Donna Fox and her thoughts on Independent Living
Donna has been with SKIL for approximately seven years. She has recently moved into her own house from an apartment. Finding accessible and affordable housing was a challenge. "I have always been a private person and I've tried to become as independent as possible...." Living in an apartment some things come easy and there are new challenges living in a private home.
Donna is working to reclaim many of the things a person might take for granted such as; coming and going, shopping and just daily life as an adult. Donna shared that without the support of SKIL and working together she would have moved to a nursing care facility. Donna shared that without SKIL and her family support she wouldn't be where she is now; living in her own home.
Prior to Donna meeting SKIL she had worked in the Social Service Industry herself. But even with that training she was not aware of all the services that are available. Donna said "But when I found out about SKIL and that I could self direct my care. Be at home and relearn how to do everything rather than be put somewhere; where I didn't have a choice to have any independence. Because this can happen to any one of us."
Janet Thompson is a life time resident of the Parsons area. Growing up Janet became aware of people with disabilities at an early age. Her mother had Polio when she was nine.
Janet recalls how being persistent and not giving up was a positive impact on her mother. She shared how her father built an adaptive device for her mom's bed. This was part of the reason why she was a fighter and never gave up.
Janet has worked over sixteen years a Personal Care Attendant (PCA). She shared how an accident, "Basically turns your life upside down". But people can still do their job.
As we discussed being a PCA and the work that goes along with that job, Janet said, "One thing my dad taught me a long time ago...Don't treat anybody any different than you would want to be treated".
Janet currently uses an electric chair for mobility on the job and off. Janet looks at the person she works for as a good example. Working with others is a good way to keep yourself motivated and going even when times can be difficult.
She shared how being independent and not relying on others is a good thing, but at some point we need to listen and use the resources that are available. Janet commented, "It was either keep working and accept some help or quit and just sit here. So I decided to quit being stubborn."
Janet uses the Working Healthy Program as great resource. One of the benefits of the Working Healthy program for Janet was the assistance with covering the cost of medications.
Janet wants everyone to know, "I've learned that there comes to a point when being stubborn isn't the intelligent thing to do."
If you would like more information on Working Healthy or other resources, contact us online or at a SKIL office near you.
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