Meet Lauren, our May Caregiver of the Month!
We decided to give our supporters a closer look into the world of a caregiver. For some, it’s a life they choose. For others, it’s not. Regardless, the challenges are many, but so are the joys. Here’s what Lauren had to say.
1. How has caring for an individual(s) with disabilities changed your outlook on life?
After spending so much of my life in the disability community, I have learned the true meaning of inclusion. A common misconception in the community is that inclusion means “treating & seeing everyone as the same”. I simply disagree with this. Inclusion is seeing that everyone is different and embracing the beauty of those differences.
There’s a quote I love: “Inclusion is not bringing people into what already exists; it is making a new space, a better space, for everyone.” This is what I want for Inclusion Fusion.
2. What does a typical day look like for you?
Work, work, work! Being a young business owner, there’s always work to be done, especially with how fast Inclusion Fusion is growing this past year. I am so fortunate to spend my work days with the best team and the best clients, so it never feels like work. But if I’m not working, I’m hanging out with my friends & family, playing with my corgi, going to a concert, eating sushi, or spending time in a coffee shop.
3. What are some of the greatest joys of being a caregiver?
There is nothing that brings me more joy than seeing the progress of our clients, seeing them gain confidence, and hearing how happy they are at Inclusion Fusion. I am very fortunate; Inclusion Fusion has become a safe place for our clients where they are allowed to be unapologetically themselves. It makes me so happy to see my clients feeling empowered and when our clients are achieving their goals.
4. What are some of the biggest struggles you face as a caregiver?
One of the biggest struggles I face is finding services, outside of Inclusion Fusion, for our adults with disabilities. A common struggle around the United States, and unfortunately it holds true in the Las Vegas community, is the lack of services and opportunities once adults with disabilities turn 18. My family is currently going through this with my younger brother, Mason, who is 21 and on the autism spectrum. I am so fortunate that Mason has Inclusion Fusion, and this is why it was so important to me that no one can age out of our programs.
5. What one piece of advice would you give to another parent, guardian or professional caregiver?
Ask questions and actively listen to the voices of neurodiverse & disabled people! You can learn so much by listening to the many perspectives of the neurodiverse population – a powerful collective of people who see and experience life in so many different ways. We can only become a more inclusive community when we include individuals with disabilities in the forefront of our decision making.
Would you like to nominate someone to be our Caregiver of the Month? CLICK HERE.