A Life of Love and a Place to Call her Own

Barb Ryan may be small in stature but she is full of energy and spunk!! Chatting with her you learn that she loves her family, her roommates and shopping! Like many of the individuals that call Southwinds home, Barb’s family made the difficult decision to “let go” and give her independence and a place to call her own.

Barb has both intellectual and developmental disabilities. Barb has also endured many physical disabilities that include many hip, leg and back surgeries, being in a body cast for several months as a teenager, as well as emotional losses that include the death of her father when she was only 7 years old.

Barb’s mother and family gave her one of the greatest gifts, a life full of love. Her mom was always adamant that she would care for Barb, but as they both grew older this arrangement became very difficult. In the early 90’s, Barb’s older sister, Deb, decided to buy a house and invite Barb and their mother to live with her helping to ease the burden of care.  This arrangement was proving to be very difficult, especially for Deb who for one year had to care for Barb and their mother, who had fallen ill, while continuing to work full time.

Caring for a family is a lifelong effort

After their mom passed away, Deb knew she needed to look into other living options for Barb. Deb heard about Southwinds and the rest was history. Barb currently lives in one of Southwinds barrier-free homes with three other individuals. She is flourishing!

In the video below, Deb shares what their life was like growing up and the struggles she faced when deciding to find Barb a new home. Barb also shares what her life is like now and what she likes to do.