Faces of Laradon: Paul & Roger’s Story

At 6:30 AM on the dot Paul Cary’s alarm goes off.  

Bathroom. Shower. Medicine. Breakfast sandwich.

He knows this morning routine all too well. Paul sways through each step in the same way a violinist knows what note to play next in an orchestra— peacefully, calmly, and confidently.

Backpack— check. Peanut Butter Jelly sandwich for lunch— check. Cell phone— check. Ready for adventure? Check, check, check.  

At 7:30 AM he pulls his backpack straps on, heads out the door and down to the bus stop that is just around the corner. Now his day can truly begin.

“The mall, Ellitches, Downtown— I ride the bus all over,” Paul says with excitement in his eyes.

With his backpack as his side-kick and his curiosity as his fuel, every day a new adventure awaits for Paul in the city.

“Paul is fiercely independent,” Roger, Paul’s Host Home Provider, shares. “He enjoys traveling to go see things. Did you know he’s been to almost all 50 states?”

Since 2001, Paul’s called Roger’s house a home base to return to from his every day adventures. For the past 20 years the duo has been paired through Laradon’s Host Home Provider Program. In pure Paul fashion the two met at a local adventure attraction— the Denver Zoo.

“Paul and I met at the zoo for the first time and we just vibed. I think at that time Paul enjoyed living here because he could walk out the door, go to the corner and catch all the busses in each direction,” Roger recalls through chuckles.

The convenience of the bus stop and an abundant amount of adventures just around the corner are what caught Paul’s attention about this home originally. But, after all these year’s it’s Roger’s heart and brotherly love that has made Paul stay.

“I like it here,” Paul shares with a smile.

Roger’s interest in the Laradon Host Home Program was inspired by his mom, who worked as a nurse at Laradon for many years.

“I used to love when I would go to Laradon to see my mom and would talk to individuals,” Roger remembers. “Helping others is in our family. It’s just what we do.”

But, if you were to ask Roger who has made the greater impact on the others life, without skipping a beat Roger would say Paul.  

“When I met Paul 20 years ago, I was a young man and responsibility was big. Paul kind of raised me to be the man I am today. I am more thankful for Paul being in my life than he may be for me being in his,” Roger shares. “Being a Host Home Provider taught me so much and helped me become responsible for another individual… for their doctors’ appointments, their money— all those different things. I tell Paul sometimes and I tell the staff this sometimes, but Laradon and Paul probably saved my life.”

Like Paul’s morning routine, his friendship with Roger just comes naturally.

“Paul does have a thing he does when he is nervous, or out in the community- he will put his hand on my shoulder. I think that is his trust in me. I just tell him, ‘I’m here, I’m not going anywhere, I’m not going to leave you, we will get through this, this will be over soon’.”

While Paul’s favorite things to do include exploring new places, when the clock strikes 5:30 PM he always returns back home to Roger with a backpack full of stories.

Share the day’s adventures with Roger— check.  Dinner— check. Relax— check. A sense of belonging and home— check, check, check.

“Paul is a member of my family. He will be the first to tell you we are friends— that’s the way it is, he is my friend,” Roger says without hesitation. “I just want to make sure he is happy and that he enjoys life. I want to be here for him and let him know he can always trust me and count on me as long as I am alive.”

Laradon’s Adult Host Home program provides individualized living situations to people who can benefit from living in the private home of a family or individual. Individuals enjoy living in a family setting, engaging in community activities and sharing household responsibilities. Host Home Providers create a caring support system and assist the individual with personal care, meals, finances, medical appointments and community connections.



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