Mission and History
Cheshire Home was formed to establish and operate not for profit residential specialized care facilities, services, and homes for adult persons with physical disabilities, providing them with such medical, social, and rehabilitative services as will permit each resident to achieve his/her maximum independence compatible with their disability.
Our Proud History
Cheshire Home was opened in October of 1981 in Florham Park, in order to provide an alternative to life in geriatric nursing homes, for young adults with quadriplegia, paraplegia, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and associative conditions. We were founded by Dr. Margaret Symonds, Medical Director of Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside. Dr. Symonds worked tirelessly to ensure that young adults overcoming paralysis would have a home of their own where they could rehabilitate and plan for a future. Her vision, and her determination to gather the necessary people and resources to make this vision a reality, directed our opening, which permanently changed the landscape of services to young people with life-long disabilities. Our programs focus on the rebuilding of one's life following catastrophic accidents and long-term debilitating challenges. Licensed as a special health care facility, we are home to thirty-five residents, primarily in their twenties and thirties.
We are proud to be connected by mission to a world-wide network of several hundred Cheshire programs, all operating independently, and dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities. This network originated with Sir Leonard Cheshire, pictured here, who served as a highly decorated British RAF pilot during World War II. Following the war, Leonard opened his home to a disabled veteran, and this singular action inspired an international effort sustained now through more than seventy years.
Five years after we were founded, we expanded our capacity and established our first community home in 1986 for people with disabilities who can live semi-independently, Cheshire II in Parsippany. In 2003 we opened our second community home, Cheshire III in Florham Park.
Our onsite Community Resource Training Center was established in 1988 in order to serve residents, and expanded in 1992 to include students with disabilities who reside in the community.
What sets us apart from traditional health care and nursing facilities is our young adult population, our approach, which focuses on each resident moving forward toward independence, and our diverse range of services that encompass the medical, emotional, educational and social needs of each individual. Our goal is to empower our residents to attain self-sufficiency through a multi-tiered approach: physical therapy, 24-hour nursing and personal care assistance, academic and adaptive technology training, employment training, transportation in vehicles specially equipped for power wheelchairs, recreation and social interaction, social services and psychological counseling.
We fully support each resident in their ultimate goal of independent living. Each year brings with it an increase in the number of residents whose independence we happily gather to celebrate!