425 883 9867 info@lifespan-wa.org

Personal Safety Nets

Linda Davidson recently shared with me the work of Judy Pigott and Dr. John W. Gibson on Personal Safety Nets. I visited their website, www.personalsafetynets.com, and downloaded their Complete Workbook for free. (It’s 19 MB, so it took a while to download :).) What a wealth of resources! This information is timely as our family faces a future of change. Both my father-in-law and mother-in-law passed away in the last 18 months so my husband’s family is dealing with the adjustments that come when parents pass away. When the first parent passes, it’s not so noticeable because the remaining spouse, if able, is handling much of the paperwork and details. However, when both are gone, the responsibility for resolving all outstanding issues falls on the children. No matter how careful and diligent the parents are about handling their affairs, it seems that there will always be issues of property, finances, and legacy. Even though I feel like I’m quite young still, I find myself wanting to have my affairs in order so I won’t be a burden (or as much of a burden) on my own children when the day of my passing comes. I recently updated my will and I have been tracking my health information (doctors, appointments, prescriptions, etc.) already more carefully since I was treated for breast cancer five years ago. (Nothing like cancer to remind you that no one is guaranteed to live forever!) At the same time, my own parents are experiencing life changes. My stepfather has dementia that is progressing rather rapidly. While they have focused much of their energy for decades on...

Facing Our Fears

In Facing the Future Together, we begin by thinking of our dreams — as parents and siblings — for our loved one with a disability. But, we know we also need to face our fears and concerns. Here are some that came up at the workshop on October 24. What fears or concerns do you have? Won’t be able to find suitable housing; not adult family home Finances, Help, support Safety in the world; vulnerability Not having a purposeful day Who will do this if we aren’t doing it Might not feel included in her/his community Something will happen before things are in place??? Complication factors; destabilization Other children being impacted Concerns about safety, gullibility, vulnerability Isolation, feelings of not contributing Fear of what’s coming Guilt Not being able to include sibling in everything socially Caregiver’s need for self care being neglected Where will support funds come from? Options for us might not be available in the future  What do you think? Please add your...

What are your dreams?

We asked these questions at the workshop: As a parent, what are your dreams and goals for the future of your child with a disability after you are gone? Where will your child live? What will they be doing? Who will be involved?  As a sibling, what are your dreams and goals for the future of your sibling with a disability? Where will your sibling live? What will they be doing? Who will be involved? What will your role be? Parents and Siblings:  Have you ever taken the time to share these dreams with each other?   Here’s what we heard about Dreams for the Future… Parents: what are your dreams? 1. Full time job with benefits/living wage 2. Accepting community 3. “Happiness” co-op 4. Being with people 5. intentional community; co-housing 6. Independence and a dog! 7. Friends without disabilities 8. Friend that we don’t have to pay 9. Marriage Siblings: what are your dreams? 1. Urban village “support” 2. People nearby that can care, support and know the individual 3. Safety & Freedom 4. Less family support; more non-family involvement 5. Stimulating environment 6. Chance to contribute to community 7. Purpose 8. Marriage and/or choice of roommates 9. Employment What do you think of these? Feel free to submit comments to this blog — ongoing conversation. (Note: Comments are moderated so it may take a few hours before your comment gets...

Facing the Future Together

LifeSPAN is preparing for its second Facing the Future Together workshop for parents and siblings – for the whole family – on October 24, 2010, sponsored by the Arc of King County. The response has been great. In fact, we just had to close registration for this workshop. Email us if you’d like to attend the workshop at a future date: info@lifespan-wa.org. This new blog will be a place for sharing stories, resources, and ideas about Facing the Future Together. Please comment on the posts, and we’ll respond. A good place to start is with our dreams. — Michele Anciaux Aoki, LifeSPAN Board Member and...