Dillion Paquette Living His Best Life with Monarch Services
At 29, Dillion Paquette life is busy with working a job, pursuing of a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise and attending the Stanly Industrial Services (SIS) day program in Albemarle. He is content, happy and thriving with assistance from Monarch Long-Term Services and Supports.
Dillion was diagnosed as a youth with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), a rare genetic disorder that results in physical, mental and behavioral struggles. The diagnosis is most commonly noted by an unsatisfied hunger that can cause obesity if not strictly monitored.
Two years ago, he moved to Monarch’s Lafayette Drive group home in Albemarle, one of North Carolina’s residential sites designed specifically for adults diagnosed with PWS.
Since moving to Lafayette Drive group home, Residential Manager Diane Bowden says Dillion has made great strides in his physical health moving in at a weight of 250 pounds and now maintaining a weight of 139 pounds due to a healthy diet and exercise.
“I feel a lot healthier now and I am looking to hopefully get off of some of my medicine,” Dillion says of his improved lifestyle, adding that he no longer needs to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy to sleep or an insulin pump to control diabetes.
Dillion shares that his main motivation is to be able to live a long life. Diane says Dillion has adapted wonderfully transitioning from living with his family to the group home. “He is polite and I am proud of how well he gets along well with his housemates,” she observes. “His smooth transition really speaks volumes for Dillion and being motivated to live as healthy as possible.”
SIS Site Manager Antwain Hamilton has also seen great strides in Dillion since attending Monarch’s day program. SIS staff, who have community contacts, look for places that day program attendees can work or volunteer.
“I enjoy going out into the community with the people we serve and letting business owners and organizations know about the services that Monarch offers. The people we support seem to blossom when they feel included in their community in whatever way that is,” Antwain explains.
Through a conversation with the Tidal Wave Auto Spa management, Antwain found out about an opportunity on the business’ cleaning team. Dillion was interested, interviewed for the position and was offered the job.
Dillion is proud of his Tidal Wave uniform (seen at right in his uniform hat and jacket). His tasks include restocking the towels on the cleaning cart, as well as restocking and refilling the cleaning supplies. Dillion says he is happy to explain cleaning supplies to customers asking questions.
“I enjoy working so that I am able to make money to pay my bills and have money to go bowling. I like to go bowling,” he explains. “I love doing my cleaning duties and just having conversations with my supervisor and customers at Tidal Wave.”
Housemates and peers at SIS are Dillion’s best friends and he enjoys living and attending the day program with them. He loves to spend time with his family, bowl, fish and play video games, as well as cheer on college basketball for his favorite teams, The University of North Carolina and The University of Alabama.
Incorporating his love of animals into a job, Dillion future plans include pursuing a veterinary technician degree through a North Carolina college and living independently on his own.
For information about Monarch’s LTSS and residential information, visit here.
Posted on: Friday February 24, 2023