The Shires Have Changed Lives

When Krissy moved to the home of Tim and Delia Shires, she was prone to sudden outbursts, the result of the brain injury she sustained more than 25 years ago.  And Joanne had her own set of challenges when she joined the family.  At 71, she relied on a walker to get around the house.  She was gaining weight at an alarming rate and a complicated mental illness brought her to tears several times a day.

Thanks to the care, love, and support that Tim and Delia have provided, Krissy and Joanne’s lives have been transformed.  Both women now participate in day programs, where they can interact with their peers and learn new skills through a range of activities.  Krissy’s outbursts are now few and far between and she has a renewed interest in music, movies, and exploring her Greek heritage.  Joanne has learned about proper nutrition and now maintains a healthy weight, rarely uses her walker, and enjoys weekly one-on-one outings with Delia in the community.

“Tim and Delia Shires consistently amaze me in all of the many ways they exhibit caring for Krissy and Joanne,” Program Coordinator Dawn Albrecht said.  “The effort Tim and Delia put in every day in order to make the best possible life for these women would be described by many as extraordinary.  But for the Shires, it seems to come as ordinary—and we are grateful for that.”

The Shires also welcome and appreciate the support they receive at home from California MENTOR’s dedicated team.  While this husband-wife duo offers shining examples of what it takes to be a Mentor, they are also not afraid to reach out for help whenever they have a question or just need someone to turn to for support.

“As Mentors, we want to be able to provide for the support Joanne and Krissy need to become more independent,” Delia said.  “And to know we always have help when we need it, that really makes the difference.  California MENTOR makes it possible for us to really make a difference in the lives of others.”

For Tim and Delia, it’s not just about providing Krissy and Joanne the basics—it’s about making their lives full and enjoyable.  When they found out that Krissy played the clarinet, Tim and Delia found someone to give her private lessons.  Knowing that Joanne and her sister had lost touch over the years, Tim and Delia drove seven hours round trip so the siblings could reconnect.  Return trips have since been arranged.

“When Krissy and Joanne came to live with us, I became more alive,” Delia said.  “Tim and I are convinced that investing our time, effort, and home to help Krissy and Joanne is what makes our life more worth living.”