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Posts Tagged ‘independent living’

Happy Friday, everyone! Tomorrow is my birthday, so I am especially looking forward to the weekend, as I do LOVE to celebrate my birthday!

This week, I had the pleasure of visiting Cheshire Home in Florham Park, NJ. (www.cheshirehome.org) Through a few mutual board members, I met with Barbara Monahan, their Director of Development and Public Relations. We had a great meeting, sharing information and ideas, and she gave me a great tour of the Home. I also had the opportunity to meet a few staff members and residents while I was there. It was obvious that this a caring, family-centered kind of place!

As much as I know about resources in our area for people with spinal cord inury, I was not familiar with Cheshire Home! I am so glad to have learned of this wonderful place which provides medical care and living arragements while fostering educational and employment placements. The goal is to help residents live independent and productive lives.

Our programs serve an overlapping population and I look forward to working with Cheshire Home when residents are discharged into the community. Perhaps Push to Walk can provide the option of a specialized exercise, health and wellness program for people with SCI where appropriate.

Thank you to the administrators and staff of Cheshire Home who provide such a wonderful environment for poeple to thrive in, and the programs and advocacy efforts to help them achieve maximum independence. Check them out!

Have a good weekend! Cynthia

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Happy Monday! I hope you all had a good weekend!

A Push to Walk client passed along a newspaper story about a man and his company who renovate upscale Manhattan homes, and now he has added accessible and universal design to the services he provides. This would seem a natural area for Martin Watters to focus on – he uses a wheelchair himself. The company is called ADA Lifestyles of New York. Check them out! (http://www.wattersconstruction.com)

This article reminds me of how many people and families affected by spinal cord injury, paralysis and an array of other disabilities have “normal” homes that become nearly impossible to navigate once a wheelchair is needed. Our own home, a ranch up until a year before Darren’s injury, but now with two stories and lots of steps, had to be changed quite a bit to accomodate Darren’s wheelchair. Outside of providing primary care to a newly injured family member, this is one of the most important, expensive and stressful areas that need to be dealt with.

Our own town of Kinnelon, New Jersey was extremely helpful in getting the renovation project moved along very quickly. The Mayor and Council, our architect, builder and sub-contractors all pulled together to get our project started and completed in record time. But I know many others who are not as fortunate. It is often the cost of such projects that is prohibitive (especially on top of all the other costs if it’s a sudden spinal cord injury), the lack of resources to aid in the design, the workers to do the job. When I hear of people waiting weeks and months just to get a ramp so they can get in and out of their houses safely and easily, it breaks my heart.

In this newspaper article from The Journal News (www.lohud.com), it references how Rockland County, NY has adopted a law with design standards for accessibility and recommends a speedier process for town permit applications for modifications. Sounds like some good progress, and perhaps other counties will follow their lead. I certainly hope so!

I know of a local agency in New Jersey, DAWN (www.dawncil.org) who received funds from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to help people offset costs of certain home modifications in certain counties of New Jersey. I hope there are other resources out there, too, that can help. If you know of any, please pass them along and I’ll be sure to include them in a future post and on our website in the links section (www.pushtowalknj.org).

For now, let’s all think about how we can help make our homes more accessible to visitors in wheelchairs and the little things we can do to help people feel welcome. And if there’s any way we can assist others to find the resources they need to make their own homes more accessible and functional, let’s put our heads together and help! This is an area where people working together can truly make a difference to someone with a disability of any kind.

Cynthia

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