The Ariel Family

Deb Ariel says AFC brought her family closer together. Here they are – Deb, Sam, Drew and Keith – with their AFC Coordinator Tanya Rae Mahon

What has Alternatives’ Adult Family Care (AFC) meant to the Ariel Family? It allowed Deb Ariel to give up her second job and stop working eighty hours a week. Instead of hiring others to care for sons Sam, who has a developmental disability, and Drew, who has autism, Deb can now “be a Mom” and care for them herself. The financial and practical support Deb, her husband Keith and their sons receive has brought them closer together as a family and given them the peace of mind to, as Deb says, “just be and not worry.”

The Ariel’s AFC Coordinator, Tanya Ray Mahon has provided support and resources, including access to training opportunities. Deb and Keith appreciate that their AFC Nurse, Melissa Setzer, is always available for questions and can be counted on respond quickly. This year, when Sam, now 21, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and needed surgery, Melissa offered to attend their doctors’ appointments with them!

Sam seems to be doing fine and, in fact, was able to join his father in the cast of Stepping Stone Community Theater’s latest musical production at Alternatives’ Singh Performance Center. He’s also looking forward to attending our Free Summer Concert Series on Alternatives’ Community Plaza, where he’s almost always the first one up to dance.

Drew is also expanding his horizons. At 19, he is a student at Quinsigamond Community College where he is taking classes and enjoying the college experience.

And, because of the services of an Alternate Caregiver funded by AFC, Deb and Keith have been able to build some new memories of their own with a trip to Mexico – their first vacation in 25 years!