Annual Report 2010
Fiscal Year '10 Overview
During Fiscal Year '10 ILCNSCA celebrated its 22nd Anniversary. We provided services at the main office in Salem and at pre-scheduled appointments in meeting spaces at Action, Inc. in Gloucester, North Shore Elder Services in Danvers and Greater Lynn Senior Services in Lynn. ILCNSCA in FY'10 worked with 16 different nursing/rehabilitation and assisted living institutions as well as 2 shelters and one transitional housing provider to assist persons residing there to move to the community per their choice. ILCNSCA worked with persons with disabilities in their homes (when they were unable to come to the Center) as well as out in the community with independent living skills training. Overall ILCNSCA guided 12 consumers to move from institutions to the community of the 38 we worked with, many of whom are still working with us to become free. Two of those success stories follow:
Written by: Diane Speicher, IL Peer Guide, Housing Specialist
Consumer's First name: Jessica
City or town of residence: Gloucester
Referred by: Self
Disability, Primary: Degenerative Disease
Disability, Secondary: N/A
Services requested and why: Jessica requested services from ILCNSCA to be able to move out of the nursing home and into the community. Jessica's former residence in the community was on the second floor that became inaccessible for her to return to that apartment. She became homeless because of a lack of accessible housing. Jessica wanted to find accessible and affordable housing, learn about transportation options and apply for Social Security and Mass Health benefits.
How would these services improve the consumer's daily living:
- Jessica will be able to live on her own in affordable and accessible housing.
- Jessica will have income and health insurance.
- Jessica will be able to use The Ride and CATA Transportation to go places that she wants to go.
- Jessica will be able to transition out of the nursing home with needed community supports.
- Jessica will be able to live independently and have a higher level of self-esteem.
Barriers to independent living:
- Without the assistance of a Peer Guide from ILCNSCA Jessica would not have been able to learn about her housing option to live on her own with affordable and accessible housing.
- Without the guidance of a Peer Guide Jessica would not have been able to increase her understanding of financial benefits assistance options such as Social Security and Mass Health, nor been able to navigate the application processes without assistance.
- Without the assistance of a Peer Guide Jessica would not know about the available transportation options and how to apply for The Ride and CATA Transportation.
- Jessica was also able to get some funding with assistance from Peer Guide from the MRC-Nursing Home Transition Fund for the security deposit as well as appliances and bedding.
Date: July 27, 2010-September 20, 2010
Written by: Danielle Camire, Independent Living Peer Guide
Consumer's First name: Margarita
City or town of residence: Lynn
Referred by: Self from the Lynn Shelter Presentation
Disability, Primary: Thyroid disorder
Disability, Secondary: Major Mental Illness
Services requested and why:
Margarita requested services from ILCNSCA to be able to move out of the shelter and back into the community. Margarita felt the shelter was having a negative impact on her health and she wanted her own place to live that was safe and affordable.
Services provided and by whom:
She received independent living skills training from ILCNSCA to learn how to apply for a variety of housing including Subsidized Housing and Congregate Housing. Margarita was then able to conduct her own research for other forms of available housing, and from her searching, was able to indentify non-shelter housing that she thought would meet her needs. ILCNSCA also provided service coordination services that finally resulted in Margarita obtaining housing and the life supportive services she requested for managing her services.
These services improve the consumer's daily living by:
Margarita has moved from a shelter to safe, affordable housing option chosen by her. With her newly developed housing search skills and linkages to selected community supports, she is now able to live independently in affordable and accessible housing.
During FY'10 we continued to provide a monthly Peer Support group, renamed the Compass Group. The Community Access Advocacy Team continued to address access issues. We also provided a monthly Housing Application Assistance workshop. In addition, a variety of workshops were provided on:
- Emergency Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities: What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for a Weather or Other Emergency
- Money Smart certificate course on managing personal budgets
- Repairing Your Credit provided by American Credit Counseling
- Forums on Housing Rights and Finding Available, Affordable, and Accessible Housing in Salem from a City of Salem Community Development Block Grant.
