Making a Home

Assisted Living in the Community for Young Disabled People

by Jen Powley  

This book documents Powley’s fight for young disabled people to live in the community rather than being institutionalized in nursing homes.

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  • May 2023
  • ISBN: 9781773635958
  • 136 pages
  • $24.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB May 2023
  • ISBN: 9781773636184
  • $23.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF May 2023
  • ISBN: 9781773636191
  • $23.99
  • For sale worldwide

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About the book

In some Canadian provinces, people with severe physical disabilities are simply warehoused in nursing homes, where many people, especially in the age of homecare, are in the final stages of their lives. It is difficult for a young person to live in a home geared for death; their physical assistance needs are met, but their social, psychological and emotional needs are not. Jen Powley argues that everyone deserves to live with the dignity of risk.

In Making a Home, Powley tells the story of how she got young disabled people like herself out of nursing homes by developing a shared attendant services system for adults with severe physical disabilities. This book makes a case for living in the community and against dehumanizing institutionalization.

Biography/Memoir Disability Studies Health & Illness


Jen Powley

Jen Powley was born in Alberta, moved to Halifax for university and stayed. An author by circumstance, she wrote Just Jen: Thriving Through Multiple Sclerosis, which won the 2018 Margaret and John Savage First Time Author Nonfiction Book Award. Powley has completed a BA and an after degree in journalism, as well as an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction at the University of King’s College.


  • Chapter 1: The Idea
  • Chapter 2: The Wait
  • Chapter 3: The Realization
  • Conclusion


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