring environment I look forward to more smiles, laughter and enjoyment of life by our special population, "our guys."