Elise’s Story

Posted April 25, 2012 by Mandy Smith in

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 mandy.smith@rcilinc.org.

Mandy Smith

Mandy has worked at RCIL since June of 2009. She is a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist and provides services in 32 counties to individuals who are blind or have low vision and are 55 years and older.

Related Articles

Interviews to help with HCBS outcomes

By Mandy Smith | February 15, 2022

Rehabilitation and Research Training Center on HCBS Outcome Measurement along with the Institute of Community Integration from the University of Minnesota are looking for research participants for interviews.They are testing measures to improve person-centered Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) outcomes for people with disabilities. Getting services at home or in the community is important for people with disabilities. Providers strive…

Attention! Self-Directing Consumers Learn how to be a better employer!

By Beth | September 9, 2019

Please join us for an informative session on Self-Directing your Home and Community Based Services. Topics will include information on: How to Recruit, Select, Interview, Hire, Train, Supervise and Dismiss Direct Support Workers (DSWs) Understanding Enhanced Care Services (Sleep Cycle Support) KS AuthentiCare (the Electronic Visit Verification Call In System) Having a Backup Plan (of DSWs) Medicaid Fraud Abuse, Neglect…

SILCK Annual Report

By Mandy Smith | April 3, 2018

Check out State Independent Living Council of Kansas’ annual report below. SILCK Annual Report (PDF) SILCK Annual Report (text only) For questions or more information contact Kathy Cooper (785) 234-6990 or Kathy.cooper@silck.org