Please ready Elise’s story of independence through using home and community based services.
My name is Elise, I suffer from Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Spinal stenosis, Bile duct reconstruction, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and anxiety. I also just had open heart surgery. I live with my husband Bill Fears who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. I have a son who lives here in Ottawa and a daughter in Tulsa. I moved to Ottawa from Illinois to be closer to my son.
I am on the Physical Disability waiver. I have a direct service worker who comes into my home to help care for me. My DSW (Direct Service Worker) cleans the house, does laundry, cooks, runs errands, helps me with bathing, and is a real support system for me. It would be very hard if not impossible for me to get things done around the house without my DSW. Some days with the fibromyalgia I can’t get out of bed. My DSW also helps when the depression and anxiety gets bad. If I did not have a DSW Bill and I would most likely be in a nursing home.
I took advantage of the Peer Specialist Program at RCIL. I worked with Peer Specialist Rebecca at the Ottawa RCIL office, I created an Independent Living Plan that helped me figure out what to do about my vehicle that I was having mechanical problems with. It went very well working with Rebecca & I feel it was a success. I would use the Peer Specialist Program again & I would recommend it to my friends.
I am thankful that RCIL is there to help me, RCIL helps me stay at home, and RCIL helps me stay living independently. Taking away Centers for Independent Living in Kansas would hurt the people who need them the most. I certainly could not keep my husband at home with me if it were not for my DSW and RCIL. If I could tell the legislators something it would be this. Please keep Centers for Independent Living budgeted. So we, who need them, can stay Independent & stay in our communities. We don’t want institutionalization & I REFUSE to live in a nursing home. I don’t want to be confined, I don’t want to be told what I can or can’t do, I am not a 66 year old child, I am a 66 year old grown woman, and I would like to be treated as such!
This is Elise’s story, if you would like to share your story of independence, please email it to email@example.com.