We completed our design of a new survey instrument and procedures to provide an accessibility review of Restaurants, retail businesses, office businesses, and entertainment businesses. This new accessibility agenda is titled “All People Accessible Business” or APAB for short. We began to use the instrument for training of volunteers in late FY'08 and continued into FY'10 to introduce this expanded accessibility survey. The pilot test was conducted at North Shore Elder Services, one of our Aging and Disability Resource Consortium of the Greater North Shore (ADRCGNS) partners. Further recruitment and testing occurred in '10.
ILCNSCA provided information to the general public at three Health and Wellness Fairs, held an Annual Meeting, Holiday Open House in December 2009 and a Legislative Breakfast in early May 2010. ILCNSCA has continued in its leadership role in the Aging and Disability Resource Consortium of the Greater North Shore (ADRCGNS) to provide a single point of information and entry to long term services and supports for those who are seniors and for those with disabilities. We use a ‘no wrong door' approach and work closely with the other leadership agencies which include the Elder Service Plan of the North Shore, and the four Aging Services Access Point agencies (Greater Lynn Senior Services, North Shore Elder Services, SeniorCare and Mystic Valley Elder Services). We continued to be a test site for Pre-Admission Counseling under the Equal Choice Act. This program is called Long Term Care Options Program, and began in late November, 2008. This is the first new program under our ADRCGNS and we are one of three test sites in the Commonwealth. We hope this will be expanded to all of our area during FY '11, as we are only testing with two hospitals and one rehabilitation facility during the test time. Vignettes of two of our successes under this program follow:
Date of vignette: January 15, 2010
Written by: Jillian O'Brien, Long Term Care Options Program Coordinator
Consumer's First name: Dave
Active: 7/27/09 – 10/16/09
Contacts with Options consumer: 5 by telephone, 3 in-person, 1 by mail.
City or Town of residence: Lynn
Referred by: Family Continuity Program
Services requested and why:
Dave lived in an apartment in Lynn that had too many stairs for him. He has a head injury and as a result is paralyzed on one side. He is only able to walk short distances. Dave explained that to be able to remain in the community he needed to find a more accessible place which was also affordable and he needed to find people to help him at home in the form of a personal care assistants and people who could offer home care services. He stated he needed a laptop computer to help with money management and to communicate with his family via email. Since he does not cook, having a microwave would be helpful for him to heat prepared food, and he defined a need for clothing.
Services that were provided and by whom:
Jillian O'Brien met with Dave and explained resources such as North East Arc for PCA services, and Class Inc. for an assistive technology evaluation for a laptop to help him manage money. Ms. O'Brien explained programs and services offered by Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission as Dave expressed interest in vocational training. Ms. O'Brien then explained that St. Mary's Church may help him with a voucher for a microwave and clothing. Dave had already started the housing application process, and he asked Ms. O'Brien some general questions about applications. Ms. O'Brien provided him with tips and advice on how to acquire subsidized housing. Flyers and print-outs from the web on each of the services/programs discussed were also given to Dave in a folder with the Options program brochure and Ms. O'Brien's business card.
How these services improved the consumer's daily living:
Dave was able to use these resources to enable him to remain in the community.
As of October 16, 2009 Dave was able to continue to live in the community. His application for a laptop computer as assistive technology was approved and he received it. Dave had also received a clothing voucher from St. Mary's Church. Dave continued applying for housing. He said that ILCNSCA treated him respectfully, understood his needs and the referrals given had been appropriate. Dave understood that he could contact Ms. O'Brien with any questions he may have in the future.
Date of vignette: 4/21/10
Written by: Jillian O'Brien, Long Term Care Options Program Coordinator
Consumer's First name: Shannon
Active: 9/21/09 – 11/6/09
Contacts with LTCOP consumer: 1 by telephone, 1 in-person, 1 by mail.
