Everyone knows Adegboyega Akintade as “Tade.” He is the ever-stylish Supported Living Services (SLS) Coordinator for Greater Opportunities. SLS participants are living semi-independently in their own apartments, with an individualized level of support and assistance, from a few hours per day to 24/7 care. Tade supervises a staff of nearly 50 employees who work with over 25 adults.
Tade’s SLS program allows the participants to live in their community, rather than to be institutionalized. His staff help with everything from food preparation, personal care, shopping, doctor visits, trips out into the community, to housekeeping and assistance with running errands.
In order for a person to qualify for Supported Living Services, they must be assessed by the staff at Greater Opportunities in their current home situation, evaluating life skills, competency and decision-making. It’s a comprehensive evaluation process that includes interviews with family, friends, neighbors, and medical professionals. Tade has helped many families with this process.
“Philosophically," he said, "the goal is to move from Supported Living to Independent Living or from 24-hour services to minimal services. However, in many cases, because of aging and health issues, these individuals stay within our Supported Living program for many years during the twilight of life.”
Tade has been with Greater Opportunities for 9 years, but as I write this, has given us notice that this May will be his last. He is moving on to more responsibility with another organization. But the team work he has experienced at Greater Opportunities will inform his practice forever.
“From a management perspective, I like working with a team that is working towards the same goal of making a positive impact on the life of these individuals who may not be able to advocate for themselves. It’s wonderful to be able to work with a person who was living in a state hospital and is now living in their own home, making their own choices and living the life they choose. Our participants tell us where they want to go, what they want to eat and what time they want to come home.” Tade finds this deeply gratifying.
“We help them live a dignified life, just like us,” he said. “You must be passionate to make a difference in people’s lives. This is how I am making a difference in people’s lives.” Not everyone can say that about their job. Tade and his staff at Greater Opportunities can and do say that every day.
You can help us say goodbye to Tade at his farewell celebration Wednesday May 9th at noon at the Day Program. He will be missed, but not forgotten.