By Stephanie Bechara, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018, 9:17 PM EST
People with developmental disabilities are living decades longer than they used to. Studies show this is the first generation of its kind expected to outlive their parents.
Quest Village new facility for adults w/ developmental disabilities
Ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 8
Only 4 other similar facilities in Florida
A new facility called Quest Village in Orlando is now meeting the growing demand for people with disabilities to live independently.
Kyle Dempsey is 32 years old now, but for his mother Cindy Dempsey, he will always be her baby.
“He always had that smile at 6 months old. He was just this happy, happy baby,” she explained.
Kyle was born with cerebral palsy, and everyday tasks like pouring a glass of milk can be difficult.
But for the first time ever, Kyle will be living on his own at Quest Village.
Brooke Eakins, the Chief Operating Officer for Quest Inc., said, “for those who need a little bit of assistance maybe a reminder to take some medication or help cooking a more difficult meal, we do have staff that are available on site to help with those things.”
Kyle isn’t the only one adapting to the transition. Twenty-two adults with disabilities have already moved in.
Brad Smith is one of those adults — he is a 25-year-old with autism who works at Universal Studios.
“Never, ever think that you can’t live on your own, because it is always possible that you can,” he said.
Mike DiMauro, who is also now living at Quest Village, is 33 years old, and he is part of Autism Speaks. He said he’s loving his new home.
“And God had a purpose in me living here,” DiMauro said.
Twenty-six-year-old Brandon Cortez, who has Asperger’s and works at Walmart, believes there should be more facilities like this one.
“I think there should be more places like this,” Cortez said.
Cindy said she can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that after she is gone, her baby will have a place that will continue to take care of him.
“I am so proud of how he’s just relished. He’s just surpassed my every hope,” Cindy added. “I just thought it was going to be a huge hardship on us for him to be here, (because) we’d be here a lot or he would be calling home crying, and it hasn’t been that way at all. He just loves it. ”
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for Quest Village on Feb. 8.
There are only four similar developments throughout the state like this one— all of them opened within the past two years.