As House Manager of a UCP community home for 11 years, Diane Hoy cared for four gentlemen with distinct personalities as well as different conditions and diagnoses. She recently moved to another UCP home where she has found that caring for three women is a whole new ball of wax.
When explaining the difference in managing the two homes, Diane said, “Before, I was dealing with guys who couldn’t care less what they wore, usually wanted to be Alpha males, and displayed certain behaviors. Now I have ladies who love getting their hair done and are fashion bugs, with totally different behaviors. I always felt comfortable with the guys since I raised my own two boys. I never had girls, so I am definitely learning a lot. But we’re coming together.”
The ladies who live in the home in question—Brooke, Carol and Peggy--have incredible challenges, but also have the determination and endurance to get things done. They are blessed with hard-working staff who care for them and assist them in overcoming life in wheelchairs and various medical difficulties. Diane shared that they are getting ready to bring another woman into the home, and into the mix. “It’s been four months since I moved over to this home,” Diane says. “I’d like to get the house back to having volunteers, doing projects for others, getting out, joining some Easter Seals and Aurora Club events, and being more involved with the other group homes. I want to inspire them.”
Diane has long been a firm believer in the power of art to bring people together. So she came up with the idea to have the ladies all work on a project together. Doing so would not only give them a shared experience, but would also serve to “dress up” the living room of their home a bit. Each of the women helped pick the object of the pictures. First up: Snoopy.
“The Snoopy drawing was inspired by a picture I saw online called Pop Snoopy; I drew it on the canvas and the girls put their own spin on it,” Diane said. “Carol painted the background and put glitter on. Brooke added the polka dots in the background in blues and greens. Peggy glued on his collar and lots of colored jewel bling. And they had a great time doing it!” While the final product is certainly a fun piece of art, and a great addition to the living space, it is all the more meaningful because the of the way the residents came together as a result of the experience. The next canvas has already been decided on and the character outline drafted. Mickey and Minnie Mouse will soon be joining Snoopy!
When asked for a group photo of her with the ladies, Diane demurred, “It’s not about me. It’s all about glamorizing the ladies’ space with something that makes them happy. After all, this is their story.” And so it is.
Congratulations Diane! The ladies in the home—and we at UCP—are fortunate to have you on our team.
« back to list