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PSN Resources to Get Started

PSN Resources to Get Started

It’s Thanksgiving today. One way to show gratitude is by taking care of ourselves and our loved ones and making sure we each have a strong personal safety net. As I posted in Sharing the Personal Safety Net Journey, I held my first workshop for LifeSPAN families and friends on November 5, 2017. Here are some of the resources I shared. We began by reviewing the Personal Safety Nets Eight Pillars of Resilience. This provides a broad context for thinking about where we can start to make visible our personal safety net and where we want to put effort now. We don’t have to tackle everything at once. Even making progress in one area can contribute to greater peace of mind. The next step was to do the Personal Survey.  When we can check off “Yes” to some items, it’s quite reassuring. I did this together with my mom thinking about her situation. The question “Do you like getting help?” has not always been an easy one for her to answer “Yes” to. But, she’s learning to accept assistance with grace more and more. She may feel that she can’t “give help” to others the way she used to, but everyone who knows her experiences her generous, positive spirit, and that’s a help in anyone’s life. We then turned to the PSN Checklist. This is a master list of documents and information to gather together in one place, such as a Personal Safety Notebook. Some of our LifeSPAN members have done an excellent job of creating such notebooks for their loved ones with a disability. I’m not quite that organized yet, but reviewing the list...
Sharing the Personal Safety Nets Journey

Sharing the Personal Safety Nets Journey

(PSN image courtesy of Personal Safety Nets®) On November 5, 2017 4:00-5:00 pm at the Mercer Island Library (4400 88th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040), I hosted my first Personal Safety Nets Workshop for the LifeSPAN community. It was a blustery day and a Sunday afternoon, so we did not have a big crowd, but I enjoyed sharing my Personal Safety Nets journey and offering some first steps to families. Here’s the invitation I sent to families and friends of LifeSPAN: Dear LifeSPAN Families, Network Members, Facilitators, and Friends of LifeSPAN, As many of you know, Judy Pigott, founder of Personal Safety Nets, has been a big supporter of LifeSPAN, even donating copies of the Personal Safety Nets book to every attendee at LifeSPAN’s 15th Anniversary Celebration at Salty’s in 2015. I decided that fall to attend the train-the-trainer workshops offered by Judy, and that was the beginning of my own Personal Safety Nets journey. I launched my LifeSPAN blog on that topic, and I’ve now picked up on it again with several recent posts. After 17 years of involvement with LifeSPAN, I believe that there is tremendous synergy possible connecting the work that Judy’s organization began with the work that we have fostered in LifeSPAN. I have come to understand that the ability for my mother and me (and my brother and our spouses) to support my sister with a disability through her lifetime is most dependent on our ability to create and sustain our OWN Personal Safety Nets through life. Fortunately, our mother has been a master of that so we’ve had a good role model. But there’s always more to learn. Over the past...
Revisiting Possessions

Revisiting Possessions

Two years ago I blogged about Possessions and how difficult it was for me to think about parting with my boxes of files, my dad’s vinyl LPs, and even my children’s stuffed animals from childhood. Over the past couple of months, I’m happy to report that I’ve made major progress. As you can see, it took time to get to this place of actually doing something about them. Perhaps embarking on Personal Safety Nets has given me the push I needed. Another thing that has helped is taking the time to lay things out, recall some happy memories, and sometimes post a photo on Facebook to see if anyone wanted anything (including my children). So, I have not tossed out everything, but pared down and picked things to save in a more intentional way. I want my life to be full of people and relationships and enjoyable activities, not burdened by the “stuff” that has accumulated. Making getting rid of the stuff more about remembering people, relationships, and enjoyable activities has helped enrich me and motivate me along this...
Back to Personal Safety Nets… It is a Journey

Back to Personal Safety Nets… It is a Journey

It was almost two years ago that I started this blog on my journey of Personal Safety Nets. In some ways, I did not get very far. In some ways I did. Life intervened. In December of 2015, my purse and cell phone got stolen out of the front seat of my car while I was getting gas. (Yes, watch out for people sneaking into your car while your back is turned at a gas station.) It was a shock and big inconvenience, but because I had done a pretty good job of consolidating my critical documents (credit card information, cell phone insurance plan, etc.), I was actually able to get up and running again within about 2 days. (I think the cell phone replacement arrived about 24 hours after the event.) Yes, we did have to change our locks, but our locksmith is located near our house and was willing to make a late call that very evening. The next morning I went into the bank and got a brand new checking account and debit card. The visa replacement card arrived before Christmas. I was able to order a replacement driver’s license online and print a temporary copy immediately. Fortunately, I had a spare credit card that was not in my purse so I could continue to pay for things as needed online. I mention this now to contrast it with my latest experience with a stolen purse. Unfortunately, on the morning of Memorial Day this year, my 90-year-old mom’s purse got stolen out of her house. Fortunately, her keys and cell phone were not in it, but, unfortunately, check books, credit...
Doing my homework

Doing my homework

October 3, 2015 Dear …., I’ve been attending a Train the Trainer on a program called “Personal Safety Nets.” It has a lot in common philosophically  with LifeSPAN, but is not about helping your loved one with a disability; rather, it’s about helping yourself. In the spirit of “Please put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others,” I am working to get my own life in order. I think I’ll be better able to support my sister Kari then, as well as all the other loved ones in my life. (And I’ll have time and energy to “save the world” too! :))  Of course, there are many elements to this, from getting my will in order to tracking down my possessions and knowing what I have (and where it is), but our homework after the first training session was to fill out our “Personal Safety Nets Emergency Card,” something I will carry with me always. On the front of the card, it has a place to indicate: – My Name, Phone, Date – Medications/Conditions: – Allergies: – Person with a house key & contact info   On the reverse side, it has: – Medical Contact Info: – Insurance Info:   – In case of emergency, or if I cannot speak for myself, please call: [    ]  Contacted  1. Name    Phone [    ]  Contacted  2. Name    Phone [    ]  Contacted  3. Name    Phone (in other words, have I actually contacted these people for permission to be on my card?) [   ]  They know how to reach one another   (so I need to connect them) [   ]  They have info, access,...

The Eight Pillars of Resilience (and where I’m starting)

At the training on Thursday night, we learned about the eight pillars of support. Not everyone has all eight in place, but even with six, or four, or possibly three, you can “bounce back” when life throws you a curve. (As trainees, we received from Judy an experiential activity to use to give people we might be working with in the future a more illustrative sense of what that means than simply reading or hearing the description.) I think I’ll explore these eight pillars and think about where I “am” right now in regards to each. As it happens, the one that stood out for me today was Possessions. In some ways, Possessions doesn’t seem like the most important pillar (and I really don’t think it is), but it is the one that seems to be my biggest barrier. I, like many people, seem to have so much “stuff” and no time (or discipline) to deal with it properly. Some of it is not really my fault. I still have four shelves of LP records (I think they call them “vinyl” nowadays) that my stepmother gave me after my father died and she decided to downsize and move back to Waldron Island. That was 19 years ago. And they’re still in the garage. I have not listened to even one (although… we did recently refurbish our turntable, so maybe they’ll be a part of my future listening pleasure…). Then there’s the box of stuffed animals that had to be stored in a bit plastic tub after my daughter started having trouble with dust mites. And there’s boxes of Legos and K’nex (from...