|Planned Lifetime Networks (Waterloo-Wellington-Oxford)|
good life for your relative who may be socially isolated with a disability?
So do others in our region.
Lifetime Networks (Waterloo-Wellington-Oxford) is an incorporated not-for-profit
charity in Ontario and an affiliate of PLANtm of Burnaby BC,
which has pioneered the formation of personal support networks for people
with disabilities since 1988. Visit PLAN's website at www.PLAN.ca
Members of Planned Lifetime Networks envision a future in which people with disabilities:
Members of Planned Lifetime Networks believe:
Planned Lifetime Networks will support families to develop quality of life and safe and secure futures for their relatives with disabilities. We will:
Q. How can PLN create a safe and secure future for people with disabilities?
A. First, we will listen closely to the individual and the family to gain a thorough understanding of their goals and the challenges they face. Then we will assemble a group of caring people, which includes the individual, parents and other family members, as well as friends and neighbours. When the time is right, we may introduce sensitive professionals to provide advice and support.
Q. What is a Personal Network?
A. Personal Network is a group of caring, dedicated people who are committed to your relative who has a disability. They become the eyes, ears, arms, legs and heart of PLN. All of us have Personal Networks—people we can count on and confide in, people who help us out. Unfortunately, many people with disabilities don’t experience such support. They need a little extra help to recruit and maintain a network of friends and supporters. Personal Networks will provide PLN with the opportunity to get to know your relative with a disability and to work closely with you and your family before a crisis occurs. In the unlikely event that a Personal Network should collapse, PLN would dedicate staff resources to creating a new Personal Network while providing staff support in the interim. To ensure this doesn’t happen, PLN facilitators will monitor all Personal Networks and ensure the continued recruitment and involvement of active members.
Q. How can PLN help me plan my will and ensure my financial assets are in order?
A. PLN will offer a Future Planning Advisory Service. Although we are not lawyers, estate or financial planners, we do have considerable lay expertise. We can offer tips, insights and potential solutions based on the accumulated wisdom of other families. We can also work closely with knowledgeable lawyers, trust officers, financial planners, and life insurance companies. We do not endorse any firm, company or individual, but we can refer families to sensitive, informed professionals.
Q. What is a Future Planning Consultation?
A. A PLN consultant will facilitate a comprehensive review of the current state of affairs with regard to you or your relative with a disability. This review takes about two hours and includes:
BETH is a young woman full of dreams for the future. Recently she bounced in the front door bursting with pride because she had learned to travel "alone" on the city bus. "I got job" she proudly announces to anyone who will listen, describing her field placement at Canadian Tire. She has a full life with school, work activities, and a social life full of friends and family.
Beth lives with Down syndrome, with limitations in judgement and communication, and is only just beginning to read. She dreams of having a real job to go to each day and a place of her own, an apartment (Beth hates yard work) with room to entertain friends and to relax. Her family shares Beth’s dreams. She’d like to sing and dance "on stage" with the Back Street Boys! She sees her life continuing as it is now.
Beth’s life is changing. Soon school will end and with it all the support
and social outlets she enjoys. She has little idea that her family will
not always be there and the government supports only sheltered workshops
and group homes—places where she would be extremely unhappy. Her family
has great concerns that Beth’s dreams for a good life will not be actualized
and that she will fall into a place of isolation and lack of control. That
is where PLN comes in. By establishing a lifelong personal network for
Beth, she will have a community of support to help her make good decisions
to reach and maintain the life she so desires.
Andrew is 32 and lives with the severe disabilities of autism. As he does not speak, others may assume that he has nothing to say and even that he doesn’t hear or understand them. But he has sensible and mature thoughts and, with facilitation, types on a computer-with-a-voice to comment and make choices. He needs a great deal of personal support and reassurance.
During the past four years, Andrew has taken several steps towards a good life. He now lives in his own home and can make choices about how and with whom he spends his time, with whom he lives, and how he contributes to his community. He is able to continue learning and to do real work. He teaches his friends and caregivers to understand the support strategies that help him best. His health and quality of life have improved greatly and he says his life is "terrific these days."
anxiety overwhelms Andrew when he thinks about the future, after his parents
die or can no longer provide direct personal support. He has no siblings
and no relatives at all in North America. Andrew needs PLN’s expertise
and commitment to keep his personal network strong so that its members
will care about him and understand how best to use available resources
to support him after his parents have gone. "I’m really worried about my
future. I can’t see myself depending on other people. I need to know how
I can depend on them."
How to Help and Learn More About PLN
* Become a member, as:
Purchase a copy of A Good Life: for you and your relative with a disability by Al Etmanski. Burnaby, BC: Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, 2000. Read OAARSN review
Planned Lifetime Networks (Waterloo-Wellington-Oxford)
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