FAMILIES TALK – Testimonials

Families Talk – Testimonials

Family members are a key component in what we do at Martha Lloyd Community Services. Our extended family makes it possible for us to fulfill our mission as an organization. This is why Martha Lloyd Community Services is “Where Family Matters.

Debbie Reynolds’ Testimonial

In 2008, I returned from visiting my 15 year old autistic son, Nathan, at his residential school 250 miles from our home. He’d been there nearly three years, and for many reasons, the placement was just not working for us. At the time we’d placed him, options for severely autistic teens with serious behavioral issues were very limited in the local area.

I talked at length with my husband, who was overseas with the National Guard, with our school district, and Tioga County. We explored the options for group home living in our area. I really had no knowledge of these services, which are usually used for adults, and was surprised when three agencies expressed an interest.

I met with representatives from Martha Lloyd Community Services, who had already seen the need in the growing autism community, and had been preparing to expand into services for autistic people for some time. They had a plan! At the time, I was unaware that I was meeting with some of the top people in the organization, for they were matter-of-fact, down-to-earth, friendly and welcoming, and totally professional. I felt like we could be a team, working in Nate’s best interest.

In the fall of 2008, Nate moved into Martha Lloyd Community Services’ newest home, and now, over a year and a half later, we are still so delighted with his care. Martha Lloyd Community Services staff worked with us to learn about autism, and about Nate. They continually work, at all levels, from direct care professionals to top management, to make things better for Nate along with all residents, and are available for questions and concerns at any time.

I never expected to meet so many people who would put their hearts and souls, as well as some very fine minds, into the care of my son. People that would take him into their very family, change procedures, work out solutions, and be flexible in so many ways.

Debbie Reynolds

Marsha Melkonian’s Testimonial

My sister Mary Jo has cerebral palsy and mental retardation. She has lived at Martha Lloyd Community Services since 1982. There are three daughters in our family, and Mary Jo is the youngest. My father died when we were all in our teens, and Mary Jo lived with my mother until she was 20.

At that time, we all agreed that Mary Jo needed her own life and home, and that my mother needed to be able to live an independent life as well. We looked at many residential settings on the east coast and determined that Martha Lloyd had the best services at the best price, and in the best location.

We loved the small town atmosphere of Troy, and how accepting the local citizens are of the Martha Lloyd residents. I have been in restaurants “incognito” — without Mary Jo – and have seen other Martha Lloyd residents come in to eat, and have seen them treated just as any customer would be treated – with courtesy and care.

The staff members at Martha Lloyd are wonderful – many of them have taken Mary Jo on their own time to local events and we have come to think of them as extended family members! Although no residential situation is perfect, whenever concerns have come up we have been very happy with the problem solving skills the staff shows.

When Mary Jo started falling more and more as she is aging, they have stayed on top of the situation and found a good source for a rolling walker and helped Mary Jo adjust to it. Mary Jo works in the Coppertree workshop, and the staff there look out for the jobs that she can do and be proud of, and watch out for her safety at the same time.

After my mother died suddenly in 1992, my other sister and I were so glad that Mary Jo had her own home already. I feel so sorry for those adults with a disability who lose their parents and their home when a parent dies. To have to go thru the grief of losing a parent and having to make crucial decisions about where their sibling with a disability is to live next – that is so incredibly hard on the other siblings. I was so grateful to my mother that she had made that search and decision and gotten Mary Jo “settled in” before her death.

After my mom’s funeral, I asked Mary Jo if she wanted to come home with me for a few days. She said no, she wanted to go back to her home and her job. That comforted me so much – that she was retreating to her home the same way I was!

Marsha Melkonian

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