City or town of residence: Beverly
Referred by: Friend
Services requested and why:
Shannon was admitted to a Nursing Home in Lynn because of complications from gastric bypass surgery that affected her spinal cord and as a result she is quadriplegic. She also has seizures. Shannon was at this facility for three years and thought she would have to live at this facility forever. Shannon requested information from the Options Program that may help her return to the community but did not want the Nursing facility to know that she was receiving any services.
What services were provided and by whom:
Jillian O'Brien met with Shannon and heard about her preferences, needs and financial situation. According to the dialog during that meeting, Shannon shared what she would like and her desires to live independently. Then a variety of options and local agencies that might meet Shannon's needs were shared that could help facilitate Shannon's return to the community such as: ILCNSCA services, Personal Care Assistance services and provided Shannon with Boston Center for Independent Living and North East Arc's contact information. Since Shannon expressed a need for furnishings and other household items she was told of Catholic Charities, Mission of Deeds, and ILCNSCA's Title 7 Part B Funding. She was also told about assistive devices and equipment, MassMatch and the different Assistive Technology Loan Programs. Housing options were explained such as supportive, congregate, subsidized, non-subsidized low income and section 8. For food, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offered through Department of Transitional Assistance was shared. Shannon received an Options folder that included handouts, descriptions and contact information of the above resources and agencies. Shannon then requested an Independent Living Peer Guide through ILCNSCA to help her in the moving out process (filling out applications for housing and applying for other services.) Ms. O'Brien referred Shannon to an Independent Living Peer Guide for Independent Living Comprehensive Services.
At the time of follow up Shannon was awaiting housing and was looking into assistive devices that may be helpful to her. Shannon planned to contact North East Arc to apply for Personal Care Services and to contact the Department of Transitional Assistance to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. She was working with an Independent Living Peer Guide and planned on applying for Title 7 Part B funding as well as assistance through Catholic Charities and Mission of Deed's for household items as soon as she acquires housing. Shannon said that she “most definitely” felt that we treated her respectfully, that the referrals given were appropriate and we understood her needs. She said that she would not have known about these services without working with us, she was so excited to have a chance to move back into her own home.
How did these services improve the consumer's daily living:
Shannon seemed pleased to learn about all these services that can support her in returning and remaining in the community. She now can apply for the appropriate services when she acquires housing and moves out of the Nursing Home. She is linked up with a peer at the ILCNSCA to assist her in her waiting for transition and then her transition.
We look forward to the statewide expansion of this program and the ADRC of GNS with ILCNSCA as mentors and leaders in this statewide development during FY'11.
In FY'10 we were members of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, North Shore Chamber of Commerce, and Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and the Mass Council of Human Services Providers, National Council of Independent Living (NCIL) and many other statewide and national social justice organizations. As the regional access point for the fully accessible web based disability resources database, the Mass Network of Information Providers (MNIP), we have been users of the Massachusetts Aging and Disability Information Locater (MADIL) portal. This web based database is a key resource for all citizens of Massachusetts for information on services for citizens with disabilities and seniors.
Our Director of Access and Advocacy continues his appointment by the Governor to represent ILCNSCA at the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). Our Executive Director represents MA as well as the other five New England states on the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) Board, re-elected as the Region 1 representative in June 09. She is also the chair of the SILC State Plan for Independent Living Committee and the NCIL ADRC Task Force, and started the NCIL Women's Caucus in FY'10.
ILCNSCA participated with the Statewide Independent Living Council in a two day Independent Living conference in fall of '10. ILCNSCA visited the statehouse twice with the SILC and the other ten Massachusetts Independent Living Centers in FY10.
We also sent out many public service announcements to our local cable TV stations, revised and greatly updated, reformatted and expanded our webpage, www.ilcnsca.org, sent out multiple mailings of events and activities. The results from our Consumer Satisfaction survey of those served in FY'09 were positive. We introduced in late FY'09 a postcard satisfaction survey which was continued in '10 .This survey was included with all our information and referral mailings. A follow up survey was also instituted with every Long Term Care Options Program consumer.